Double European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) produced a remarkable performance to win the 2013 Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday, 5th of January. The Wicklow athlete was part of strong European Team that also included Irish team mate Linda Byrne (Dundrum South Dublin AC).
From the offset Britton positioned herself at the front of the field with Julia Bleasdale and Jess Coulson both of Great Britain in close attendance. Adrienne Herzog of the Netherlands who was third at the 2012 European Cross Country Championships was also amongst the leading group. The relentless pace set by Britton meant only Coulson had the stamina to stay with her. By the 4km mark Britton had a three second gap over Coulson and was now in complete control of the race.
Britton continued to apply the pressure over the last lap and despite a minor fall with 600m remaining, Britton strode to a comfortable victory in a time of 20.40. The Kilcoole AC athlete managed to put 16 seconds between herself and second place athlete Herzog of the Netherlands with the USA’s Mattie Suver finishing in third place.
Linda Byrne was also showing impressive form as she worked her way through the field with a storming run to finish in sixth place. Byrne’s run was of the highest quality finishing only inches behind European Cross Country silver medallist Anna Dulce Felix of Portugal, who placed fifth.
Both Britton and Byrne were also part of the victorious European team that took overall team victory ahead of Great Britain & Northern Ireland and the USA. Next up for both athletes will be the IAAF Antrim Cross Country on Saturday the 12th of January.