British distance runner Mo Farah on his way to victory (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Edinburgh, UK

Farah returns to Edinburgh for first cross-country race in five years

As he prepares to defend his Olympic 5000m and 10,000m crowns in Rio, Mo Farah’s first test of 2016 will come when he spearheads Britain in the team challenge at the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country on Saturday 9 January.

For the 32-year-old, who took his haul of global gold medals to seven when he retained his world 5000m and 10,000m titles in Beijing in August, the 8km event at Holyrood Park will mark a return to cross-country running after a five-year break from the surface.

“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,” said Farah, who had been set to compete in Edinburgh last year but was forced to withdraw through illness.

“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.”

“It's a big year for Mo and this race is a serious part of his plan and programme,” said Barry Fudge, Head of Endurance for British Athletics.

“Mo has previously built his base for a summer track season with cross country races over the winter season, so we see this as a fundamental part of his preparation as we build towards the defence of his Olympic titles in Rio – which is ultimately his main goal for 2016. He enjoys nothing more than running in front of the British public so this is a great way for him to kick off his most important of years.”

Organisers for the IAAF