So for the last few years I have been wanting to race in the Jersey Marathon, due to other commitments I have not been able to enter. This year was different, I knew I was home but after racing Ironman Wales a few weeks back wasn’t expecting an exceptional time.
Its my first season stepping up to these distances so the goal of the season was to learn, learn and learn some more. It has been a fun, stress free year and hopefully I have learnt something!
The weather leading up to the race was pretty awful and the day before was just terrible. Somehow we were lucky enough to be greeted with cool temperatures and hardly any wind until later on in to the race. With over 600 entrants and lots of relay teams it was the biggest race so far in the history of the event. Having a home crowd was exciting and the support around the course was fantastic.
The course itself is a one lap loop that winds its way through some of Jerseys green lanes which if you don’t know have a 15mph speed limit. With plenty of the famous Jersey cows out on the course it makes for a lovely scenic run. If you are looking for a super fast course this isn’t the one for you, with quite a few hills and turns its not fast but if you are looking for a course that’s challenging with a great crowds then you should enter now for next year. With the added bonus of it being a short flight from the UK you can make a weekend of it and come and enjoy some of the rich history, amazing seafood restaurants and Island life that Jersey has to offer.
So this year the race attracted a number of good runners with the likes of Tomas Abyu racing, it was always going to be a challenge to get on the podium. The prize money is a key factor and with £2000 up for 1st place, it will be quite some time before a Jersey runner wins the event.
The race started quite slowly for the first 1k before one of the Polish visitors decided to up the speed. I let them go, knowing Brett would lay in to me if I popped at half way. I worked well with a guy aiming for a 2h45 and London marathon qualifying time. We could see one of the guys up front but just couldn’t quite chase him down. I went through half way in 1h17.0 and felt pretty good but at about 26k we turned in to a head wind on one of the more open parts of the course and it really affected my rhythm. Once we got back on to the old rail way walk it was a down hill run in to St Aubins bay which again had a horrible head wind for about the last 4 miles. At some points the gusts were so strong I was running at a funny angle. Tomas and the group were quite some way in front of me by then and he finished in a time of 2h24 smashing the previous course record of just under 2h30. I finished in 2h40.15. I was pleased, but also disappointed not to hit under the 40 mark. If I hadn’t stopped for a toilet break then I think that 2h39 was mine. Now, I just need to run that after a 180k bike!!!
I was first Jersey Bean, as we are known, across the finish line and finished 5th overall so I was quite pleased with that and won a lovely crystal decanter for being first Channel Islander and a Crystal fruit bowl for being first Jersey boy so all in all a bargain and Christmas presents all sorted. I think that might also be the fastest time for our small Island of runners so a little proud moment for me as a triathlete.