It’s looking good for Britton and Arron

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They are two women who compete at different ends of the athletics spectrum: one a distance runner, the other a sprinter.

But this weekend put them both on course for their next targets.

In Dublin, Ireland's Fionnuala Britton showed how well she has recovered from the illness which ruined her summer by winning a 5km race.

It will set her up for a bid to win a hat-trick of crowns at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships on 8 December.

While, in France, Christine Arron, the 1998 European 100m champion, is back in training at the age of 40 with her career looking like it is far from finished.

Britton, 29, seems on course to make her mark again at Europe's biggest cross country event in Belgrade after an impressive success at the Gerry Farnan Cross Country Festival.

After winning 3000m bronze at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Göteborg, Britton was forced to miss the European Athletics Team Championships and then the IAAF World Championships.

But she showed she is back to her best with a storming victory in 15:45 at Phoenix Park in Dublin ahead of Sara Louise Treacy in second in 16:26 and Laura Crowe, third in 16:36.

Treacy was a member of the Irish squad which also won the team gold in Budapest last December when Britton retained the individual title she had won at the 2011 SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Velenje.

One of the keys to Britton's success in Dublin was her front-running performance which has become so much her trademark – further proof of the form she is in with Belgrade so close.

In May, French sprint star Arron gave birth to her second child but it looks she is going to be on the scene again in 2014 after L'Equipe reported that she is training again.

Arron last competed in 2012. At the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, she just missed out by one place on making the 100m semi-finals before running the anchor leg as France finished fifth in the 4 x 100m relay final.

But her legendary status had long been secured after Budapest 1998 where she stamped her authority all over the event when she won gold in 10.73 - a European record which is now heading into its 16th year.

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