Cross de l'Acier

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Cross de l'Acier
Fort des Dunes.JPG
The Fort des Dunes, an old military fortification, is the race venue
Date Late November
Location Leffrinckoucke, France
Event type Cross country
Distance 9.95 km for men
6.55 km for women
Established 1990
Official site Cross de l'Acier

The Cross de l'Acier (English: Cross of Steel) is an annual cross country running competition that is held in late November in Leffrinckoucke, France. First held in 1990, it is one of the foremost competitions of its type in France. Ten races are held at the event for athletes of varying abilities.[1] Around 2200 runners took part in the day's event in 2010.[2]

The course of the competition is held around the Fort des Dunes – part of a set of military fortifications used in the First World War known as the Séré de Rivières system.[3] The men's international elite race covers 9.95 km while the women's race takes place over 6.55 km.[1] These races are used by French athletes to gain selection for the national team at the European Cross Country Championships, which is held a month after the event.[3] The elite competition currently holds permit status from European Athletics, alongside the Cross Internacional de Soria among others.[4]

It attracts elite runners of the highest calibre and former winners include multiple world record breaker Haile Gebrselassie, World Cross Country champions Zola Budd and Joseph Ebuya, and track world champions Fernanda Ribeiro and Linet Masai.[5] Although many of the competition's most successful runners hail from East Africa, the race also features prominent European runners: Paulo Guerra and Mo Farah both won the European Championships after winning in Leffrinckoucke a month previously.[6]

Past senior race winners[edit]

Olympic champion Fernanda Ribeiro took the women's title in 1995.
Haile Gebrselassie won the men's race in 2001.
Edition Year Men's winner Time (m:s) Women's winner Time (m:s)
1st 1990  Bruno Levant (FRA)  Nancy Pattee (BEL)
2nd 1991  Thierry Pantel (FRA)  Albertina Dias (POR)
3rd 1992  Wilson Omwoyo (KEN)  Albertina Dias (POR)
4th 1993  Vincent Rousseau (BEL)  Zola Budd (RSA)
5th 1994  Paulo Guerra (POR)  Fatuma Roba (ETH)
6th 1995  Worku Bikila (ETH)  Fernanda Ribeiro (POR)
7th 1996  Tom Nyariki (KEN)  Margarita Marusova (RUS)
8th 1997  Tom Nyariki (KEN)  Jackline Maranga (KEN)
9th 1998  Hailu Mekonnen (ETH)  Jackline Maranga (KEN)
10th 1999  Hailu Mekonnen (ETH)  Naomi Mugo (KEN)
11th 2000  Luke Kipkosgei (KEN)  Ayelech Worku (ETH)
12th 2001  Haile Gebrselassie (ETH)  Tereza Yohannes (ETH)
13th 2002  Hailu Mekonnen (ETH)  Mestawet Tufa (ETH)
14th 2003  John Yuda (TAN)  Gelete Burka (ETH)
15th 2004  Tibebu Yenew (ETH)  Isabella Ochichi (KEN)
16th 2005  Dennis Ndiso (KEN)  Teyba Erkesso (ETH)
17th 2006  Mohammed Farah (GBR)  Dorcus Inzikuru (KEN)
18th 2007  Imane Merga (ETH)  Linet Masai (KEN)
19th 2008[7]  Imane Merga (ETH) 28:15  Abebu Gelan (ETH) 18:20
20th 2009  Imane Merga (ETH)  Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN)
21st 2010[5]  Joseph Ebuya (KEN) 28:08  Linet Masai (KEN) 21:40
22nd 2011  Joseph Ebuya (KEN) 28:10  Feyse Tadese (ETH) 21:09
23rd 2012  Cornelius Kangogo (KEN) 28:14  Waganesh Mekasha (ETH) 21:23
24th 2013  Cornelius Kangogo (KEN) 28:07  Hiwot Ayalew (ETH) 22:30
25th 2014[8]  Birhan Nebebew (ETH) 28:58  Senbere Teferi (ETH) 23:33
26th 2015  Alfred Ngeno (KEN) 30:06  Dera Dida (ETH) 24:13
27th 2016  Selemon Barega (ETH) 26:12  Beyenu Degefa (ETH) 21:48
28th 2017  Birhanu Balew (BHR) 30:53  Margaret Chelimo (KEN) 23:38


  1. ^ a b Cross de l´Acier plays host to world champion Ebuya. European Athletics (2010-11-27). Retrieved on 2010-11-29.
  2. ^ Sourice, Frédéric (2010-11-29). ATHLÉTISME - Ça va chauffer entre Imane Merga et Joseph Ebuya, au cross de l'Acier ! (in French). La Voix Du Nord. Retrieved on 2010-11-29.
  3. ^ a b Armand, Patrick (2010-11-29). Le Kénya brille sur la neige (in French). Nord Éclair. Retrieved on 2010-12-03.
  4. ^ European Athletics Cross Country Permit Races. European Athletics (2010). Retrieved on 2010-12-03.
  5. ^ a b Ramsak, Bob (2010-11-29). Ebuya and Masai take comfortable victories at Cross de l’Acier. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-12-03.
  6. ^ Palmares. Cross de l'Acier. Retrieved on 2010-12-03.
  7. ^ Vazel, Pierre-Jean (2008-12-01). Jida beats Kigen again, as Ethiopians dominate in Leffrinckoucke. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-12-03.
  8. ^ Mills, Steven (2014-11-30). Toroitich maintains momentum in Alcobendas – cross-country round-up. IAAF. Retrieved on 2015-03-28.
List of winners
  • Palmares. Cross de l'Acier. Retrieved on 2010-12-03.

External links[edit]