Edinburgh’s only major athletics event is officially leaving the Capital after it was revealed the annual international cross-country will switch to a new location in Scotland from 2019.
Stirling will be the new home for the prestigious race, which had been based in Holyrood Park since 2005, and has attracted many of the world’s best distance runners to the city including the likes of Mo Farah and Kenesisa Bekele, as well as providing a stage for young hopefuls competing at the adjoining junior competitions and thousands of casual competitors in the Great Winter Run.
However, it is understood personal pleas from race supremo Brendan Foster towards officials from City of Edinburgh Council to reverse their decision to withdraw their £100,000 funding fell on deaf ears. “The Edinburgh international cross-country is a fantastic event for Scotland,” said VisitScotland’s Events Director Paul Bush.
“It gets 1.4 million viewers on BBC TV. We’ve always been keen to keep it in Scotland. And we’re now at a point where we’re finalising a three-year contract with a new host city.”
With Meadowbank Stadium presently closed, it is another hammer blow for the sport with Scottish Athletics chief Mark Munro previously describing Edinburgh’s move as “disappointing.”