Olympic champions confirm they will run in Edinburgh


Reigning Olympic gold medallists Asbel Kiprop and Brimin Kipruto have confirmed they will compete at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country in January.

The Kenyans, who claimed the 1500 metres and 3000 metres steeplechase titles at the 2008 Beijing Games, will contest the international four kilometre race in Holyrood Park on Saturday, January 8.

They join a field which already includes fellow countryman Eliud Kipchoge, a former World 5000m champion, who was runner-up over the distance at the last Olympics in the Chinese capital.

Event co-ordinator Peter Riley, the event co-ordinator, said: “We’re delighted that we have already attracted three of the world’s greatest distance runners and it supports our decision in reducing the men’s international race distance from 9km to 4km.”

“The distance was dropped from the world cross country championships a couple of years ago, although it was always popular amongst the athletes.

“Now our initiative has seen enquiries from several other top stars keen to take part and negotiations with their managers are already in the pipeline.”

Riley added: “Kiprop, although a metric mile specialist, is more than happy to step up in distance and let’s remember, he was the 2007 World Junior Cross Country Champion.

“Kipruto hasn’t paid any serious attention to cross country in the past but with his steeplechase background, will be extremely suited to a course which will suit his style of running.

“Kipchoge, the first to be recruited for the race, will be returning to the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country for the fifth occasion and has already expressed his delight at the new distance.”

The meeting, which will be broadcast live on BBC Television and is part of the IAAF World Cross Permit series, will also feature the traditional women’s international 6km race.

It will also include a Men’s International Team Challenge, featuring Great Britain & Northern Ireland senior, under 23 and under 20 sides against the USA and a Europe Select Team over 8km.

Entry into Holyrood Park is free for spectators and organisers are encouraging the public to take advantage of the opportunity to see the world’s best athletes compete, as well as the cream of young Scottish athletes on show within the main events and the Scottish Inter District Championships.

Hundreds of youngsters will also take part in the 2.5km Bupa Junior Great Winter Run followed by thousands runners of all abilities taking on the 5km Bupa Great Winter Run.

Both events are part of the Bupa Great Run series, organised by Nova International, also organisers of the Bupa Great North Run and the Bupa Great Edinburgh Run.

Entries for the Bupa Great Winter Run and the Bupa Junior Great Winter Run are still open at www.greatrun.org.