GB & NI team announced for Great Edinburgh XCountry

Mo Europeans

Double Olympic, European and World champion Mo Farah (handicap -7.1) will make his first appearance in 2015 competing for the GB & NI team at the Great Edinburgh XCountry on Saturday 10 January.

The 31 year old, who will be making his first cross country appearance since winning at the event in 2011, will be joined in the senior men’s team by 11 of the British contingent from last weekend’s European Cross Country Championships, including U23 men’s team silver medallists Jonathan Davies (handicap -4.2), Will Gray (handicap -4.3), Callum Hawkins (handicap -5.6), Jonny Hay (handicap -5.6) and Charlie Hulson (handicap -4.3). 


“I'm looking forward to returning to the Great Edinburgh XCountry to kick off my season,” said Farah, who will be making his 40th GB & NI senior appearance since his debut in 2003.


"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.”


Following an epic tussle with teammate Kate Avery (handicap -0.5) to win gold in Samokov, European Cross Country champion Gemma Steel (handicap -2.4) will head to Holyrood Park looking for a repeat performance of 2014 when she won the senior women’s race by nine seconds. While Avery has flown back to Iona College, New York to continue her studies, Rhona Auckland (handicap -0.8), who swept away the competition to win the women’s U23 race on Sunday, will be full of confidence after her gold medal performance in Bulgaria. The Banchory Stonehaven athlete has team silver medallists Emelia Gorecka (handicap -1.3), Maryse Haynes (handicap 0.5) and Katie Holt (handicap 1.1) for company as well as European duathlon champion Katie Hewison (handicap 10.4) who will don a GB & NI athletics vest for the first time since the European Mountain Running Championships in 2008.


U20 European Cross Country silver medallist Jess Judd (handicap -1.2) will move up to the senior ranks for the first time in her cross country career, as the GB & NI team look to come out on top against Europe and USA’s best cross country runners.


Lydia Turner (handicap 0.7), who was third behind the Clay sisters 12 months ago, will be in confident mood to improve on that performance next month, as the recently crowned European Cross Country bronze medallist lines up in the junior women’s team.  Among those joining the Birtley AC athlete are Georgina Outten (handicap 0.9), Amy Griffiths (handicap 0.2) and Phoebe Law (handicap 1.7), who were all a part of the gold medal-winning junior women’s team in Samokov at the weekend. 15 year old Sabrina Sinha (handicap 1.1) will make her debut at this level following an impressive eighth place finish at the Liverpool Cross Challenge last month. 


Three men from the junior team in Bulgaria will head up the U20 men’s squad in the Scottish capital with Elliot Bowker (handicap -4.0), Jonathan Glen (handicap -3.2) and Jac Hopkins (handicap -3.0) all looking to make their mark on the 6km course.


British Athletics’ Head of Endurance, Barry Fudge said: “It’s great to see such depth in the GB & NI team heading to Scotland for the Great Edinburgh XCountry next month.


“With the great performances in Bulgaria combined with a number of strong additions to the team, I am confident that we can be competitive against what will be strong American and European teams.” 


The Great Edinburgh XCountry is free to spectate and will be shown live on BBC One and BBC One HD from 13:00 to 14:35. 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 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.


GB & NI team for the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday 10 January 2015:


Senior Men


Andrew Butchart (handicap -5.3)

Luke Caldwell (handicap -5.7)

Jonathan Davies (U23) (handicap -4.2)

Mo Farah (handicap -7.1)

Will Gray (U23) (handicap -4.3)

Callum Hawkins (handicap -5,6)

Jonny Hay (handicap -5.6)

Adam Hickey (handicap -5.0)

Charlie Hulson (U23) (handicap -4.3)

Ross Millington (handicap -5.5)

Jonathan Taylor (handicap -4.6) 

Tom Wade (handicap -3.0)


Senior Women


Rhona Auckland (U23) (handicap -0.8)

Emma Clayton (handicap 5.5)

Lauren Deadman (handicap -0.2)

Emelia Gorecka (handicap -1.3)

Maryse Haynes (handicap 0.5)

Katie Hewison (handicap 10.4)

Katie Holt (handicap 1.1)

Jess Judd (U23) (handicap -1.2)

Lily Partridge (U23) (handicap -0.2)

Charlotte Purdue (handicap -1.1)

Sonia Samuels (handicap -0.5)

Gemma Steel (handicap -2.4)



Junior Men


Elliot Bowker (handicap -4.0)

Jack Crabtree (handicap -4.2) 

Oliver Fox (handicap -1.7)

Jonathan Glen (handicap -3.2)

James Hall (handicap -1.1)

Jac Hopkins (handicap -3.0) 



Junior Women


Grace Baker (handicap 2.2)

Amy Griffiths (handicap 0.2)

Phoebe Law (handicap 1.7)

Georgina Outten (handicap 0.9)

Sabrina Sinha (handicap 1.1) 

Lydia Turner (handicap 0.7)