Northern Ireland’s Laura Graham smashed her personal best to finish 12th at the Vitality Big Half on Sunday (March 4).
Irish marathon champion Graham took a huge slice of her PB over 13.1 miles with a time of 75:15 to finish 12th amongst an elite field on the streets of London.
The time knocked well over 90 seconds off her previous best of 76.59 set at the Larne Half Marathon in March 2017.
The Mourne Runners athlete came through the 5k in 17:18, before 35:04 at the 10k split. By the 20k mark, she ran 61:27 before crossing the line in 75:15.
The 31-year-old had been intending to run the Bath Half Marathon but after it was cancelled due to the recent weather, organisers in London accommodated her with a place at Sunday’s Big Half.
Graham is the current top-ranked Irish female marathon runner with a time of 2:37.05 from Berlin last September.
However, her time was just 15 seconds off the qualifying standard for the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia later this month.
In the men’s race, David Flynn of Clonliffe Harriers finished 27th in 69:38.
Women’s race winner was Charlotte Purdue in a new personal best time of 70:29. Second was Lily Partridge in 71:06, with Charlotte Arter finishing third in 71:35.
While Mo Farah won the men’s race in 61:40, with London Marathon champion Daniel Wanjiru second in 61:43 and Scotland’s Callum Hawkins third in 61:45. A full race report of both the men and women’s races can be found here.
Not all Irish fixtures were scratched and at the Carmen Runners 10km, Keith Shiels of Foyle Valley AC led home an entry of about 150 in 32 mins 40 secs.
First woman and third overall was Anne Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC in an excellent time of 34:39.
Also going ahead was the Lusk 4-mile, with Irish international Kevin Dooney of Raheny Shamrock the winner by over two minutes in 19 mins 10 secs.
Dooney who features in the ‘class of 2018‘ was followed in second by Sean Doran of Clonliffe Harriers in 21.13. First woman and first junior was Ailish Murtagh of Raheny Shamrock in 24.06. A total of 440 finished the race.