Racing Report

Racing Report

January 14, 2019 0 By jegmar

Great Stirling Cross Country, 🇬🇧

Taking over from Edinburgh as the venue, the Great Stirling Cross Country provided an exciting day of racing on Saturday with the first four men separated by just one second.

It was Team USA’s Hillary Bor who came out on top, despite taking a wrong turn late on alongside compatriot Leonard Korir. The Kenyan-born Americans worked their way back to the leaders, before Bor developed a narrow advantage in the final stages to be the first man across the line. He edged out Napoleon Solomon (Sweden) and Adel Mechaal (Spain) into the remaining podium spots.

Korir ended up in fourth, while another former winner of this event, Garrett Heath (USA), was fifth a few seconds back. Great Britain’s best showing came from Patrick Dever on his senior international debut – finishing 9th, five seconds ahead of Nick Goolab in 10th.

Despite some early pushing of the pace by Kate Avery (Great Britain) in the women’s race, it wasn’t until the third of four laps that anyone could make a decisive breakaway from the large group of twelve. Great Britain’s Charlotte Arter was the first to do so, but it was the German, Elena Burkard who opened up a decisive lead to win the race by five seconds. The duo were 6th and 7th at last month’s European Cross Country Championships, with Burkard coming off better on that occasion too. Arter crossed the line second ahead of European U23 champion Anna Emilie Moller of Denmark, currently training at St Mary’s University in Twickenham. Pippa Woolven and Verity Ockenden were the second and third Brits to finish, coming in fourth and fifth respectively.

Men (8K):

1 – Hillary Bor – 🇺🇸 – 23:48
2 – Napoleon Solomon – 🇸🇪 – 23:48
3 – Adel Mechaal – 🇪🇸 – 23:49

Women (6K):

1 – Elena Burkard – 🇩🇪 – 20:01
2 – Charlotte Arter – 🇬🇧 – 20:06
3 – Anna Emilie Moller – 🇩🇰 – 20:11

Mixed Relay (4 x 1.5K):

1 – Great Britain – 17:36
2 – Europe – 17:45
3 – USA – 18:01⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Cross Internacional Juan Muguerza, 🇪🇸

The Spanish town of Elgoibar was host to its 75th Cross Internacionl Juan Muguerza and featured some of the greatest teenage athletes the sport has seen. A trio of Selemon Barega (18, Ethiopia, 12:43.02 5000m), Rhonex Kipruto (19, Kenya, 26:46 10K) and Stanley Waithaka (18, Kenya, 27:13 10000m) formed a group early on, but it was Kipruto who broke away after three kilomitres and continued to extend his lead through to the finish. The 2018 champion and fifth fastest 5000m runner of all time, Barega, was forced to settle for second place once again, a week after being edged out by compatriot Hagos Gebrhiwet in Italy. Waithaka managed to hold onto third place, with Spain’s Toni Abadia starting to close the gap on the final lap in fourth.

There were also strong performances from Britain’s reigning Inter-Counties XC champion, Mahamed Mahamed in 12th and Jack Millar just ten seconds behind in 14th. Adam Hickey and Corey De’Ath finished 24th and 31st respectively.

In an equally star-studded women’s race, it was Commonwealth 5000m champion, Hellen Obiri, who came out on top. An initial group of five, which included European XC Champion, Yasemin Can and Britain’s top ranked marathon runner in 2018, Lily Partridge, was broken apart when Obiri began to push on in the second half of the race. In a similar fashion to Kipruto in the men’s race, she was able to extend the lead lap by lap and finish 20 seconds ahead of second-placed Stella Chesang of Uganda. The 3000m Steeplechase world record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech (Kenya), was a further 17 seconds back to complete the podium.

Lily Patridge suffered from the early pace and dropped a position to finish in sixth behind a strong finishing Kate Holt. Rachel Robinson finished in eighth, 2:39 behind the winner to make it three British women inside the top 10! Nicole Taylor and Naomi Taschimowitz were 13th and 14th respectively, helping England to finish top of the team classification.

More GB successes came in the U20 events, where Amelia Samuels and Holly Page took the top two spots in the girls race, whilst Zak Mahamed claimed the victory ahead of Euan Brennan in the boys race.

Men (10.8K):

1 – Rhonex Kipruto – 🇰🇪 – 32:05
2 – Selemon Barega – 🇪🇹 – 32:27
3 – Stanley Waithaka – 🇰🇪 – 32:54

Women (7.6K):

1 – Hellen Obiri – 🇰🇪 – 24:39
2 – Stella Chesang – 🇺🇬 – 24:59
3 – Beatrice Chepkoech – 🇰🇪 – 25:16

10K Valencia Ibercaja, 🇪🇸

It was the Ethiopians taking all the glory at the Valencia 10K on Sunday, with Tsehay Gemechu smashing her personal best to take the women’s victory in 30:15 and knock 15 seconds off Tirunesh Dibaba’s national record. Kenya’s Gloria Kite, who was a last minute withdrawal from last week’s Campaccio-International due to visa issues, showed her strength in taking second position with a personal best 30:26. Third place went to Evaline Chirchir (Kenya) in 30:43. An impressive run from Jenny Nesbitt (Great Britain) saw her finish 11th with a new PB of 33:10.

In the men’s race, a large group passed through halfway in 13:43, before it gradually came down to just three athletes battling over the final 200m. In his first race over this distance, Ethiopia’s Chala Regasa came out on top, clocking 27:23 to break the course record by almost half a minute. Behind him were Stephen Kissa (Uganda) in 27:24 and Vedic Cheruiyot (Kenya) in 27:26. Callum Hawkins (Great Britain) finished in 19th place with a new personal best of 28:55.


1 – Chala Regasa – 🇪🇹 – 27:23
2 – Stephen Kissa – 🇺🇬 – 27:24
3 – Vedic Cheruiyot – 🇰🇪 – 27:26


1 – Tsehay Gemechu – 🇪🇹 – 30:15
2 – Gloria Kite – 🇰🇪 – 30:26
3 – Evaline Chirchir – 🇰🇪 – 30:43