Laura leads them all home at Stewart Cup

Laura Muir is a big fan of the Edinburgh cross country event. (Pic by Greg Macvean. Stock image)
Laura Muir is a big fan of the Edinburgh cross country event. (Pic by Greg Macvean. Stock image)

Milnathort’s Laura Muir spearheaded Great Britain’s charge to victory once again in the 4x1KM Stewart Cup international mixed relay event.

Muir ran a storming final leg following team mates Tom Marshall, Adam Clark and Alex Bell.

Team Scotland, made up of Steph Twell, Jake Wightman, Steph Pennycook and Jamie Williamson placed fifth.

Europe’s Yasemin Can retained her title in the women’s race, while the USA’s Leonard Korir left it late once again to seal victory in the senior men’s race.

Organisers have announced that Scotland’s capital city has staged the event for the final time in 2018, with a new location to be identified for what is widely regarded as the world’s leading event of its kind outside of the World Cross Country Championships.

The event, which is televised live on BBC ONE, has been staged in Edinburgh since 2005 having previously been located in the North East of England.

Mo Farah, Haile Gebrsallasie, Paula Radcliffe, Kenenisa Bekele, Eliud Kipchoge and Liz McColgan are just a few of the superstar athletes who have tackled the challenging conditions of the Great International XCountry in front of a global television audience and thousands of spectators from across the UK.

Muir said: ”It is a landmark I have had every year. It’s a good test of speed and endurance, and it is really enjoyable. You need to have ones that you really enjoy - it’s enjoyable for the crowd and enjoyable for the athletes.

“It is a very important part of my progression. I remember coming here years ago and running inter-districts and it’s great I can still be part of this race. To see that progression, I was once where these kids are now and I hope they get a lot out of it as an experience.”

The backdrop of Holyrood and Arthur’s Seat has provided a magnificent setting for the 14 years that the city has hosted the event, which also features a mass participation 5k with 3,000 entrants and the Scottish Inter District Cross Country Championships.

Brendan Foster, Chairman of the Great Run Company, said, “We have enjoyed so many memorable moments in Edinburgh in recent years with the greatest names in the sport competing in a festival of Cross Country running. We thank Edinburgh City Council and EventScotland for their support and look forward to working with a new location from 2019 onwards.”

“The Great International XCountry is a hugely important fixture in the International Athletics calendar and it has helped develop the career of so many world class distance athletes.

“I’ll never forget Kenenisa Bekele bursting on to the world scene in Newcastle, gliding over the mud to defeat Paul Tergat.”