Pollock 2nd European Finisher in World Half Marathon
27 March 2016
Annadale's Paul Pollock had the race of his life in Cardiff at the weekend when he spearheaded a successful Irish team to finish a superb 14th in the World Half Marathon Championships. This achievement easily surpassed his 30th place from two years ago and made him the second European finisher behind bronze medallist Mo Farah.
The 29 year old Holywood doctor made light of the wet and windy conditions to beat many of the world's best athletes. He finished in a classy time of 62 mins 46 secs to lead Ireland to an excellent 7th team place. Paul edged out GB's Calum Hawkins who was 15th plus GB Trials winner Ryan McLeod.
The result will be a tremendous fillip to Paul ahead of next month's London Marathon where he will hoping to secure his place on the Irish team for the Rio Olympics. Afterwards he said;
"I am very happy with that. The conditions out there were horrible. I went hard early on and then I was hanging on. It was very heavy rain for the last two miles. The Marathon will be a different ball game but I am in good shape."
Paul led a successful Belfast trio which included surprise 2nd Irish finisher Thomas Frazer who was 41st in a huge PB of 65 mins 20 secs and Kevin Seaward who finished 42nd just 3 secs behind. The Irish team was completed by Clonliffe's Sergiu Ciobanu in 50th place in 66 mins 30 secs. A delighted Frazer commented;
"It was a great race and the weather made it an even playing field. I loved it out there."
The race was won by defending champion Geoffrey Kamworir of Kenya in 59.10 with Mo Farah a fighting 3rd in 59.59 which included a European record at the 15 k mark.
There were some good NI performances in the accompanying Home Countries International. Foyle Valley's Scott Rankin was 16th in a huge PB of 68.32 followed by Newry's Paddy Hamilton ( 20th in 68.55) , North Belfast's Andrew Annett (22nd in a 2 mins PB of 69.21), Conor Duffy of Glaslough (25th in a PB of 69.38) and North's Mark McKinstry (54th in 73.01).
City of Derry's Catherine Whoriskey recorded 80 mins 9 secs while Sperrin's Karen Alexander ran 83.19.
Meanwhile in the big Omagh Half Marathon there was another eye catching performance from Mourne Runners athlete Laura Graham. The 30 year old followed her Larne victory with another PB win of 78.07 for an excellent 19th overall place. In the Men's race Project Africa's Gideon Kimosop also enjoyed his second victory in a week when he crossed the line in 65 .53 a long way ahead of Gary 'O'Hanlon of Run Hub (69.05).