Mo Farah wins Antrim Coast Half Marathon but misses British record
Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah won the Antrim Coast Half Marathon held on Northern Ireland’s scenic coastline.
Farah followed up last week’s one-hour world record run in Brussels on his return to the track with another impressive display on Saturday.
He stretched clear in the closing stages of the race to claim victory in one hour 27 seconds.
The 37-year-old finished 12 seconds ahead of Marc Scott, with Ben Connor a further 16 seconds back in third.
Belfast’s Stephen Scullion thrilled the home fans with a superb race in fourth, posting a Northern Ireland record of 61:08.
Tommy Hughes broke the over-60s world record by four seconds as he finished in 71:26.
Scullion sets early pace
The race began in perfect conditions in Larne as the competitors enjoyed good running conditions.
It was hoped Farah could eclipse his own British half marathon record of 59:32, but he had to settle for the win against a high-class field.
At the start Scullion was at the head of proceedings alongside Farah and they went through the two-mile mark at about 9mins 35secs.
As they reached the Glenarm Road Scullion remained narrowly in front of a closely knit bunch including Farah, Scott and Connor.
Through the four-mile mark the runners were clocking a 4:45/min average mile, following what was the hardest section of the course featuring an uphill climb.
Approaching the Black Arch a group of four had stretched clear, with Farah leading Connor, Scott and Scullion.
Halfway in just over 30 minutes
The leaders passed halfway at 30:18, with the second part of the race promising an even faster times because of the downhill sections.
The leading packed continued to switch position, with Scott forging to the front with Farah and Connor in close contention and home favourite Scullion about four seconds behind.
The pace started to wind up with three miles remaining, and Scott tried to press ahead with Farah in close pursuit.
With 1km to go Farah made his move, easing clear of Scott, and he kept up the pace to claim the win.
Scott (60:39) came in second in what was his first competitive half marathon, with Connor third in a time of 60:35.
Partridge breaks NI record
Meanwhile, in the women’s race the top three all broke the Northern Ireland all-comers’ record.
Lily Partridge claimed the win with an impressive time of 71:36, followed home by Sam Harrison (71:59) and Clara Evans (72:22). – bbc.com