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Irish Olympian Martin Fagan came home in eighth place at the Healthy Kidney 10k race in New York’s Central Park Saturday, 57 seconds behind winner and new course record holder, Tadese Tola of Ethiopia.
On a rainy and muggy Saturday morning in New York City, the Irishman put in a decent run on a wet course, but was never in touch with the leaders at the end, finishing with 28:45 on the clock.
"I was pretty happy with it, it was a solid race after a long season. I had planned for this to be my last race before taking a break as I have been racing a lot," Fagan told IrishCentral after the race.
"I was a little tired, a little heavy, but I still ran pretty solid. There was a bunch of five guys sitting on me most of the way, and they just went by me at the end. I was a little disappointed in the end by that, but what can you do."
Conditions were dry at the start of the race but the sky soon opened up, and it poured down for the remainder of the race at the business end of the field. Fagan will take a couple of weeks break after this race to give his body a break.
"I have had a lot of injury problems in the last month or so. I just want to get them cleared off and get ready for the World Championships 10k, that is the long-term goal."
After resting, Fagan plans to return to Flagstaff, Arizona to continue preparations for the World Championship (to be held in Berlin during August), but he will leave his altitude training camp before the German meet.
"I think I am going to go down to sea level a month before the Worlds. It's very hard to get it right, some days you fell pretty bad coming down from altitude. I still haven’t got it right yet. I've had one or two races where I felt really ready, but today felt really sluggish. It's hit or miss coming down from altitude."
The winner of the race, Ethiopia's Tadese Tola, broke the course record by 20 seconds, clocking 27:48 for the 10k (6.2 mile) distance. In doing so, he picked up a check for $20,000, plus the $7,500 for first place.
Former winner Patrick Makau of Kenya came in second, 40 seconds behind, and his compatriot Boaz Cheboiywo placed third, a further three seconds behind.