Teessider Replaces Mo Farah To Lead GB In Cross Country

KEEP ON RUNNING: JONNY TAYLOR MAKING PACE. Photo: David T. Hewitson/Sports for All Pics

KEEP ON RUNNING: JONNY TAYLOR MAKING PACE. Photo: David T. Hewitson/Sports for All Pics

TEESSIDE’s Jonathan Taylor described it as an honour to lead Team GB into the Great Edinburgh Cross Country this month, taking the armband from an unavailable Mo Farah.

Jonathan was named captain of the team, after the former Olympic Gold Medalist Farah was sidelined with a flu which prevented him from competing in one of the biggest races of the year.

And former Teesside University student Jonathan, who currently now works here as a Research Assistant, was proud to be leading the Britain charge.

Jonny said: “It’s quite an honor and something I’ll be sure to look back on.”

The news that he would be replacing Mo as captain came as quite a shock to the Teesside man as he found out only just before he was scheduled to race.

Jonny said: “I found out two days before the race.”

“I found out from a reporter when he came to me asking for an interview.”

Despite university commitments, Taylor said that he was able to get in a lot of training heading to the race in Edinburgh.

Jonny said: “I had a lot more time to get training in as I had time off from the university.”

“In the week leading to the race, it was a normal week for me trianing and I was able to get a lot of hours in.

“I was training alright heading into the event.”

Jonathan had previously been a student at Teesside University, being a part of the Elite Athlete Scheme while studying Sport and Exercise Physiology.

After graduating, he began to work as a Research Assistant at the university and has appreciated the help from the university for all of his endeavors.

“It’s good working here and flexible place to work,” He said.

“Good facilities and people to work with to help me with the event.

“It’s good if you’re a student here or a lecturer to help you compete at the highest level.”

Taylor says cross country is for people all over the world to get involved in.

He said: “Cross Country is a good event and it doesn’t get as much publicity as it should.”

“It’s a sport where people can get involved in and not expensive.

“People all over Britain do it at school so it’s a good sport for people to get behind.”

Taylor praised his team’s effort despite not having Farah in the squad,

“We struggled a little bit but we are a young team and this was a big race.” He said.

“The women’s team did OK as well but overall we struggled a little bit and Mo was a big loss for us going into the event”

Taylor competed in the 8km race during the Edinburgh race, finishing 11th and holding his own against some of the best runners in the world.

Taylor says he was pleased with his performance.

He said : “It was a solid performance I think.”

“It’s always hard when you’re up against that type of opposition but you have to be on your best day to get a really good result.

“I thought I ran OK and I was very strong but I never had my day.”

Taylor’s had an impressive athletics career, finishing 31st in the 2013 Cross Country World Championship.

In March, he returns to the World Championships taking place in China and is looking to be in great shape for the race.

He said: “I feel I’m getting better with each race.”

“Hopefully, in the next month or two, I can get in really top form for March.”


from Tside