Home News Irish athletes knuckle down for European Cross Country Championships

Irish athletes knuckle down for European Cross Country Championships


from Clare McCoy The majority of Ireland’s team were in attendance at Santry Park yesterday for the last training camp ahead of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships next weekend. With less than a week to go before Europe’s showpiece cross country event, being held in Ireland for the first time, the Irish team is looking strong throughout.

The squad, which was without the US based athletes and North Sligo AC’s Mary Cullen, had a medical update with team doctor Joe Conway and Physio Nessa Smyth before taking to the course to familiarise themselves with the route and the conditions ahead of next Sunday.

The Squad members were under the supervision of Irish team management along with representatives from Athletics Ireland’s high performance team. The course, which is still showing the effects of several inches of rain of the last few weeks, held up well and looks like it will be in good condition for next weekend.

Irish team manager Anne Keenan-Buckley was happy with the work out. “It was good to get everyone together ahead of next weekend. It is always helps for team morale if the squad is able to spend some time together and everyone is in high spirits ahead of the European Cross Country.”

Keenan-Buckley is hoping there will be no last minute injuries. “So far we have been lucky with injuries. We lost Mark Christie and David McCarthy who are both top class athletes but aside from that we have a pretty much full strength team with many of the team in great form so it bodes well for Santry,” she went on to say.

After the training session on the course the squad went for lunch before a psychology session with Brendan Hackett to help the athletes focus themselves ahead of the event. After this, former Irish international athlete and cross country runner Eamonn Coghlan came in to talk to the team and give them some advice before the big day.

This was then followed by a meeting on team arrangements for the event before the squad broke up for the day. The next time they all see each other will be at Santry Park next Sunday as they will be bidding to bring some medal glory to Ireland on home soil.

The SPAR European Cross Country Championships will take place in Ireland for the first time on the 13th December in Santry Park, Dublin. For more information and regular updates on the event and to sign up to the mailing list for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships then log on to www.Dublin2009.ie.

Athletics Ireland is supported nationally in running this event by the Irish Sports Council, Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, RTÉ, Failte Ireland and Clonliffe Harriers. Tickets for the event can be purchased from www.dublin2009.ie


For further information:
Declan Lee – O’Herlihy Communications – 01 660 2744 / 087 695 7451
Frank Greally – Athletics Ireland – 087 256 9690