Britton targets European cross-country

Athletics: Fionnuala Britton was first woman across the line in the Autumn Cross-Country open 8km race at the Phoenix Park yesterday.

Britton crossed the line 28th overall in 28:09 in the mixed race and was happy with her outing, having recently returned from altitude training in the French Pyrenees.

The European cross country championships in Bulgaria in December is her priority and she is looking to improve on her 4th place finish in Belgrade last year.

“That’s (the European cross) the big aim,” said the former two-time European cross country champion.

The Wicklow woman will look more towards the road into the new year even though she would still like to do the World Cross-Country in Beijing in March.

“I’d like to do the world cross country but it’s in China. It’s not like just going over to Poland,” she said

Leevale’s Michelle Finn was second woman home in 29:35, with DSD’s Sarah Mulligan third in 29:55.

DSD’s Brendan O’Neill sprung a surprise as he took overall victory in 25:54. O’Neill has been based in America the last number of years but returned during the summer to set-up his own business. “Working and running has worked well,” said O’Neill afterwards.

There was another surprise in second with Clonmel’s Kevin Maunsell outkicking the experienced Mark Christie of Mullingar Harriers. Maunsell put 6 seconds into Christie on the finishing straight – 26:01 to 26:07. Liam Brady (Tullamore Harriers) had the run of the day in fourth in 26:09.

Westport’s Con Doherty impressed in the junior men’s 6km, which was also ran as part of the 8km race, and was first home in 19:59.

Maria O’Sullivan (Raheny Shamrock) was first woman home in the open 5km race in 19:01. Isabel Carron (Skerries) was first junior woman over 4km in 15:30.


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