Belfast Marathon winner Paul Pollock has another great story to tell his growing family after his win on home turf on Sunday (May 1) nearly didn’t happen.

The two-time Olympian was going to pull out of the race after his heavily pregnant partner Sophie thought baby number two was going to make an appearance on Saturday’s (April 30) due date.

But with baby deciding to keep the expectant parents waiting a while longer the Holywood runner, 35, was able to compete and clinch the win with his time of two hours, 16 minutes, and 15 seconds. And as well as adding another medal to the trophy cabinet he also has quite the story to tell his newborn when the baby finally arrives.

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster’s Sportsound Extra Time after the race Paul said: “To win a marathon is fantastic.

“I live about a mile away from the finishing line and to have all my family and friends there was an absolutely fantastic feeling.

“I was in a lot of pain going up the Ormeau Road at 24 or 25 miles, but you still think of those people who have supported you and got you there.

“Coming down the Ravenhill Road in the last mile, it was just ‘get home, get the head down’ and crossing the finish line with all the support really was a fantastic feeling.

“There are plenty of pubs on the Ormeau Road anyway and it was great to see so many people out and about pretty much all the way up the hill.

“It was fantastic support and I think a lot of people realised I was from Belfast, and it was great they cheered me the whole way round.”

Paul Pollock with family

Pictured with Belfast Marathon 2022 winner Paul Pollock is his partner Sophie and their two-year-old son Theo

Sophie and the couple’s two-year-old son Theo were among family members and friends supporting him at various spots throughout the difficult Belfast course.

Paul added: “They actually ran down the finish line as well so if anyone saw a heavily pregnant woman running with a pram and a two-year-old towards the finish that was Sophie and Theo.”

The doctor’s win in Belfast marked a return to form after a nasty chest infection forced him to drop out of the Rotterdam Marathon just three weeks before at 30kms.

Paul is currently supported by Sport NI’s Performance Environment Transition Programme that is funded thanks to National Lottery players.

And among those to congratulate the athlete on his latest win is Sport NI Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown.

She said: “Congratulations to Paul on his Belfast Marathon win. Such a fantastic sporting achievement made all, the more remarkable considering he was coming back from such a recent illness. It is great to be able to celebrate a homegrown Belfast Marathon winner that demonstrated talent and determination of a true champion during his performance. Paul is an excellent example of the power of sport and what can be achieved with the help of the correct funding, coaching, and sporting system in place.

“We wish Paul and his partner Sophie all the best for their overdue arrival, which will top off a momentous week. Hopefully, Paul will get a chance to recharge before baby arrives!”

The Co Down athlete hasn’t ruled out racing the distance again in the coming weeks to attempt to qualify for one of this year’s major championships.

He told BBC Radio Ulster’s Sportsound Extra Time: “The championship qualifying window doesn’t close for another six to eight weeks.

“My fitness hasn’t changed that much but obviously you still need to recover from the effort of yesterday (the Belfast Marathon).

“We’ll wait and see how I feel in a week or two, but it all depends how things go with family first of all.”