By the 4 km mark, Fionnuala Britton had opened up a 3 second gap on Coulson and was now 12 seconds ahead of the main bunch which included Linda Byrne, a member of the Gold medal Irish team at the recent European Cross Country Championships.
By the 5 km mark, the relentless pressure began to tell on Coulson as Fionnuala now raced ahead. Despite a slight slip in the closing stages, Fionnuala Britton finished over 16 seconds ahead of her nearest rival.
1. Fionnuala Britton...EU...20:40...($8,000)
2. Adrienne Herzog...EU...20:56...($4,000)
3. Mattie Suver...USA...21:00...($3,000)
4. Jess Coulson...GBR...21:05...($2,000)
5. Ana Dulce Felix...EU...21:06...($1,750)
6. Linda Byrne...EU...21:06...($1,500)
7. Ladia Albertson Junkas... ...21:08...($1,000)
8. Julia Bleasdale...GBR...21:10...($800)
9. Lisa Stublic...EU...21:11...($500)
In a post race interview, Fionnuala said this about the race and her 'slip'.......“When I knew the group behind me was breaking down, I thought there is no point letting them get back to me. It's a great result for Europe"......."I fell on my chin in a race before but I fell on my backside this time. Never in a live televised race. Even though I’m known as a cross country specialist, track and field is where it’s really at like and for me it’s not really worked out yet, but it’s everyone in athletics’ aim as well. I really enjoy cross country but the track is where it’s at."
Linda Byrne finished in an impressive 6th place and almost caught Dulce Felix who won silver at the European Cross Country Championships in December.
Overall, the strong performance by the European womens team helped them to take the overall team victory ahead of Great Britain and the USA.
Both Fionnuala and Linda will be taking part in the IAAF Antrim Cross Country on Saturday the 12th of January where there will be strong competition from some Kenyan and Ethiopian runners.
On the 24th of March, Fionnuala Britton competes in the World Cross Country in Bydgoszcz, Poland.