Stirling, Scotland, January 12—Despite a wrong turn, the U.S. men dominated the Great Stirling cross country race near Edinburgh, outpointing Team Europe 16–20 with Britain scoring 44 in 3rd.
Leonard Korir, the defending champion, led for most of the 8K race under overcast skies, but when teammate Hillary Bor joined him at the front, things got a little too interesting. Bor, a 29-year-old Iowa State alum, made a breakaway after the leaders finished the fourth 1.5K lap and embarked on the final two laps over the shorter 1K circuit. He used the hills to his advantage, building what appeared to be a solid 10–15m lead ahead of Korir. Then, on the flats again in front of the crowd, Bor went off course, leading Korir astray as well, as the route he followed had not been roped off.
He caught the mistake immediately, grabbing the ropes lining the course to help put on the brakes and turn around, but he and Korir found themselves 10m behind a small lead pack that included past winner Garrett Heath, Spain’s Adel Mechaal and Sweden’s Napoleon Solomon. Bor caught up quickly and went on to victory, pulling a step ahead on the brutal uphill finish stretch in 23:48. Korir finished only a second behind in 4th, with Heath (23:56) and David Elliott (24:00) taking the next two spots.
Said Bor, “It was windy but I felt good and I knew I had a chance. I knew we were meant to turn right but I didn’t see the rope. My training had been good so I knew I was strong and had a chance to catch them. I’ve never won a cross country race before so it felt good to win today.”
Despite the U.S. men’s success, the rest of the team match did not go the way of the Americans, with the women a far-back 3rd at 50 points behind Europe (17) and Britain (19). Germany’s Elena Burkard won the 6K race in 20:01 over Britain’s Charlotte Arter (20:06). Anne-Marie Blaney (20:29) was the top U.S. finisher in 11th.
A mixed 4 x 1.5K relay that put men and women, seniors and juniors, all in the same race saw Britain win off a well-cheered Laura Muir anchor (“I love racing on home soil”). Team USA finished 3rd and the American Juniors 5th (second Junior team across the line). In the end, the final combined tally for the day was Europe 55, Britain 84, United States 90.
GREAT STIRLING XC
Stirling, Scotland, January 12—
Teams: 1. United States 16; 2. Europe 20; 3. Great Britain 44.
8K: 1. Hillary Bor (US) 23:48; 2. Napoleon Solomon (Eur) 23:48; 3. Adel Mechaal (Eur) 23:49; 4. Leonard Korir (US) 23:49; 5. Garrett Heath (US) 23:56; 6. David Elliott (US) 24:00; 7. Samuel Fitwi (Eur) 24:03; 8. Aras Kaya (Eur) 24:05; 9. Patrick Dever (GB) 24:05; 10. Nick Goolab (GB) 24:10; 11. Isaac Kimeli (Eur) 24:13; 12. Kristian Jones (GB) 24:14; 13. Charlie Hulson (GB) 24:18; 14. Ross Millington (GB) 24:24; 15. Hugo Hay (Eur) 24:55; 16. Andy Vernon (GB) 25:05.
GREAT STIRLING WOMEN
Teams: 1. Europe 17; 2. Great Britain 19; 3. United States 50.
6K: 1. Elena Burkard (Eur) 20:01; 2. Charlotte Arter (GB) 20:06; 3. Anna Emilie Moller (Eur) 20:11; 4. Philippa Woolven (GB) 20:15; 5. Verity Ockenden (GB) 20:16; 6. Anna Gehring (Eur) 20:17; 7. Anna Gosk (Eur) 20:19; 8. E Hosker-Thornhill (GB) 20:19; 9. Kate Avery (GB) 20:22; 10. Maja Moller Alm (Eur) 20:26; 11. Anne-Marie Blaney (US) 20:29; 12. Rachel Johnson (US) 20:44; 13. Oliva Pratt (US) 20:54; 14. Marisa Howard (US) 21:01; 15. Grace Barnett (US) 21:10; 16. Nina Lauwaert (Eur) 21:16; 17. Ayla Granados (US) 21:18.
MIXED 4×1.5K RELAY
Teams: 1. Europe 18; 2. Great Britain 21; 3. United States 24.
1. GB Seniors 17:36; 2. Europe Seniors 17:45; 3. USA Seniors 18:01; 4. Europe Juniors 18:08; 5. USA Juniors 18:11; 6. GB Juniors 18:20; 7. Scotland Juniors 18:38; 8. Scotland Seniors 18:39.