Saturday, January 9, 2016

Double the distance no problem, as Heath wins for the third time at Edinburgh...

EDINBURGH, Scotland—On a very wet and blustery day, Garrett Heath of the Seattle-based Brooks Beasts (above/screen grab via BBC telecast) won the men’s 8k race at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge Saturday at famed Holyrood Park.

Heath, the two time Great Edinburgh 4k cross country champ and reigning USATF club cross country champion, stayed comfortably in the lead group, then went to the front briefly at the 14 minute mark, with Great Britain’s Mo Farah of the Nike Oregon Project lurking, as the double Olympic and world champion entered his first cross country race in five years.

Before the final lap, Farah took the lead, with Heath on his hip, along with two other British runners in the made for TV race, and Portland alum Scott Fauble.

Heath took the lead before the final hill with 400 meters to go, getting a three-step lead and maintained that lead as the duo made the final hard right turn down the hill with 200 meters to go. 

Farah appeared to slip making the hard right hand turn as Heath charged down the hill, but the Olympic champ recovered and made a late charge, but could not completely close the gap on Heath, as Heath took the victory in 25:29 to Farah’s 25:31.

Fauble, competing in his first international as a senior, finished third in 25:38.

“I didn’t expect it. Mo’s such a great runner and I wanted to be out there and run with him.  My teammate Scott Fauble came up to me with 800 to go, and I can tell you he was feeling good. I just kept waiting for Mo to kick past me.”

The win over the 8k distance gives Heath his third straight win at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge.

In the women’s 6k race, Eastern Washington alum Mattie Suver finished tenth in 21:53, as Great Britain's Kate Avery, who won an NCAA cross country title at Iona, took the win in 21:05.

Riley Masters of the Brooks Beasts was part of Team USA's 4 x 1k co-ed relay team.

Complete results will be posted shortly at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge web site.

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