Lindie Naughton

What next for Paul Pollock of Annadale Striders and Letterkenny's Maria McCambridge after their victories at the Woodie's DIY National Half Marathon in Athenry?

Pollock ran the race of his life leaving Clonliffe pair, Gary O'Hanlon and Sergiu Ciobanu, and defending champion Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham WSAF to fight it out for the minor places. All of these are training for autumn marathons.

By contrast, Pollock is aiming to make the Irish team for the European Cross-County Championships next December and will also compete in the World Half-Marathon Championships next month in Bulgaria.

In the women's race, McCambridge was out on her own from the start and finished with two minutes to spare on the chasers in 75 mins 25 secs.

After her disappointment at missing out on the London Olympics despite getting the A standard, McCambridge has returned to her Dublin base after a few years in Donegal and is clearly an athlete on a mission. Her form this year has been impressive -- she smashed the women's record for the Ballycotton '10' last March when she ran 54 mins 48 secs, and recently confirmed that form when she ran 55 mins 10 secs to win the Frank Duffy '10'.

In Athenry, her time was of 75 mins 25 secs, outside her best of 73 mins 49 secs from last year's Great North Run, but there is little doubt that she is the distance runner in form at the moment.

Donore's Barbara Cleary and Barbara Sanchez of Raheny Shamrock were two minutes adrift as they battled it out for second in Athenry, with Cleary just edging it by 10 seconds and leading Donore to team victory, ahead of Raheny Shamrock and Clonliffe Harriers. Clonliffe took the men's title.


Meanwhile, the Marathon Mission roadshow has its last outing at the Donore Sports Centre on Saturday (11.0). Any decent club athlete (10km times of under 34 minutes for men and 39 minutes for women) committed to improving the standard of Irish distance running is welcome. The session will include a two-hour training session, so some prepared to work!

Finally, entry for the Dublin Half Marathon taking place on Saturday September 15 closed earlier this week when the entry reached 8,250. It augurs well for a record turn-out at the Dublin Marathon next month.