MOORFOOTS runner Sarah McCormack finished an excellent 13th in the highest quality race of her career at the Atapuerca Cross Country in Spain, the first of this winter’s IAAF Series of international cross-country races.
Up with the leaders early on, an injection of pace on lap two of four by world cross-country champion Linet Masai from Kenya and Olympic 3000m steeplechaser Hiwot Alayewa from Ethiopia really stretched and then broke the field.
But McCormack, who lives in Peebles, kept on well, mixing it with some of Europe’s best, and she produced her usual fast finish to pick up a few places in the finishing straight.
Her dip for the line wasn’t quite enough to gain the verdict for 12th as she finished in 26 minutes 41 seconds for the 7.8km course.
Alaweya coasted to victory when Masai fell at a log hurdle 600m from home.
A good performance in the Irish trials this coming Sunday will hopefully gain McCormack selection for the European Cross-Country Championships in Hungary on December 8.
She said: “I need the races and that was definitely an improvement on my race in Ireland a couple of weeks ago.
“There are eight or nine girls in contention for five places in the Ireland team and a few were not racing in Spain so I’ll need to get some quality training sessions in and have a good run in the trial on Sunday.”