Samokov prepares for a finale to remember

Samokov prepares for a finale to remember
European Athletics

The international athletics year comes to an end on Sunday as the town of Samokov, in the south west of Bulgaria, hosts the 21st SPAR European Cross Country Championships.

An event staged in its opening two years in Alnwick in Great Britain, since then it has moved across the continent, from Belgium to Portugal to Italy to Slovenia and through so many more countries.

And now Bulgaria joins the party for the first time as the nation welcomes over 500 athletes in six races on Sunday on a course that will be tricky, and testing, and has the makings for an outstanding competition, the last major international athletics event of 2014.

The races will be held on a picturesque course in the Rila Mountain in Borovets, just 10km south of the town of Samokov. It is the highest mountain range in the Balkans - at 2925m - and the sixth highest in Europe.

Athletes will run on a loop course, with the longest race being the last, the men’s senior over 9.9km, made up of two short laps and then six long ones.

The event will be streamed live and made available on the homepage of our website.