ATHLETICS: Paul Pollock surges to impressive victory at 30th Greencastle 5 Miles Road Race

It was another busy week on the Limerick athletics scene
It was another busy week on the Limerick athletics scene

Paul Pollock showed his international pedigree as he retained his title in the 30th Greencastle 5 Miles Road Race in County Tyrone.

There were more than 1000 athletes in the event which was sponsored by local businesses with a dramatic fireworks display as they set off.

Pollock went straight to the front from the gun. The Olympic marathon hopefully looked full of running as he came to the first mile with Scott Rankin, Ben Branagh, Andrew Annett, Brendan Murphy and Gerard Heaney trying to stay in touch.

It was all Pollock by halfway and he came to the big hill in the fourth mile absolutely on his own. The record which he set last year looked to be under threat but with no pressure he came to the down hill finish in 24:24 just seventeen seconds outside.

Scott Rankin had his best ever result in this race in runner-up position. Ben Branagh was an impressive third with Annett, Murphy and Heaney all running well to complete the top six.

There was record-breaking in the Ladies race.

The event had been billed as a confrontation between Ann-Marie McGlynn and Maria McCambridge but with McCambridge a late withdrawal with injury McGlynn started red hot favourite.

The Letterkenny athlete, so unlucky to lose a shoe in the national cross country, was determined to follow up her Seeley Cup success and also had her eyes on Maria’s course record of 28:18.

She was inspired and the record was definitely on as she blasted through halfway well clear of defending champion Heather Foley with Karen Alexander looking good in third.

The advantage increased all the way with only a handful of men ahead as she crossed the line to a great welcome from the big crowd in new figures of 27:58.

Heather Foley ran really well to hold second with Karen Alexander third.

Paul Hannon took the wheelchairs from Karol Doherty. Commonwealth boxing champion Paddy Barnes was a great hit with everyone as he pushed Dermot Devlin round in third place in aid of the nomination charity NI Kidney Research.

The awards were handed over by Tyrone Football Manager Micky Harte.