STRABANE athllete, Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC) recorded a significant personal best as a team of five represented Northern Ireland at the inaugural Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff on Sunday.
Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders/Andrew Hobdell), Andrew Annett (North Belfast Harriers), Eoghan Totten (Newcastle AC) and Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) also performed well at the event, which was incorporated within the popular Cardiff Half Marathon.
Olympian Paul Pollock led the team home in 1:04:05, securing 15th place in the quality field. Conor Bradley came through well on his 13.1 mile debut to claim 28th place in 1:07:31, before Eoghan Totten finished just over a minute outside his personal best when taking 34th place in 1:07:44. Kilkeel man Andrew Annett was agonisingly close to bettering his 1:09:21 best for the distance when he crossed the line in 1:09:29 (41st place).
Ann-Marie McGlynn then completed a good race for the Northern Ireland team with the performance of the day. The Letterkenny AC star, who is the current NI and Ulster Half Marathon Champion, slashed 40 seconds off her personal best to claim a top ten finish in 1:13:47 (9th place).
Director of coaching and athlete development at Athletics NI, Jackie Newton, said “To represent Northern Ireland in the inaugural Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships was a great honour and a fabulous experience for our athletes who all performed at their best or very close to it.
“Every member of this team made the most of the opportunity by preparing immaculately towards selection and then on to the event itself."
"I would like to thank them and their coaches for their commitment and professionalism. The team gelled extremely well together; they supported each other and also learnt from each other and this demonstrates how important it is that we have these competitions in the calendar. I would like to thank our friends at Run 4 Wales for providing this initiative, hosting the event and for their exceptionally warm welcome.”
There was also a strong outing for City of Derry AC athlete Declan Reed at the event – the in-form Spartan crossed the line in 1:07:33, a new personal best.
Australian athlete Jack Rayner won the men’s race in 1:01:01 (first place), while Juliet Chekwel (Uganda) claimed the ladies title in 1:09:45 (first place).