Home News Tenth Place for Fionnuala Britton in the Marathon at the European Championships

Tenth Place for Fionnuala Britton in the Marathon at the European Championships


Press Release Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) made an impressive marathon debut placing tenth in the European Marathon Championships in Zurich on Saturday, 16th of August. On an extremely tough marathon course Britton recorded a time of 2.31.46 to move to fourth on the Irish all time lists for the classic 26.2 mile distance.

 Commenting afterwards Britton said “I suppose I didn’t know what to expect and I definitely didn’t expect that. I heard coming in that the winning time was the fastest ever in Switzerland. I didn’t expect it to be that fast. I suppose I have to be happy enough with that, top ten. I went with the group because that’s what you have to do. There were bad patches and good patches, I enjoyed it.”

The race was not only the fastest ever on Swiss soil but also the fastest ever time in European Championships history with France’s Christelle Daunay came home the victor in a time of 2.25.14. The time is even more remarkable when you consider the severe nature of the hills on the course which the athletes had to face four times.

Britton started off the race aggressively going through the opening five kilometres with the leading pack of athletes in 17.21. As the race progressed Britton started to drift off the front group and went through halfway in 1.14.07, 90 seconds behind the leaders at this stage. Britton remained strong going up the hills but lost ground slightly as she descended back down into the flat section of the course.

Britton continued to battle on and momentarily moved into ninth place at the 30km point reached in 1.46.40. From that point on it was all about survival mode as Britton gritted it out and finished in tenth place overall in a through championship run event. All in all the experience was a very positive one for the former double European Cross Country Champion as she targets the marathon in Rio in 2016.

Commenting on this Britton said “I really wanted to get a championships race done ahead of Rio and this was the perfect opportunity to do that. I had to start somewhere and if I want to run that marathon in Rio I needed to get this experience.”

Sarah Mulligan (Dundrum South Dublin AC) was also making her debut in the marathon as she finished in 36th place in a time of 2.42.43.

Mulligan said “It was good, up to 18 miles, I felt a bit of pain the last five miles or so. I’m a bit disappointed as I let a few pass me by. I’m happy enough with the performance and the time as well, the course is fairly tough.”

Mulligan passed through halfway in 1.17.05 before slowing over the second half of the race. Mulligan will now turn her attentions to the European Cross Country Championships in December.

Barbara Sanchez (Clonliffe Harriers AC) was the third member of the Irish team competing as she finished 41st in 2.43.59

Sanchez said “I feel very fresh; I could have done much more. I didn’t know what to expect, I saw the course and I thought, that’s completely new to me. I kept the same pace and steady around”

Sanchez along with team mates Mulligan and Britton finished seventh in the Marathon Cup competition.

Taken from Athletics Ireland