Star names set for Autumn Open Assignment
The 5th edition of the Autumn Open International Cross-Country Festival in association with Fingal County Council will take place at the Sport Ireland Campus on Sunday 17th October 2021 - the venue for this year’s SPAR European Cross-Country Championships (December 12th).
The event, which marks the last opportunity for athletes to compete on the course set to host Europe’s elite cross-country athletes in December, will showcase Ireland’s talent from junior right up to the masters along with several international runners.
Cross country fans will be counting down the hours to Sunday with a host of athletics stars set to take their place including recent Olympians Andrew Coscoran and Paul Pollock.
Fans will also be treated to the return of European U20 gold medallists Cian McPhillips and Nicolas Griggs, as well as 2019 SPAR European Cross Country Championship silver medallists (Senior Women’s Team) Mary Mulhare and Una Britton.
Entry list and timetable HERE.
The combined women’s race of U20, seniors and masters gets underway at 2pm, with the men’s race (also combined) set for a 2:45pm start.
The women’s race has a strong entry with 2019 winner Abby Donnelly (GB) joined in the line-up by fellow GB athlete Kirsty Walker (GB), both of whom are likely to be to the fore in the senior race.
Mary Mulhare (Portlaoise AC) and Una Britton (Kilcoole AC) were part of the Irish team to secure a European Cross Country silver in Lisbon in 2019 and the pair will be back in action on domestic soil as they continue their preparations for another big cross country season.
Ann Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC), Aoife Kilgallon (Sligo AC), and Cherly Nolan (St Abbans AC) are sure to be among the leading contenders, while Christine Russel (Letterkenny /UCD AC) will also be looking to make an impression on the back of her recent IUAA cross country win.
The women’s U20 race will be another competitive event on paper with Aoife McGreevy (Lagan Valley AC) and Siobhan Whelan (Clonmel AC) among those who will be challenging for podium positions, while some familiar faces look set for masters honours with Niamh O’Sullivan (An Riocht) and Annette Kealy (Raheny Shamrock) expected to be among the leading lights.
The men’s races look set to be just as competitive with Daragh McElhinney (UCD AC) set to join Olympians Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC) and Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) on the start line. McElhinney looked ultra-impressive in taking the recent IUAA title in DCU and will be expected to settle in a leading pack which will likely include the ever-consistent Paul O’Donnell (Dundrum South Dublin AC) and Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers).
Great Britain’s Tom Mortimer is sure to prove chief threat of the international entries having finished 4th in the 5000m at the European U23 Championships. Mortimer competed in the U20 race at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in 2018 and will be hoping to make the U23 team this time around.
The U20 race includes some of the most exciting young athletes in Irish athletics including Nicolas Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) who, at the age of 16, claimed the European U20 3,000m gold medal earlier in the summer.
Griggs will be joined by another European U20 gold medal (1500m) winning athlete in Cian McPhillips (Longford AC) who backed up his European success with a new Irish U20 1500m record at the AAI Summer Games in Carlow on July 25th (3:40.56 to take 2 seconds off Ray Flynn’s record which had stood for 45 years).
Also covering the 7,500m distance will be the master’s men with a bumper entry of 75 set to take on the undulations of the Sport Ireland Campus course.
It promises to be another festival atmosphere with good weather expected as Irish eyes turn to the start of an enthralling few months of cross-country competition.
- This is a ticket only event. Tickets are available free of charge HERE.
- Results will be available HERE
- 14.00 Women (Senior, U20, Masters)
- 14.45 Men (Senior, U20, Masters)
1st €500.00 1st €500.00
2nd €400.00 2nd €400.00
3rd €300.00 3rd €300.00
4th €200.00 4th €200.00
5th €100.00 5th €100.00
Men (under 20) Women (under 20)
1st €150.00 1st €150.00
2nd €100.00 2nd €100.00
3rd €50.00 3rd €50.00
Men (Master) Women (Master)
1st €100.00 1st €100.00
2nd €75.00 2nd €75.00
3rd €50.00 3rd €50.00