January 14, 2011: Richard Goodman in Great Edinburgh Cross Country

Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country JC 14-01-11

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Mixing with the big boys

Richard Goodman's first race back after injury could hardly have been tougher, but in it he proved that he can hold his own against the very best runners of Europe and America. The event was the 8.2 km Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country, televised live on BBC1. The snow-bound course included three ascents of Haggis Knowle, a hill so steep as to almost require climbing equipment. The starting line-up included Mo Farah, European 5000 m and 10,000 m champion, nine-time European Cross Country Champion Sergiy Lebid of Ukraine, and Galen Rupp of America, who has run 10,000 m faster than any Briton ever.

The race was organised as a four-way team competition between UK, Europe, USA and UK under-23, with further UK regional teams also in the race. Coming 27th overall behind winner Mo Farah, Goodman, 17, came third amongst the under-23s, beaten by a 21-year-old and a 20-year-old respectively.

Double Maccabia gold medallist Goodman said I felt comfortable for most of the race, even though I was close to the leaders. It was only over the last 1500 m or so that the race felt a bit too long. But my sprint finish gave me a nice prize of beating Jesus Espana, 2006 European 5000 m Champion.

Goodman is now targeting the World Cross-Country Championships in March, followed by a track season with an emphasis on improving his short-distance speed.