Bor survives wrong turn to finish strong
HILLARY Bor of the USA kept calm and carried on to win the elite men’s race at the Great Stirling X Country yesterday, despite dramatically veering off the straight and narrow when he took a wrong turning three quarters of the way round the 8k course.
The Kenyan-born athlete, best known as a steeplechaser, was leading the race and looking strong when he misread a section of the course without stewards, leading his team-mate Leonard Korir the wrong way before grabbing on to a rope at the barrier to recapture his bearings and catch up with the rest of the field.
The fact he was so sanguine about it afterwards presumably owed much to the fact he still had enough left in his legs to hold off Napoleon Solomon and Adel Mechaal of Team Europe in the final desperate finish.
“There was a little bit of panic,” said Bor. “I had to use a lot of energy to get back.
“When it happened, the group was closing so I had to change my stride. But when I got back to them, I felt good and I had to push it again. When I was coming, I knew I had a chance. I was able to compose myself. I used to hate cross-country but now I like it.”
The women’s 6k elite race went to Elena Burkard of Germany, although there was a creditable showing from GB’s Charlotte Arter, who finished second, six seconds back.
While Arter’s performance will do no harm in the a row as to whether GB send a full team to the World Cross-Country Championships in Aarhus in March, this was a classy run from Burkard, who also dabbles in cross-country skiing.
“I felt really good, I didn’t really have a race plan going into it but I tried to be really patient and not jump the gun. I love cross-country skiing and biking, it definitely benefits my endurance.”
Europe retained the overall team award they won last year in Edinburgh.