On a foggy morning on the driving range of the Rosapenna Golf Resort in Co Donegal, dozens of volunteers, including Transition Year students from Loreto Community School in Milford, were out in the crisp air, marking out the course for what will be a huge event for the area.

The local Cranford Athletic Club is hosting the National Cross-Country Finals in Donegal for the first time since 1999.

Getting the event to this part of the Donegal Gaeltacht has been a long-held dream of club chairman Eamon Giles.

He was a founder member of Cranford Athletic Club in na Dúnaibh in 1961 and at 80 years of age he was out working with the rest of the volunteers this morning and eager to thank all those who have helped organise the event.

Planning a national event which will attract about 2,000 competitors and many spectators has involved a lot of work and Mr Giles said the whole parish has got involved including the local GAA Club, the gardaí, students and the voluntary fire brigade members.

Mr Giles had no hesitation in saying that this was the best cross-country course in Ireland and that he had never seen one as well prepared.

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Rose Gavaghan, a three-time Ulster Cross-Country Champion said it is a massive thing for Cranford AC to host the national finals which will see the top national athletes coming to race here.

From under-20 up is particularly exciting, she said, because there will be qualifying for the European Championships out of it.

Clodagh Neely is among a number of local athletes have also qualified to run this weekend.

In between hauling barriers to mark the course, she spoke about the excitement of being able to compete at a national level in her local area.

The start of the course is flat, she said, and will be fast.

The competition will be tough, but Ms Neely said she hoped she and other Donegal athletes will do well in the event.

The action starts on Sunday morning at 11.30am at under-12 level and runs through to the senior women's and men's finals in the afternoon.