17 December 2015
Double Olympic, world and European champion Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) will headline the British team for the Great Edinburgh XCountry on Saturday 9 January.
Taking place in the picturesque surroundings of Holyrood Park, Farah will make his first cross country appearance since winning the event in 2011 in what will be his 41st GB international vest.
Farah, who will be looking to defend his two Olympic titles in Rio in 2016 said: “It will be an important year for me in 2016 and I'm looking forward to returning to the Great Edinburgh Cross Country to kick off my season.
“For many years cross country was a key building block for the year ahead and I'm pleased to add it to my schedule for the first time since I ran in Edinburgh back in 2011.”
Joining Farah in the team are all three of the individual medallists from the table-topping British team from last weekend’s European Cross Country Championships held in Hyères, France.
Jonny Davies (Rob McKim) stormed to gold in the U23 men’s race and will now have his sights set on improving on his 29th place finish in the senior race at the start of 2015.
Replicating her performance from 2014, Kate Avery (Tony Simmons) claimed a gutsy silver medal in the south of France and will head to the Scottish capital where she will be joined in the senior women’s team by Gemma Steel (John Nuttall), who pipped her to gold at the European Cross Country Championships 12 months ago.
Matching Avery’s achievement was Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden), who continued her meteoric rise on the junior cross country circuit and topped off a fine season after finishing fourth in the 1500m at the IAAF World Youth Championships in the summer. The 17 year old will form a part of a six-strong junior women’s team, which includes European U20 1500m gold medallist Bobby Clay, who won the event in 2014.
Alex Yee (Kenneth Pike), who was the leading light in the junior men’s team on their way to team bronze, will tackle the undulating course in Edinburgh for the first time in his career.
Leading the British hopes in the 4x1km mixed relay are 2015 IAAF World Championships representatives Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg) and Kyle Langford (George Harrison). Joining the male duo in the team are Charlene Thomas (Aaron Thomas) and Kate Holt (Alan Morris), who will be looking to upgrade on the team’s second place finish last time around.
The Great Edinburgh XCountry is free to spectate and will be shown live on BBC One and BBC One HD from 13:00 to 14:30 on January 9. It is part of a New Year festival of running for all abilities in the iconic Holyrood Park in Edinburgh. Over 2,500 people will be starting the New Year on the right foot when they take on the popular Great Edinburgh Winter Run, held on a scenic 5k course that loops around Arthur’s Seat, before watching the world’s best test themselves in the international cross country races.
British Athletics team for the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country on Saturday 9 January:
Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton)
Andrew Davies (Steve Vernon)
Jonny Davies (Rob McKim)
Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar)
Richard Goodman (Mick Woods)
Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans)
Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins)
Jonny Hay (Mick Woods)
Tom Lancashire (Steve Vernon)
Ross Millington (Steve Vernon)
Nick Swinburn (Lindsay Dunn)
Jonny Taylor (Gordon Surtees)
Charlotte Arter (James Thie)
Kate Avery (Tony Simmons)
Emma Clayton (Andrew Henderson)
Louise Damen (self-coached)
Faye Fullerton (Georgina Fullerton)
Lauren Howarth (Steve Vernon)
Josephine Moultrie (William Parker)
Rebecca Murray (Alex Stanton)
Jenny Nesbitt (David Walker)
Beth Potter (Mick Woods)
Gemma Steel (John Nuttall)
Elle Vernon (Steve Vernon)
Gus Cockle (Mick Woods)
William Fuller (David Liston)
Euan Gillham (Robert Hawkins)
Mahamed Mahamed (Peter Haynes)
Will Richardson (Peter Stewart)
Alex Yee (Kenneth Pike)
Niamh Brown (Mick Woods)
Bobby Clay (Rob Denmark)
Heidi Davies (Andrew Davies)
Morven Goodrum (Shireen Higgins)
Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden)
Sabrina Sinha (Peter Mullervy)
Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg)
Kate Holt (Alan Morris)
Kyle Langford (George Harrison)
Charlene Thomas (Aaron Thomas)