Athletics Ireland is committed to delivering top athlete performance at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships which will be held in Belgrade, Serbia on 8th of December.
National Endurance Coach, Chris Jones who is leading athlete and team preparations for the championships commented: “We have invested in preparations for these championships. I have just returned from a very productive high altitude training camp in Font Romeu, in the French Pyrenees with our Senior Squad. Our Junior athletes have been involved in squad development sessions allowing for their fitness and preparations to be tracked.”
Race preparations for the championships commences this Sunday with the Gerry Farnham Cross Country Race with double European Cross Country champion, Fionnuala Britton lining up. The race will form an important stepping stone for those seeking selection for the European Cross Country Championships. The top four finishers in Senior and Junior races and the top two U23 finishers will go onto represent Ireland at the Lotto Cross Cup in Antwerp, Belgium on the 3rd of November. This is a European Permitted race which will provide quality race competition for the athletes selected. One athlete will be pre-selected for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships if they finish in the top 8 in the Junior and Senior race (male & female),while one U23 athlete (male & female) who finishes in the top 12 in the Senior race will gain pre-selection.
The Athletics Ireland competition committee has also moved the date of the Woodie’s DIY Inter-county Cross Country Championships from its traditional slot of the third weekend in November to the 17th of November to facilitate preparation for the European Championships. The race will be opened to International competition to allow for our top athletes to be involved in a competitive race. The top three across the line in the Senior and Junior races (men & women) will gain automatic selection while in the U23 men and woman the top three will gain favourable selection.