Cash shortage spells end for cross- country showpiece
The annual International Cross- Country, which relocated to Stirling last January after 14 years in Edinburgh, has been scrapped.
The event, which originally began life two decades ago in Durham, was regarded as the best in the sport outside of the world championships.
It had attracted some of athletics’ biggest names, with past winners including Olympic champions Mo Farah, Kenesisa Bekele and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge.
But Great Run, who organised the televised showpiece, revealed the shock news that it is no more with the three-yearold Stirling Marathon, staged in April, also to be axed.
“For the last ten years we have been staging world class cross-country competition in Scotland through the Great X Coun-try ,” said as pokesperson.
“Unfortunately, the costs of staging this event are increasing at the same time as commercial revenue is declining and the reality is the event is no longer economically viable for us.”
The meeting moved to Stirling from its longstanding home in Holyrood Park when City of Edinburgh Council withdrew its financial backing in 2018, with Eventscotland stepping in to keep the event in Scotland in the face of rival bids from south of the border.
But although t he new venue was well- received, the absence of major international names signalled a definitive downgrading which has now been followed by its demise.
The decision taken by Great Run – which was founded by Brendan Foster, pictured – provides a major headache for Scott i sh Athletics who held their hugely- popular InterDistrict Championships in tandem with the International as well as using the Great Stirling marathon as its national championships.