Olympian Kerry OFlaherty Launches the IAAF Antrim International 2017
The annual Antrim IAAF International Cross Country event will take on Saturday 14th January incorporating the British Athletics Cross Challenge.
Awarded one of only 12 IAAF World Cross Country permits the event is the highlight of the Cross Country calendar in Northern Ireland and attracts many international athletes of note.
Organised by Athletics Northern Ireland and supported by Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council, the races will be held in the picturesque surrounds of CAFRE at Greenmount Campus in Antrim. $15,000 prize money is once again on offer, with $7500 for each of the men's and women's races.
Newcastle athlete, Kerry O’Flaherty joined Stef Foster, Marketing, Communications & Events Manager of Athletics Northern Ireland and Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr John Scott to launch the 2017 event and urge everyone to sign up. The 34 year old Newcastle athlete, Kerry O’Flaherty is enjoying a successful cross country, road running and track & field season. The Olympian was one of 4 women’s bronze medallist team, representing Ireland in the European Cross Country in 2015 and from then her strength and endurance has just continued to grow. Kerry is already setting standards for the 2017 year.
Returning to the flat fast course at Greenmount after her 2016 debut appearance, Kerry is hoping to again be the first Northern Ireland athlete home and within the top 12 overall finishers. Having recently returned from the Olympic Games in RIO, ranked in the top 34 athletes, the Olympic & European finalist will be using every race possible to maintain a competitive edge in the selection process for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Athletics Northern Ireland’s President Pam Brown, welcomed the event saying “The Antrim venue is a perfect location for both athletes and spectators alike. I very much look forward to welcoming this showcase event to the Greenmount Campus and anticipate a fantastic sporting occasion with a very competitive field at a world class venue which is a must for all sports fans.”
The Antrim IAAF International Cross Country is one of the largest and most popular events in the Northern Ireland sporting calendar, with more than 1,200 competitors taking part and race categories ranging from Under 11s to Masters. Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Scott said, “We are delighted that Athletics Northern Ireland has chosen to return to Antrim for the IAAF International Cross Country. CAFRE, Greenmount Campus is an ideal venue for this world class competition. With its central location and ease of access it is ideal for the many competitors who will travel from overseas.”
This year Athletics Northern Ireland will have this great all-round event as a key fixture in both the British Athletics Cross Challenge Series and the Athletics NI Cross Country League.
Cllr Scott continued, “Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council is proud to support this prestigious event, which will no doubt contribute significantly to the Borough, particularly with the inclusion this year of the Home Countries International Cross Country event. We wish Athletics Northern Ireland, CAFRE and the runners every success for January 2017.”
Pam Brown, stated “This year’s home counties IAAF Cross Country Challenge once again puts Northern Ireland centre stage of the sporting world. The event, which has become one of the key fixtures of the Cross Country calendar, attracts top class international athletes from across the world, as well as giving our local talent the opportunity to mix it with the best.”
Online Entry is now available at www.athleticsni.org