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Paul Pollock is chasing glory on Copenhagen Half Marathon

By Brian Hill

Paul Pollock returns to the top level when he runs for Ireland in Saturday's World Half Marathon in Copenhagen.

Ireland will also be represented by Galway's Nicola Duncun.

This will be the second time in seven months Pollock has raced on the world stage.

An inspired Pollock had the race of his life in searing 35 degree heat in last August's World Athletics Championships marathon in Moscow, working his way from the rear of the field to cross the line as second European finisher in 2.16.42, only 10 seconds off his winning time in the Dublin Marathon the previous year.

Since then the 27-year-old from Hollywood, a doctor by profession, has embarked on a full-time running career based in Kent.

The move is paying dividends with a crushing victory in the Irish Inter Counties and a personal best 63.52 when third behind two Kenyans in the recent Bath Half Marathon.

Some 25,000 runners will be participating in Copenhagen and a top 20 finish is achievable for the Annadale athlete.

Eritrea's Zersenay Tadesse (32), who holds the world record of 58.23, is going for an unprecedented sixth title.

The event is important preparation for Pollock en route to a possible 10,000 metres tilt in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games this summer followed by the European Marathon in Zurich a few days later.

Pollock will be in action in next weekend's big Titanic 10k road race following a spell of warm weather training in the Algarve.

Favourite for the women's title in Copenhagen is former Great North Run winner Lucy Wangui Kabuu of Kenya whose 66.09 time from last year is the sixth fastest ever.

Duncan will do well if she repeats her recent PB of 71.12 from Barcelona.

Among the local action this weekend is the Omagh Half Marathon, walk and 5k fun run on Saturday.

See www.omaghharriers.co.uk for further information.

Belfast Telegraph

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