HIS was the first name picked out by organisers pre-race as a contender for the title and among those most likely to break the 30-minute mark.
And Kent AC’s Paul Pollock proved their judgement was spot on by taking first place, winning in 29min 42sec in a thrilling sprint finish ahead of Luke Caldwell and Scott Overall.
He said he was delighted to have come out on top in such a strong field.
“It just so happened that everyone targeted this race – it was the first big race of 2016,” said 29-year-old Pollock.
“I knew there would be tough competition and the wind definitely didn’t help.
“After the first 2k I think we all realised the wind was strong to fight and there was a group of about nine or 10 of us until about 7k and then Scott Overall got about a 100m gap on me with Luke Caldwell.
“I knew there was 2k to go and I slowly caught them and with about half a kilometre to go passed them, and then we had the sprint finish at the end. I’m very happy to have won it.
“It’s my first time here but it’s a beautiful course and it’s been a beautiful day. Although it was windy the sun was out and there was a great atmosphere around the place. It’s defintely one to consider coming back for.”
Pollock said he was not too fazed when he saw how many elite runners there were on the start line.
“I think everyone looked at the course record of 29.02 and thought it must be a fast course. Everyone came here thinking it was a good course, and when you get three or four good runners it attracts more of them. And there were nine or ten guys who were all very capable of breaking 30 minutes.
“It’s ended up being a good race and a good day out for everyone.”
Pollock is in the throse of marathong training and is looking forward to his ‘big race’ - the London Marathon in April which could lead to qualification for the Olympics in Rio.
Before then he will run the Wokingham half marathon which can put him into the world half marathon in Cardiff.
He added: “Fingers crossed I will be back for the Chi 10k next year. It’s a good time of year for a 10k for me.”
See full race coverage in the Chichester Observer - out on Thursday. This includes a full list of finishers and their chip times
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