Can Garrett Heath Really Beat The World's Best Runners Four Years In A Row?
Heath won the 4K race in 2014 and 2015 before claiming his first 8K title at the event in 2016. Winning is great, but it's more important to consider WHO Heath has taken down in Scotland.
The 2014 4K race featured Asbel Kiprop and Kenenisa Bekele, and Heath won in 11:51, one second ahead of Meresa Kassaye.
The race in 2015 again featured Kiprop, plus Dathan Ritzenhein and Bernard Lagat. Heath was victorious in 12:11, 8 seconds ahead of runner-up Japheth Korir.
Last year, Heath took down Mo Farah by a slim margin, 25:29 to 25:31 over 8K. In muddy and cold conditions, Heath came out victorious, proving to be a major player in the elements for the third year in a row.
Related Read: Garrett Heath Proves Cross Country Isn't Just For Aerobic Monsters
The Minnesota native and Brooks Beast athlete will face Farah again, whose last test was the Great North half marathon in September. But can Heath take on Farah again, PLUS the rest of the field and win his fourth title?
American teammates Sam Chelanga and Stanley Kebenei and Olympians Leonard Korir and Hillary Bor should put up a good fight.
Chelanga won the USATF Club XC title in December, while Kebenei was runner-up. Though he didn't make the Olympic team in the 5K or 10K, Chelanga did win two NCAA cross country titles back in the day, and performed well on the roads in 2016. Korir was 14th in the Olympic 10K, while Bor was seventh in the Rio steeplechase final.
And what if it's not cold, muddy, windy, and snowy?
Heath trains in Seattle but is originally from Minnesota. As a Michigan native, I understand a thing or two about training in the winter. You must layer up, suck it up, and get it done. If Heath defeats Farah on Saturday, he'll go down as one of a kind. Not many athletes can say they defeated Farah twice in their careers, let alone in back-to-back years on the same course. But should the elements go in Farah's favor, Heath may need to watch out for his talented U.S. teammates at his heels.
Team USA Roster
|Senior Men 8K|
|Senior Women 6K|
|Junior Men 6K|
|Junior Women 4K|
|Mixed 4x1K Relay|