Pollock enjoys easy victory in Greencastle Road Race
27 December 2015
Rio Marathon Olympics hopeful Paul Pollock comfortably defended his title at the big weekend's 30th Greencastle 5 Mile Road Race which was held in almost perfect conditions.
The 29 year old Holywood man was the first of over 1,000 finishers in a time of 24 mins 24 secs which was close to his record breaking run of 24.07 a year ago. He had nearly a minute to spare over runner up Scott Rankin of Finn Valley who improved on last year's 5th place with a time of 25.21.
At the recent European Cross Country in France Paul made it clear that Greencastle featured in his plans on route to the World Half Marathon in Cardiff next March to be followed by the critically important London Marathon in April. In London the Annadale man must finish in a faster time than 2 hrs 15 mins 35 secs held by Raheny's Mick Clohisey, which is the 3rd quickest on the current top Irish Marathon list. Paul's best is an agonising 3 secs slower but only the top 3 will be selected for the Rio Olympics.
Paul is however confident he can make the squad if injury free with Cardiff acting as an important guide as to his form. He feels that he can recover from London in time for Rio 4 months later as he achieved this feat two years ago on route to the World Marathon in Moscow.
At Greencastle Ben Branagh of St Malachy's took 3rd spot in 25.50 ahead of Andrew Annett of North Belfast (26.21) and City of Derry's Brendan Murphy (26.38).
In the Women's race Letterkenny's Anne Marie McGlynn continued her purple patch with another record breaking run of 28 mins dead, which took 12 secs off Maria McCambridge's course record. This ensured an impressive overall 14th place for 34 year old Anne Marie and left her to reflect again on what might have been had she not lost a shoe in the Irish Trials thereby failing to qualify for the European Cross Country.
Heather Foley took the runner up spot nearly 2 mins further back in 29.55 followed by Karen Alexander of Acorns (31.26) and Judith Lonnen of City of Derry (31.37).