Great Winter Run: Thousands face frosty weather to race

More than 2500 cross-country runners pounded the pavements of Holyrood Park on Saturday. Picture: Lesley Martin

More than 2500 cross-country runners pounded the pavements of Holyrood Park on Saturday. Picture: Lesley Martin

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THOUSANDS braved the frosty weather to embark on the annual Great Winter Run 5k while elite athletes battled it out at the Great Edinburgh xCountry run.

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah was among the crowds of competitors taking part in a range of running events, with more than 3000 pounding the pavements for the 5k.

Runners pounded the pavements of Holyrood Park. Picture: Lesley Martin

Runners pounded the pavements of Holyrood Park. Picture: Lesley Martin

Father-of-two Mitchell Hiddleston, from Livingston, signed up as part of his recovery from a near-fatal motorbike accident in 2003.

Consultants had warned the 50-year-old he might never run again – but he defied expectations and completed Saturday’s course around Arthur’s Seat in a respectable 31 minutes. He said: “I’ve proved anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”

READ MORE - Great winter run crash survivor looks to the future

Farah, 32, was beaten in his first race of the year, finishing two seconds behind American Garrett Heath and completing the eight-kilometre course in Holyrood Park in 25 minutes 31 seconds.

Picture: Lesley Martin

Picture: Lesley Martin

Despite battling through mud and the freezing cold, the athlete was philosophical: “It was tough. But this is cross-country.”

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