Sports news part 4
But speaking of exercise in the cold, good news for Cross-Country lovers is that Kenenisa Bekele, five-times world champion (but deposed by Zersenay Tadese last year in the heat in Mombasa) will run in this year's World X-Country Champs in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 30 March this year.
The relevance of the reference to the cold is of course that Bekele came unstuck in incredibly hot and humid conditions in Kenya last year. In fact, in a news article about his decision to run in the World Champs in Edinburgh, he said:
"Winning for a sixth time means very much to me and I feel the conditions in Edinburgh will suit me much more than they did last year."So a rematch of the race in Mombasa is on the cards, where Tadese became Eritrea's first ever world champion. I'm a fan of Tadese's, so I look forward to this clash.
But the even better news for Cross-country lovers is that we won't even have to wait until the end of March to see these two clash - they are actually racing one another this weekend, in the BUPA Great Edinburgh Cross Country run. Conditions will be even colder now than in March later this year, and so Bekele will certainly have nothing to fear - from the weather, anyway!
What is interesting, however, is that in this Olympic year, with all the talk about the heat and humidity in Beijing, Bekele is clearly not enamoured of running in the heat. He didn't enjoy Osaka last year, and obviously didn't enjoy Mombasa. Beijing threatens to be worse than Osaka, and so his preparations, and possibly his approach to the race are going to have to be more positive than what seems to the case. Obviously, he'll know this and should prepare accordingly, but I have seen quotes from Tadese where he says he is happy in the heat - the above quote from Bekele suggests he is not. He may yet find enjoyment in Beijing, but it will be a great race. As will the two previews we'll get over the country earlier this year...we'll bring you that result on the weekend!