2011 BUPA Great Edinburgh XC Recap: Kipchoge And Masai Triumph In The Snow Of Scotland
January 8, 2011
*2011 BUPA Great Edinburgh "Team" Race Recap: Mo Farah Over Galen Rupp, Europe Over USA
A snow-covered course made for some true cross-country at the 2011 Great Edinburgh XC Race. The chill may have been tough on spectators, but no doubt it made for great visual images on the live national television broadcast on the BBC.
Recaps of the international individual races below. Team race recap (USA vs. GB vs. Europe) here.
Men's 4km: Kipchoge's Experience Shows
The men's 4.248 km race was the first professional race of the day and featured the most credentialed men's runners. All of the African runners (3 runners from Kenya: former world 5k champ Eliud Kipchoge, 2008 Olympic 1,500m champ, Asbel Kiprop, and 2008 Olympic steeplechase champ Brimin Kipruto) were in this race, as the team race had no African teams.
The Kenyan runners were the class of the field on paper and when the real racing got underway, they showed it. Kipchoge, the most experienced on the course (he won here in 2005 and this was his sixth appearance), opened up a gap on the field during the second half of the race as he used the first time up the steep uphill and downhill on the course to pull away from the field. The lanky Kiprop, who was world junior XC champ in 2007, gave chase and was the only one to try and stay with Kipchoge.
In the end, Kipchoge's win was not in doubt as he handled the second time up the steep uphill and downhill on the course with ease. Kiprop was able to hold off Kipruto for second by 1 second. Britain's Steve Vernon had been 3rd in this race twice before, but that was when the race was UK athletes only. He had a very impressive performance today in 4th, just two seconds back of Kipruto.
The win for Kipchoge was a good start to 2011 who became the father of his second child a month ago. The veteran was world champ back in 2003 at 5,000m, but still had the fastest time in the world in 2010 at 5k (12:51.21). Afterwards, he told the IAAF his attention in 2011 is the track World Champs.
|4||Steve Vernon||Stockport Harriers||GBR||00:13:21|
|5||Tom Lancashire||Bolton United Harriers||GBR||00:13:29|
|7||Ricky Stevenson||New Marske Harriers||GBR||00:13:38|
|8||Michael Skinner||Blackheath & Bromley||GBR||00:13:39|
|10||Bruce Raeside||Notts AC||GBR||00:13:43|
|11||Ross Millington||Stockport Harriers||GBR||00:13:45|
|14||Nick McCormick||Morpeth Harriers||GBR||00:14:04|
|17||Andrew Wiles||New Marske Harriers||GBR||00:14:12|
|18||Matt Clowes||Liverpool Harriers AC||GBR||00:14:19|
|20||Ndayisenga Jean||Birchfield Harriers||BDI||00:14:38|
|21||Ben Livesey||Forres AC||GBR||00:14:44|
|22||Alex Flynn||Aldershot Farnham & District||IRE||00:15:10|
Women's 4k Race: Linet Masai Shows All That's Left For Her Is Winning World XC
The women's 5.775km race featured the reigning 5,000m and 10,000m champions, Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai, and two time world junior champion Genzebe Dibaba (also the sister of world star Tirunesh Dibaba).
While Masai is a better cross-country runner (3rd, 2nd, and 2nd at the last 3 World XC Championships) than Cheruiyot, Cheruiyot has been improving in XC and she definitely had the most experience on the difficult Edinburgh course (this was her fifth time racing in Edinburgh).
Early on however, it was none of the World stars leading. Spanish marathoner Allessandra Aguilar (2:29 PR) was leading the field with Masai, Cheuiyot, Dibaba and Brit Hattie Dean in tow. Once the real running started, however, this one was never in doubt.
Masai pulled away with ease with Cheuiyot giving chase. Cheruiyot would eventually be overtaken by Dibaba for second, but the winner was never in question. Afterwards, Masai talked to the IAAF and turned her attention to finally coming out in top at Worlds, "It was hard to run on snow, because I am not used to it. Additionally, the opposition was very strong, so I was not that confident before the race. Now I want to finally win the gold medal at the World Cross-Country Championships in March, because in the past two years I ended up with silver."
If Masai does not win World XC this year in Spain, she'll have to wait two years, as World XC is going to a bi-annual schedule after this year.
|21||Hester Dix||Scot Univ||GBR||00:23:03|
|27||Elish McColgan||Scot Univ||GBR||00:23:28|
|34||Danielle Brown||Scot Univ||GBR||00:24:02|
|38||Fiona Thompson||Scot Univ||GBR||00:24:35|
|41||Megan Crawford||Scot Univ||GBR||00:24:47|
|46||Natilie Sharpe||Scot Univ||GBR||00:25:03|
|50||Ruth Joss||Scot Univ||GBR||00:25:36|
Disclosure: Nova International, the organizers of the Great Edinburgh race, paid for LetsRun.com's Weldon Johnson's travel and accommodations to attend the 2011 Great Edinburgh XC Race from his vacation in Spain.