(photos Daniel Vernon) It was a day for the USA at Holyrood Park on Saturday (11) as Garrett Heath upset African stars Asbel Kiprop and Kenenisa Bekele in the invitational 4km race at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country, an IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting.
Chris Derrick then surged to a commanding win in the 8km race, which was part of the team event involving the USA, Great Britain and Europe. Although there were no African runners in the team events, the best athletes from Europe were present.
In perfect sunny conditions, Gemma Steel took the women’s 6km race as the team competition was won by hosts Great Britain with 159 points ahead of Europe (172) and the USA (203).
With Tariku Bekele out injured on short notice, the men’s 4km race was expected to be a two-horse race between Kiprop and Bekele, but it turned out differently.
While Kiprop was running at the front of the first group of six athletes, Bekele kept at the back and never moved ahead. Preparing for the Paris Marathon with high mileage of up to 240 kilometres per week, it became obvious that the 31-year-old lacked some speed.