Paul Pollock produced the run of his life as he finished 14th at the World Half Marathon Championship in Cardiff.
Britain's Mo Farah, who took bronze, was the only European to finish ahead of Pollock, 29, as Africans dominated.
Kenya's defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor took gold in 59 minutes and 10 seconds as he finished 26 seconds ahead of his compatriot Bedan Karoki.
Pollock's time of 62:46 was 37 seconds outside his personal best set in 2014 but still represented a superb run.
The athletes had to endure gusting winds and heavy rain in the Welsh capital, with the conditions particularly inclement in the closing stages.
Pollock was using the run as preparation for his London Marathon challenge next month.
Medical doctor Pollock has already achieved an Olympic Marathon qualifying time but three other Irishmen are faster on the clock so the county Down man will run in London with the aim of improving on his personal best of 2:15.38 set at last year's Berlin Marathon.
On the evidence of his superb run on Saturday, Pollock looks in shape to secure his Olympic qualification in London.
"It was horrible conditions out there. I went out hard, a 4:28 first mile and I was hanging on from then on," said Pollock.
"The marathon will be is a different ball game, but I'm in great shape."
Belfast runner Kevin Seaward, currently the fastest of the Irish marathon qualifiers, finished 41st in Saturday's race in 65:23.
Seaward was just behind another Northern Irishman Thomas Frazer who clocked 65:20.
Sergiu Ciobanu, currently the third fastest of Ireland's Olympic Marathon qualifiers, was 50th in 66:30 as the Irish finished seventh in the team event.
Winner Kamworor recovered from falling heavily right at the start of the race to take a dominant victory as he broke clear of runner-up Muchiri in the closing mile.
After failing to keep pace with the two leaders, Olympic and world 5,000m and 10,000m champion Farah produced a strong closing sprint to hold off Ethiopia's Abayneh Ayele for the bronze medal.
Pollock finished five seconds ahead of second Briton Callum Hawkins who was 15th with Spain's Ayad Lamdassem the next European finisher in 18th spot.
In the women's race, Lizzie Lee finished 52nd in 75:36 in a race also run in dreadful conditions.