McColgan meets McKiernan

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The Independent Online
ATHLETICS Reute Liz McColgan, who raced competitively for the first time in 18 months when winning the BUPA Great Midland run in October, will meet Ireland's Catherina McKiernan and Sonia O'Sullivan in the County Durham International Cross Country on NewYear's eve.

The 30-year-old former world 10,000 metres champion said: "I'm looking forward to competing. It will be my first cross country for a while but there's no way I would be running unless I was in top form." McColgan has just finished a fortnight's training

in Northern Ireland, where she was joined by the American doctor Gerard Hartman, the specialist who saved her career.

Apart from the Irish pair, there will be a strong overseas challenge in Durham over a course adjacent to the one being used for next year's World Championships. This year's world junior cross country silver medallist, Rose Cheruiyot, represents Kenya, while China are sending two top performers in Wang Xiuje and Zhan Jiangying.

Last year's winner, Paula Radcliffe, will make a decision early next week whether to lead the domestic challenge. But Alison Wyeth, Heather Heasman, Andria Wallace and Vikki McPherson are definite starters.

Two invitation events have been added to the programme. InterCity East Coast are sponsoring a men's 3km race, featuring Matthew Yates, John Mayock, Steve Cram and Mark Rowland, plus a women's 1.7km event headed by Russia's European Cup winner, Lyudmina Kremlyova.