With the cross country season underway many of the countries top runners will converge in the Phoenix park this weekend to get their season off to a start at the Gerry Farnan Cross Country race. With this being part of the selection process for the European Cross Country Championships (being held in Dublin this year), many will be looking to stake their claim for a place in the squad to represent their country in such an important event for Irish Athletics.
In the mens race some of the big names who are expected to challenge are the likes of Mark Christie (Mullingar Harriers), fresh from his win in the Rathfarnam 5k last week in an impressive time of 14.22. He will be at loggerheads with training partner Mark Keneally (Clonliffe Harriers) and Leevale man Mark Hanrahan. Also Brian Maher has proved he has the strength to challenge for a high placing after his win in the Adidas Series Half Marathon on his debut at the distance, though the shorter distance may just find him lacking the speed needed to compete for the top position in this 5 mile race. The race is being organised by MSB, so John Coghlan will also look to cement his place on the under 23 team.
In the women's race Fionnula Britton will be looking to do battle once again with DSD woman Linda Byrne and will be looking to overturn the results of Rathfarnam which saw Linda take first by 24 seconds over the Sli Chulainn woman who was forced to settle for 2nd. Mary Cullen will big the biggest competition for the young pair with 800m national champion Rose Anne Galligan also returning from London to take part in this race.
Race start at 1pm sharp at the Magazine Fort in Phoenix Park (near Papals Cross)
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Updated on May 6, 2013, 5:48pm