Paul Pollock - back to a hero’s welcome from the Olympic - , scored a scintillating victory in the Bangor Aurora Classic 10k road race.
The event also sponsored by North Down and Ards Borough Council and promoted by North Down AC attracted a field of 700 in windy conditions.
Pollock made his intentions clear from the start as he blasted straight into the lead. He moved into the town centre with only Waterside winner Freddy Sittuk for company with Laganside champion Mark McKinstry chasing hard.
At half distance it was Pollock by 8 seconds from Sittuk with McKinstry 43 seconds back ahead of last year’s runner-up Lindsay Gordon, brilliant junior Craig McMeechan, David O’Flaherty and Dennis Scott.
Laura Graham had already taken control of the ladies race passing half way 40 seconds before Cathy McCourt with Jodi Smith, Yvonne McCauley, last year’s third placer Rachel Gibson and Katie Moore next.
It was now a demonstration run by Pollock as he turned on the outskirts of Groomsport and headed to the finish in Ward Park. He came home to a great reception in 30 minutes 40 impressive running in the conditions.
Sittuk was second with McKinstry holding third ahead of the talented McMeechan, Gordon, O’Flaherty, Scott and defending champion Francis Marsh. Conor Curran, Ben Caughers and Jamie McMeechan came next with North Down having five of the top 11.
Laura Graham crossed the line in 37:02. Cathy McCourt and Jodi Smith claimed the other rostrum positions.
Katie Moore, Rachel Gibson, Yvonne McCauley, Paula McAllister and Debbie Matchett making up the top eight.
Jack Agnew improved on last year’s second to win the wheelchairs in a speedy 27:41. The nominated charity was Macmillan Cancer Support.
One competitor Christine Wilkinson had raised over £3,500 for charity while in training for the event.