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UK Athletics

Jon Brown targets Kenyan finale for World Cross

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Jon Brown
Never one to shirk a daunting challenge, rejuvenated Jon Brown wants to finish his cross country career at the top of the world – by tackling the seemingly invincible Kenyans on their own turf.


Brown, the European cross country champion a decade ago, is so encouraged by his performance in last weekend’s BUPA Great North Run that he is aiming for a place in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya, next March.


The 35-year-old, who finished 10th in the Great North in his first major race since a 10-month injury lay-off, is now aiming for the Great South Run at Portsmouth on 22 October on his way to the Fukuoka Marathon on 3 December – which rules him out of this winter’s European Cross Country Championships that take place in Italy seven days later.


But he emphasises: “The Worlds are bigger in my plans. If I am healthy, I think the conditions will suit me. It will be my only ever chance to do a race in Kenya. It will be hot, humid but usually I like those conditions.


“For me, it’s a big pull to run my last ever World Cross in the country that’s produced most world cross champions.”


In previous World Cross Country Championships, he finished 71st in 1993, 12th in 1996, 14th in 1997 and 8th in 1999.


In European Cross Country Championships, he was 6th in 1995, the runaway Champion in the mud of Charleroi, Belgium, in 1996, and 3rd in 1999 when he led Norwich Union GB to the Senior Men’s Team gold medals.


But he has no intention of ending his racing career next year. He intends to go on to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 – though he declines to say he is determined to improve on his fourth places in the marathons in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. “I will aim to do my best, as ever,” he said.