Great Edinburgh XC Run, the real start of the athletic season

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@garrettheath & @gomofarah ready to go toe-to-toe for @simplyhealthuk #GEXC2017 tomorrow.

A photo posted by Great Run (@great_run) on

I visited the Great Edinburgh XC in 2014. It was my first visit to Edinburgh, Scotland, which I truly enjoyed. The event was true cross country, the weather reminded us that cross country was to be run in weather that can change back and forth over hours.

The Great Edinburgh XC, part of the Great Run series in the UK, has become the symbolic beginning of the global new year of running. The tough course is not about time, but about competition. The course features high grass, mud, muck and water crossings. This is the way cross country should be. Heck, this is the kind of course that the World Cross Country should be on.

I love the picture above, with Garrett Heath and Mo Farah. While Heath and Farah were not the winners, the race came down to Callum Hawkins and Leonard Korir, with Korir getting the nod! Watch for big things from Sir Mo later this season and I still believe Garrett Heath does better the longer he goes. I want to see him bust a move over 25 laps on the track.

On the women's side, again, great races. Great Run has put together teams of GBR, US and Europe. These tops of competitions provide a team concept that sports fans can love. Having stars running is also key (they were there), and this keeps the media interest high.

Happy to see Great Run still combining and improving on elite segments of all of their events, from City Games, to elite fields to providing great experiences for citizen runners. Many of the major companies around the world in the racing business could learn from these projects in the United Kingdom. But, who would expect anything else from a company founded by Brendan Foster and partners?

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