Mo Farah to start season at Great Edinburgh XCountry

Mo Farah celebrates winning the Great North Run in Gateshead
Mo Farah won the Great North Run in Gateshead in September

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah will open his 2015 racing schedule at the international Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday 10 January.

The 31-year-old Englishman's appearance at Holyrood Park will be his first cross-country race for four years.

Farah is preparing for the defence of his 5,000m and 10,000m crowns at the World Championships in Beijing.

"Next year will be an important year for me," said Farah, who sat out the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"And I'm looking forward to returning to the Great Edinburgh Cross Country to kick off my season."

Mo Farah
"For many years, I ran cross country to build my base for the summer track season and it will be nice to return to Edinburgh and try to repeat my winning run of 2011 there."

Farah's American coach Alberto Salazar was a three-time winner of the New York City Marathon - but also a firm believer in the benefits of cross-country during his own career.

"For many years, I ran cross-country to build my base for the summer track season and it will be nice to return to Edinburgh and try to repeat my winning run of 2011 there," said Farah.

That triumph in the 8k Great Edinburgh International race was the reigning World, Olympic and European 5,000m and 10,000m champion's most recent cross-country event.

After finishing eighth in his marathon debut in London in April, Farah missed Glasgow 2014 as he recovered from illness but won double gold at the European Championships in Zurich in August.

"It was a fantastic feeling winning the Great North Run in front of a home crowd in September and I'm sure there will be plenty of support in Edinburgh for my first event in 2015," said Farah.

The Great Edinburgh Cross Country, to be televised live on the BBC, is part of a new year event for runners of all abilities, based at Holyrood Park, next to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

The main race is part of the prestigious IAAF Cross Country Permit series.

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