World Half Marathon: Irish athletes find going tough in Valencia

Paul Pollock (second from left) at the 2016 Olympic Games marathon in Rio
Paul Pollock (second from left) competed in Valencia

The 10 Irish athletes found the going predictably tough at the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia.

Paul Pollock, 14th in Cardiff two years ago, was the top Irishman but his time of 64 minutes and 29 seconds left him 77th overall.

Kevin Seaward, who like Pollock will run at the marathon at next month's Commonwealth Games, was 85th in 64:56 with Stephen Scullion (65:19) 92nd.

Sergio Ciobanu (66:19) was 101st with Kevin Dooney (72:14) in 135th spot.

The Irish women were led home by Lizzie Lee in 46th with a personal best performance of 73:19.

Claire McCarthy also ran a personal best in 57th with 74:20 with county Down woman Laura Graham 78th in 76:27, Laura Shaughnessy 79th in 76:28 and Armagh athlete Fionnuala Ross 82nd in 76:53.

Pollock, who has twice run under 63 minutes for the distance, described Saturday's event as a "real grind".

"When you come in at this level not 100% on your game, you always get found out. Fun experience but disappointing result. Onwards to Australia," said Pollock, who will join the Northern Ireland team in Australia on Monday.

Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor took his third title at the event as he won in 60:02 while Ethiopia's Netsanet Kebebe broke the world record for a women-only race to land the title in 66:11.

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