Fionnuala Britton raced to her second consecutive Glo Health Inter-Counties cross-country title today and immediately declared she was ready for a third European title.
The two time European cross country champion made a move for home after completing just one 2,000-meter lap in Dundalk I.T and was unstoppable from there.
Britton completed the 8km race in 26:59, some 75 seconds clear of Cork’s Michelle Finn and Kerry’s Laura Crowe in third place.
“I planned to sit in for the opening stages” explained Britton. “I wasn’t used to that, it made me nervous so I just decided to hit it.”
“I decided to work from the front and I suppose it's races like that make you love cross country” added Britton after skipping to victory.
Britton’s now focuses on the European Cross-Country Championships in Bulgaria in just three weeks’ time, with an expectation of claiming a third title.
“I have got to believe I’m going better than last year, because I want to improve on last year” explained Britton having finished fourth in 2013.
“I’ve ran different races and I’ve ran mixed races, so I suppose I can go in positive into Bulgaria.” added Britton.
She will joined on the Irish team by Finn and Crowe, as well as Sara Treacy who finished fourth, with the reaming two athlete’s will be decided by the selectors.
Paul Pollock, making his return to competitive athletics having missed the European Championship marathon, defended his title in emphatic style.
Pollock held off Cork’s Mark Hanrahan and Mick Clohisey of Dublin in a sprint to the line with all three athletes in the mix for a medal with 100 meters to go.
“I’m over the moon with that victory,” admitted Pollock.
“I only got back training about six weeks ago,” admitted Pollock having missed out on Zurich earlier this year.
“I didn’t know what form I was in before today. I didn’t think I was coming here to win as I didn’t know the other guys form, but I’m very happy with the win,” explained Pollock.
“It was a tough race, Mick Clohisey and Mark Hanrahan are hard tough runners, all I could think of was just head down and go for the line”
Pollock, Hanrahan and Clohisey will form the Irish team for the European Cross-Country Championships in Sofia on December with fourth placed Brendan O’Neill.
The Irish selectors will decide confirm the full team of six athletes each on Tuesday.