After her impressive run at the weekend in the World Cross Country Championships in Poland, Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) now focuses on the road as she prepares for the SPAR Great Ireland Run on 14 April in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Britton finished in Poland as first European in 14th place, and led the Irish team to an excellent fifth place.
Britton’s team mates from Poland: Linda Byrne (DSD), Ava Hutchinson (DSD) and Lizzie Lee (Leevale) will join her on the start line on April 14 where they will face Spanish number one Diana Martin and a very strong British challenge led by defending SPAR Great Ireland Run champion Gemma Steel accompanied by London Olympic 5,000 and 10,000 metre finalist Julia Bleasdale, 2011 SPAR Great Ireland Run champion Charlotte Purdue and European indoor 3000m 6th place finisher Lauren Howarth.
World 10,000 metre champion, Ibrahim Jeilan from Ethiopia will start as the favourite in the men’s race with a personal best time of 27 minutes and 2 seconds. He will face the rapidly improving Australian Collis Birmingham who finished in eighth place in the World Cross Country Championships last weekend, Abderrahim Bouramdane from Morocco, fourth placed in the 2011 World Championships marathon and nine times European cross country champion Sergiy Lebid of Ukraine.
The home challenge will be led by Mark Kenneally of Clonliffe Harriers, Ireland’s top marathon runner and 2012 Olympian, and Paul Robinson (St Coca’s AC), the fastest Irish 1500 metre runner in 2012.
The 2013 Run will include the AAI National 10k Championships and will feature most of Ireland’s top distance runners. To further incentivise elite Irish athletes and raise the standard of 10k running in the country, a prize fund is being put in place for the first ten Irish men and women.
The Run will be broadcast live on RTE Two.
The deadline for entries to receive their run packs via post is approaching. To have a pack posted to them, runners must enter by 10am on Thursday 28 March. After that, entries will remain open until 9am on Monday 8 April but packs must be collected from Life Style Sports in Blanchardstown on Thursday 11, Friday 12 or Saturday 13 April.
Entries have poured in over recent weeks for the main Run, as well as the Junior and Mini Runs for 9 to 15 and 5 to 8 year olds respectively, and a great family day out in the stunning surroundings of the Phoenix Park is anticipated.
Entries and further information are at: www.greatirelandrun.org