A leading number of the continent's best distance runners will begin the New Year with an exciting challenge when they take part in the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country meeting on Saturday 10 January as part of “Team Europe”.
It is the annual international match between Britain, Europe and the USA, with a formalised European team selected by European Athletics, on the basis of their final individual results at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Samokov.
2015 will be the 26th staging of the Great International XCountry event, which has featured some of the world’s best athletes since its inception in 1988.
Taking place in the picturesque surroundings of Holyrood Park, the day starts as hundreds of youngsters take part in the 2.5km Junior Great Winter Run followed by thousands of runners making their traditional start to the 5km Great Winter Run ahead of the elite races.
There will be separate races for Senior and Junior age groups included to the programme and those will be held on the following distances:
Senior Men 8Km
Senior Women 6km
Junior Men 6km
Junior Women 4km
Following the results of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Samokov, the athletes selected for this year’s team Europe are (finalised team still to be confirmed):
Senior: Polat Kemboi Arikan (Turkey), Ali Kaya (Turkey), Alemayehu Bezabeh (Spain), Florian Carvalho (France), Mohamed Marhum (Spain), Khalid Choukoud (Netherlands), Stephano La Rosa (Italy), Timothee Bommier (France), Ilgizar Safiulin (Russia), Igor Maksimov (Russia), Vladimir Nikitin (Russia), Elmar Engholm (Sweden).
Junior: Yemaneberhan Crippa (Italy), Said Ettaqy (Italy), Ayoub Mokhtar (Spain), Yohannes Chiappinelli (Italy), Jordi Torrents (Spain), William Levay (Sweden).
Senior: Meraf Bahta (Sweden), Almensch Belete (Belgium), Sophie Duarte (France), Fionnuala Britton (Ireland), Iwona Lewandowska (Poland), Iris Maria Fuentes-Pila , Carla Salome Rocha (Portugal), Sara Treacy (Ireland), Militsa Mircheva (Bulgaria), Gulshat Fazlitdinova (Russia), Yekaterina Sokolenko (Russia), Maureen Koster (Netherlands).
Junior: Alina Reh (Germany), Cassandre Beaugandre (France), Anna-Emilie (Moller), Celia Anton (Spain), Alberte Pedersen (Denmark), Weronika Pyzik (Poland).
For each race reserve athletes will be nominated in order to replace already appointed athletes if for any reason they are not able to come to Edinburgh.
Last year Great Britain took the team title with 159 points from Europe with 172 and USA 203.