Bor sur­vives wrong turn to fin­ish strong

The Herald on Sunday - - SPORT - Ste­wart Fisher

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.

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