Athletics: Radcliffe and Brown delve into Durham mud
Saturday 02 January 1999
Radcliffe, who won her first senior title when she became European cross- country champion last month, faces a field which includes the 1996 world cross-country champion, Geta Wami of Ethiopia, Annemari Sandell of Finland, runner-up in this year's European race, and Joyce Chepchumba of Kenya, the 1997 London Marathon champion.
The 25-year-old Bedford runner has spent a fortnight at her new apartment in the high altitude training environment of Font Romeu while recovering from a cold. "I took things a little easier than usual in training," she said. Presumably that meant cutting down to around 100 miles a week.
Suitably restored, she will take to the mud seeking her third victory in the event, although she is not taking anything for granted. "It's going to be a very tough race," she said, adding that Chepchumba, who edged Liz McColgan out of a second London title after a compelling final sprint down The Mall, could be the one to watch out for.
Wami has already proven herself at the highest level, and if Radcliffe had been even faintly forgetful of her ability the memories will have been restored after their race in Brussels a week after Radcliffe won her title, when Wami won and the British runner was a distant fourth.
Another Ethiopian runner appears likely to prove the main obstacle to Brown winning a third consecutive Durham race - the world junior 5,000 metres champion, Million Wolde.
The 19-year-old appears to have been presciently named; in his home country he is being described as the man most likely to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious - and very rich - compatriot, Haile Gebrselassie.
Richard Nerurkar, preparing himself for the London Marathon, will also provide a challenge to Brown, along with the former Olympic 10,000 metres champion, Khalid Skah and Kenya's Thomas Nyariki, fourth in the last world championships.
Brown flew back to Britain on Monday from his home base in Vancouver to prepare himself for what will be his first race since he broke Eamonn Martin's 10-year-old British 10,000m record at the Brussels grand prix. "It normally takes me four days to recover from jet lag, so I should be okay," said Brown, who is talking in terms of a top-three place in his first competitive outing in four months.
The 1996 European cross-country champion has also confirmed he would be available this year to contest the world cross-country championships in Belfast at the end of March. "If selected," Brown added.
As usual, the Durham event will contain a middle distance event, which this year will feature European indoor 3,000m champion, John Mayock.
Latest in Sport
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Arturo Vidal: Midfielder must ask to join Manchester United, say Juventus
Scottie dogs in Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 'disrespectful to Muslims', say Malaysian politicians
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: Gunners complete £16m transfer of right-back
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...
£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...