Belfast Telegraph

Below-par Paul looking on the bright side after pain in Spain

 

By Brian Hill

It was a testing weekend for five Northern Ireland athletes competing in the World Half Marathon in Valencia.

Annadale's Paul Pollock and Kevin Seaward of St Malachy's were the first Irish finishers in 77th and 85th places respectively. Paul's time of 64 mins 29 secs was some way short of his personal best of 62.10 set in this event in 2014. Kevin ran 64.56 which was just short of his PB.

Belfast's Stephen Scullion was 92nd with 65.19 followed by Ireland's Sergiu Ciobanu in 101st with 66.19. Kenya's Goeffrey Kamworor completed a hat-trick of victories with a time of 60.02.

Holywood's Pollock, whose recent performances have been somewhat short of his best, said: "The event was a real grind. When you come in at this level not 100% you always get found out. It was a fun experience but disappointing result."

Pollock and Seaward are now en route to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where they will compete in the marathon.

The Irish women's team was led home by DSD's Lizzie Lee in 46th place with a PB time of 73.19. The 37-year-old Rio Olympian was followed by DSD's Clare McCarthy who was 57th in another huge PB of 74.20 .

Laura Graham of Mourne Runners was 78th with 76.27. The multi marathon winner would have been disappointed not to have finished closer to her team-mates, especially following her recent PB of 75.15 .

Laura was one second ahead of DSD's Laura Shaughnessy in 79th place with Armagh's Fionnuala Ross in 82nd with a season's best of 76.53. The race was won by Kenya's Netsanet Kebede with a world record of 66.11.

At home, Rio Olympian Breege Connolly took the honours in the Larne half marathon women's race with a time of 77 mins 52 secs. She was followed by Raheny's Fiona Stack (81.13) and Karen Alexander (82.03 ).

The men's race was won by City of Derry's Mark Long with 69 mins 22 secs.

Foyle's Keith Shiels was second in 69.57 with Willowfield's Neill Weir third in 71.49.

Belfast Telegraph

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