Fionnuala Britton and Andy Vernon both on their way to the 36th Antrim International Cross Country next Saturday were in medal winning form at the Great Edinburgh Race in Holyrood Park.
Double European champion Britton went straight to the front along with fellow medallists Ana Dulce Felix of Portugal and Adrienne Herzog of Netherlands plus English girl Jess Coulson.
Fionnuala had opened a slight gap at the end of the first of the three circuits and increased the pace all the way to finish sixteen seconds clear at the finish. Even a fall half way round the last lap failed to deter the flying Wicklow woman.
Herzog came second with American Mattie Suver finishing quickly to take third ahead of Coulson, Felix and Linda Byrne who is also coming to Greenmount. Another Antrim competitor Steff Twell placed fifteenth.
Britton was very happy after achieving her second successive victory in the event “I found myself in front and just decided to press on. It was a good feeling”, she said.
Steff Twell was also pleased with her return to the top level after serious injury “I felt it was a good come back at this level. It was good to be competing again and I am pretty pleased with the way things went”.
Andy Vernon led the classy Mens field for the first lap. The Aldershot runner came through ahead of a group of five which included nine times European champion Sergiy Lebid of Ukraine a former Stormont winner.
Tom Humphries took over for the next three circuits with Vernon dropping to sixth but it was American Bobby Mack who sprinted in to take the victory ahead of last year’s winner Ayad Lambassem of Spain with Vernon finishing strongly for third.