Home News Santry prepares for European Cross Country with 50 days to go

Santry prepares for European Cross Country with 50 days to go


from Clare McCoy Preparations for Ireland’s first SPAR European Cross Country Championship are now in full swing, with just 50 days left until the event, which is taking place on the 13th of December. Athletics Ireland officials were at Santry Demesne today to celebrate this milestone in the countdown to the event.

The SPAR European Cross Country Championships will see a top class field of cross country athletes from all over Europe competing in Dublin with World Champion Marta Dominguez from Spain and reigning European Cross Country Champion, Sergey Lebid from the Ukraine, already confirmed from the event.

Along with Europe’s top stars, Ireland will also have a very strong team for this year’s event on home soil. The Woodie’s DIY Inter-County Cross Country Championships in Kilbeggan, Westmeath will form the trials for the Irish team on the 22nd of November but the Irish team management will be able to choose from some top class athletes including Mary Cullen, Martin Fagan, Linda Byrne and Fionnuala Britton all in contention.

There will be strength in depth in the Irish team with some excellent prospects coming through the the ranks who will hope to be involved in Santry. This will include Ciara Mageean who has had an outstanding year so far winning silver at the World Youth Championships and gold at the European Youth Olympics. The Ffrench O’Carroll twins, Charlotte and Rebecca, who recently took up a scholarship in the US should take their place in a strong Irish team in December.

Liam Hennessy, Event Director and President of Athletics Ireland, was in Santry Demesne ahead of the event. “We are now getting into the final stages of preparation for the event and everything is in place for a great event. The feedback we have got from competing nations has been positive and the fact we have perfect facilities in place for the event has helped greatly with proximity to hotels, the course and the airport it is ideal for the athletes. The course itself is quite challenging and depending on the conditions on the day this could change but it will be a test for everyone involved and a great day for Irish sport,” Hennessy said looking ahead to the event.

The SPAR European Cross Country Championships will take place in Ireland for the first time on the 13th of December in Santry Demesne, 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, Fáilte Ireland, Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, RTÉ, Failte Ireland and Clonliffe Harriers.