Bobby Mack Wins 2013 Bupa Great Edinburgh
Jan. 7, 2013
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - Representing Team USA, former NC State All-American Bobby Mack was victorious in the senior men's 8K race with a time of 24:27 at the Bupa Great Edinburgh International Cross Country meet at Holyrood Park on Saturday, Jan. 5.
"To win a race is such an accomplishment, especially an international race that's part of the big international permit meets for cross country that is on the radar as one of those big races," Mack said. "It's probably one of the biggest wins of my career."
Mack was named the team's captain prior to the race and his leadership guided the U.S. team to a first-place finish in the event. The U.S. had 49 points, followed by Team Europe with 65 and Team Great Britain with 67.
The finish to the race was all too familiar to Mack, who was the runner-up in last year's meet, where the leader built a sizable lead of about 30 or 40 meters.
"Last year's winner [Ayad Lamdassem of Spain] was right behind me, and then the nine-time European champion from Ukraine [Sergiy Lebid] was in that group, and we both knew that we were eventually going to catch the guy up in front," Mack said. "Usually when you have three or four guys running together at the front, there's going to be a dramatic finish."
With approximately one-quarter mile remaining, Lamdassem made the exact same surge that he did one year prior, jolting ahead to win the race, but this time, Mack was ready.
"It was a strong move and I couldn't catch him last year, so this year, I kept that in mind and made the effort to go with him and I overtook him in the final 20 or 30 meters of the race to win."
It was nothing short of determination and will power for Mack to accomplish the feat. He pointed to the 2012 result as his motivation.
"You're not a competitive runner if you don't want to improve upon your fitness from last year, so as a competitive runner, I went into this race wanting to improve," Mack said. "The only thing to improve from last time was to win, so that was my goal."
Mack discussed the challenges and differences of running a distance race in a foreign countries is different than running in the U.S.
"It's always neat to travel to other countries," Mack stated. "Scotland is a really cool country and its course is more of a true cross country course than some of the less challenging courses we run in the U.S., but also, the meet directors and did a great job promoting it. There's a stronger fan base overseas for cross country."
A second-place finisher at the ACC Championships and an All-American in 2004 at NC State, Mack has found a way to enjoy competitive outdoor distance running after college, where most athletes in the U.S. conclude their careers.
"Once you get out of college, there's not a lot of opportunities to run cross country," Mack said. "The U.S. has maybe one or two big meets each year, but in Europe, they have a circuit that travels around to different countries and has a few dozen races throughout the winter season."
The next step for Mack will be an attempt to defend his title at the U.S. Cross Country Championships, which will take place Feb. 2 in St. Louis, Mo. It is after that event that the U.S. will select athletes to compete at the World Championships in Poland in March.
Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country
1. Bobby Mack, USA - 24:27
2. Ayad Lamdassem, Spain - 24:28
3. Andy Vernon, Great Britain - 24:29
4. Tom Humphries, Great Britain - 24:32
5. Sergiy Lebid, Ukraine - 24:32
6. Carles Castillejo, Spain - 24:37
7. Jacob Riley, USA - 24:50
8. Craig Forys, USa - 24:56