CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Vin Lananna announced Tuesday (Oct. 11) that two-time Olympic gold medalist and current world-record holder Hicham El Guerrouj will be honored as the guest starter for the Panorama Farms XC23 Invitational hosted by the Virginia cross country program on Saturday (Oct. 15) at Panorama Farms. El Guerrouj will be available for an autograph session immediately following the women’s 5k race.

El Guerrouj dominated the 1500-meter distance from 1995 through 2004 as he won four world championships as well as a pair of Olympic gold medals. Over a nine-year period, El Guerrouj raced in 86 finals at 1500m and the mile and won 83 of those races.

The Moroccan runner’s first Olympic gold came in the 1500m at the Athens Games in 2004. After finishing as the runner-up in the 1500m in Sydney, El Guerrouj battled Bernard Lagat (current American record holder in the 1500m) in a stride-for-stride finish before pulling away to take the gold medal. Four nights later, El Guerrouj won his second Olympic gold in the 5000m becoming the first runner to achieve the 1500/5000 double since Paavo Nurmi in 1924.

El Guerrouj currently holds the world record in the 1500 meters with his time of 3:26.00. He also holds the world’s fastest mile time at 3:43.13.

Panorama Farms & XC23
In addition to serving as the home course for the Virginia men’s and women’s cross country programs, Panorama Farms will serve as the location for both the 2022 ACC Championships on Friday, Oct. 28, as well as the 2023 NCAA Championships in November of next year.