American retains his Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh XCountry title after seeing off European Cross champion in closing stages
Laura Muir anchors GB to another relay title at Great Edinburgh XCJanuary 13, 2018
Double European indoor champion gets the 4x1km job done yet again in the Scottish capital
Laura Muir maintained her winning run in Scotland’s capital city by leading Great Britain to 4x1km mixed relay victory once again at the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh XCountry.
The double European indoor champion knows how to win in Holyrood Park – this was the third consecutive time she has won in the current format of this event in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat – and she did so in convincing fashion in front her home crowd.
Taking the baton in third place from Adam Clarke, who had run an impressive third leg to put Muir in contention, she promptly charged to the front and controlled matters at the head of the field to maintain a lead she would not relinquish.
“I got halfway round and I was thinking ‘oh, this is quite tough’,” admitted the 24-year-old, who anchored the team of Tom Marshall, Alex Bell and Clarke. “I saw the girls in front of me and thought ‘right, I need to get to the front, get there as soon as possible and maintain a lead’.
“I think the team did a really good job of getting me close to the front.”
She added: “I worked quite hard at the start of the race and then eased in the middle to make sure I had a strong finish. I could hear the crowd and their tone of voice wasn’t too panicky so I thought I was okay, but you never know, so I made sure I had a good bit in reserve.
“Any athlete has good days and bad days so it wouldn’t have surprised me if someone had been up there with me. It’s just that I had a good run today.”
Belgium had led the way in the first leg, before the European side took over until Muir received the baton.
There had been high hopes for the Scotland A side of Jamie Williamson, Steph Pennycook, Jake Wightman and Steph Twell, but they came home in fifth position.
“I tried to pull us back a bit but I literally couldn’t get anything going at all,” said Wightman. “I feel good, I am training well. An ideal situation would have been setting off with somebody else, or at least having someone a little bit closer. That wasn’t how I was planning it going at all to be fair.
“It wasn’t a good run from me at all there, I didn’t do myself justice and I didn’t put Steph in a position to run the last leg. It was a bit of a letdown, all round.”
1 Great Britain 11:33
2 Belgium 11:40
3 Europe 11:41
4 Ireland 11:47
5 Scotland A 11:50
6 Scotland B 12:02
7 USA 12:11
8 England 12:14
» See the January 18 edition of AW magazine for in-depth coverage of the action in Edinburgh