After Moscow, Paul aims for a stroll in Bangor
World Championship marathon runner Paul Pollock makes a welcome return home this Saturday to defend his title in the big Bangor Borough Council-sponsored 10k event.
Last month in Moscow, the 27-year old Belfast doctor produced one of the most outstanding runs ever by an an Irish marathon runner to finish 21st in a 70-strong field in a time of 2 hrs 16 mins 42 secs, just 12 seconds outside his personal best.
Pollock achieved this in 30 degree temperatures and crossed the line as the second European finisher ahead of many world class athletes with faster times.
The Holywood man, who has now taken a career break from his doctor duties, should have little difficulty securing his fifth Bangor title this weekend.
Last year he won by 80 seconds from Joe McAlister of St Malachy's, who is currently injured. Pollock recently recorded a good time of 31 mins in the Middlesborough 10k as part of a long-term build objective to compete in next year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games 10,000m followed by the European Marathon in Zurich.
Annadale's Eddie McGinley, who was second in this week's Belfast Half Marathon, is undecided about racing in Bangor. In the event of both his absence and that of Irish 10k champion Steven Scullion, who is altitude training, the runner-up spot should go to Brendan Teer of East Down who was third last year.
Dromore's Julie Turley is a late entry in the Women's race and starts as odds-on favourite to take the £400 first prize.
In her only previous race this year the 35-year-old narrowly failed to successfully defend her Titanic 10k title when she just lost to Tullamore's Pauline Curley.
Behind her there could again be a battle between North Down pair Jessica Craig and Julie Balmer who were second and third respectively a year ago.
The event has again attracted a huge entry of over 800 runners, with the action getting under way at 11am in Castle Park, and entries accepted on the day at the Marquis Hall.