Grand ambition for Doherty
Teresa Doherty of Finn Valley AC, winner of the women's race last year, will defend her title at Saturday's British and Irish Cross-Country International taking place on the Aintree grand national course at Stockport.
Doherty leads an Irish W40 team that includes Karen Alexander, Deirdre McDermott of Dublin City Harriers and Michelle Kelly. Selected for the men's over 45 team is her husband Ciaran Doherty of Letterkenny AC, who has a strong record in international masters competition.
Back after a year's absence from the squad is Brian Maher of Kilkenny City Harrier, who was first overall in the men's race two years ago and runs in the M40 age group.
Selected for the W55 team is Niamh O'Sullivan of An Riocht AC in Kerry, overall winner of the international race herself a decade or so ago. Leading the W35 squad is Fiona Kehoe of Kilmore AC, with Kate O'Neill of Metro Str Brigid's AC also selected.
A strong W65 team includes Margaret Glavey of Mayo AC, along with Eileen Kenny of St Finbarr's and Brigid McCabe of Mullingar Harriers.
With Englandexpected to win the overall title, the battle is on for second place, with Ireland taking on teams from Scotland and Wales as well as Northern Ireland. Likely to help the Irish cause is the M65 team led by Paul Elliott of Beechmount Harriers and Brian Lynch of North East Runners.
Then there's the M55 squad, which included Tommy Hughes who, only a few weeks ago, set a new age group record for the marathon in Frankfurt only a week after running the trial for this weekend's race. Every point will count!