British distance runner Mo Farah (© Getty Images)
Double world and OIympic champion Mo Farah will return to his roots when he opens his 2015 racing schedule at the international Great Edinburgh XCountry, an IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting, at Holyrood Park in Edinburgh on 10 January.
Farah, the reigning world, Olympic and European 5000m and 10,000m champion, will be contesting his first cross-country race for four years when he lines up in the Scottish capital.
Now, as he prepares for a 2015 summer track season in which he intends to defend his world 5000m and 10,000m crowns in Beijing, the 31-year-old will be laying the groundwork with his first cross-country race since winning the 8km at the 2011 Great Edinburgh International race.
“Next year will be an important year for me and I’m looking forward to returning to the Great Edinburgh Cross Country to kick off my season,” said Farah. “For many years I ran cross country to build my base for the summer track season and it will be nice to return to Edinburgh and try to repeat my winning run of 2011 there.”
After finishing eighth on his testing marathon debut in London in April and then missing the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow because of illness, Farah won the 5000m and 10,000m at the European Championships in Zurich in August, adding to the double golds he achieved at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships.
He then broke Steve Ovett’s 36-year-old British two miles best time in Birmingham before ending his racing schedule for the year on a high, becoming the first British man since 1985 to win the Great North Run.
“It was a fantastic feeling winning the Great North Run in front of a home crowd in September and I’m sure there will be plenty of support in Edinburgh for my first event in 2015,” said Farah.
The Great Edinburgh XCountry is part of a New Year festival for runners of all abilities, based at Holyrood Park on a scenic 5k course that loops around Arthur’s Seat, next to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
Organisers for the IAAF