Britton headlines fields for Santry Demesne
Fionnuala Britton will be the headline act at the Woodie’s DIY National Intercounties Cross Country Championships in Santry Demesne this Sunday.
With comfortable victories in the Gerry Farnan Festival and the Lotto Cross Cup in Antwerp, Britton is odds on favourite for her third straight win of the season. She will be looking for a harder test in France in the next couple of weeks.
Sara Treacy looks set to be her main challenger – she was second behind her over the rolling hills of the Munich lap in the Phoenix Park last month.
Lizzie Lee is down on the entry list but is still undecided about toeing the line. Her coach Donie Walsh doesn’t want her to compete after a long 12 months which included the Euro Cross, World Cross and a 9th place finish in the Berlin marathon. She also recently got married – more about that next week in the Irish Examiner.
The men’s race looks like a two-way battle between Paul Pollock and David McCarthy. Pollock has been transformed since moving to the marathon and now as a relative full-time athlete, he should push McCarthy all the way.
The West Waterford man is starting to round into shape with a fourth place finish at the Lotto Cross Cup in Belgium and recently completed an 8 by 1 mile session in Malahide Castle where he closed his last mile in circa 4:21. He is already pre-selected for the European Championships by virtue of his top 8 finish in Antwerp.
Michael Mulhare should feature at the head of the also. He rolled his ankle in the Phoenix Park on a long run a couple of weeks ago but is now back in full running and will be keen to make an impression.
Sean Tobin and Siofra Cleirigh Buttner will be favourites in the junior races. The junior men’s race promises to be an interesting one with an array of top runners from 800m up to 10,000m on the track. Hugh Armstrong is scheduled to be back from Providence to compete.
David Harper will also be keen to make an impression having missed the summer due to a seizure after his third place finish in the elite mile at the Great Ireland Run. Top triathlete Con Doherty will also be keen to make an impression.
Below is a list of some of the leading competitors to date.
Ann Marie McGlynn
Siofra Cleirigh Buttner