Farah headlines British team for Edinburgh

Mo Farah

Double Olympic, world and European champion Mo Farah (handicap -7.5) 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 (handicap -5.6) 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 (handicap -1.4) 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 (handicap -2.4), who pipped her to gold at the European Cross Country Championships 12 months ago.


Matching Avery’s achievement was Harriet Knowles-Jones (handicap -0.5), 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 (handicap -0.8) , who won the event in 2014.


Alex Yee (handicap -4.3), 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 (handicap -5.9) and Kyle Langford (handicap -5.2). Joining the male duo in the team are Charlene Thomas (handicap -0.2) and Kate Holt (handicap 0.0), 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:


Senior Men:


Andrew Butchart (handicap -5.5)

Andrew Davies (handicap -4.9)

Jonny Davies (handicap -5.6)

Mo Farah (Handicap -7.5)

Richard Goodman (handicap -4.4)

Dewi Griffiths (handicap -5.8)

Callum Hawkins (handicap -6.1) 

Jonny Hay (handicap -4.2)

Tom Lancashire (handicap -5.7)

Ross Millington (handicap -5.4)

Nick Swinburn (handicap -4.7)

Jonny Taylor (handicap -5.5)


Senior Women:


Charlotte Arter (handicap -0.9)

Kate Avery (handicap -1.4)

Emma Clayton (handicap 0.1)

Louise Damen (handicap 0.1)

Faye Fullerton (handicap -0.1)

Lauren Howarth (handicap -0.6)

Josephine Moultrie (handicap 0.4)

Rebecca Murray (handicap 0.2)

Jenny Nesbitt (handicap -0.2)

Beth Potter (handicap -0.6)

Gemma Steel (handicap -2.4)

Elle Vernon (handicap -0.9)


Junior Men:


Gus Cockle (handicap -3.9)

William Fuller (handicap -3.6)

Euan Gillham (handicap -3.8)

Mahamed Mahamed (handicap -3.7)

Will Richardson (handicap -3.3)

Alex Yee (handicap -4.3)


Junior Women:


Niamh Brown (Mick Woods)

Bobby Clay (handicap 1.7)

Heidi Davies (handicap 2.4)

Morven Goodrum (handicap 1.4)

Harriet Knowles-Jones (handicap -0.5)

Sabrina Sinha (handicap 1.6)


Mixed Relay: 


Charlie Grice (handicap -5.9)

Kate Holt (handicap 0.0)

Kyle Langford (handicap -5.2)

Charlene Thomas (handicap -0.2)