Athletics: Freya Ross and Steph Twell lead home hopes in Holyrood

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FREYA Ross can’t wait to run in Edinburgh again at New Year – and will be delighted to see compatriot Steph Twell line up alongside her.

The Scottish Cross Country champion, Britain’s best women’s marathon performer at London 2012, has moved back north of the border in the past couple of months following her wedding. Ross (nee Murray), who started her athletics career with Lasswade and now represents Edinburgh AC, regards the capital as her home turf and is delighted to again be involved in Team GB & NI for the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday 5 January. She will follow that up with a race for Scotland in Northern Ireland the next week before heading to the United States for altitude training ahead of the London marathon.

Ross said: “I am looking forward to the race and I always enjoy running at Holyrood Park – I think of it as my home ground having trained there often when at university. It always feels right to start the New Year with that event and it is great to be picked again.”

Ross and Twell are among five Scots who will wear GB vests, with the others being Beth Potter (Victoria Park-Glasgow), Rosie Smith (Hunters Bog Trotters) and Scott McDonald (Central AC).

For Twell it will be a big moment on the comeback trail after an ankle injury cost her any involvement at the Olympics. The Delhi Commonwealth Games medallist, who has now had plates removed from the joint, lost her UK funding a couple of months ago.

Ross added: “It is great that Steph will be there in Edinburgh, too. If she can perform well then all the better but, even if not, then the most important thing is that she’s on the way back.”

Ross, meanwhile, is among five athletes in the Scotland team for the IAAF McCain Cross Country event in Antrim on Saturday 12 January – a week after her appearance in the capital.

The senior races that day carry significant prize-money and will feature impressive fields.

Kilbarchan AAC’s Elspeth Curran, the current leader of the scottishathletics CC Grand Prix, will join Ross in the Senior Women’s event.

Potter, who is one of the five Scots also picked for the senior GB team in Edinburgh, will also fly to Northern Ireland.

McDonald and Inverclyde’s Andrew Douglas will take part in the Senior Men’s race in Ulster.