Local athletics meeting first in the British Isles
GUERNSEY’S competitive track and field scene will spring back into life – beating the rest of the British Isles to do so – this coming Sunday.
Footes Lane will host the British Isles’ first such meet of a coronavirus-stricken 2020 and Guernsey Athletics have planned diligently around the States’ phase four regulations.
The multiple 100m races provide the major attraction as, alongside ‘Guernsey’s fastest man’ Josh Allaway making his return, 19-year-old Abi Galpin will be seeking to build upon her impeccable indoors form.
This follows an excellent showing in January when Galpin ran 7.74sec. over 60m to become Guernsey’s second-fastest ever female sprinter for the shorter distance.
‘I’m really excited to get out there and start my season,’ said the Bath University student.
‘Things have been going very well in training despite the lockdown, and particularly now we can train on the track properly.
‘My main goal for the season is to break the island 200m record – however, it will be fun to go and race over 100m first and particularly knowing that I will be UK number one if I win the race, it’s obviously odd circumstances, but I’ll take it.
‘I think we are extremely fortunate to be in this situation – being in the first meet in Britain and perhaps even in Europe.’
Allaway can still claim to be the fastest Guernseyman ever – though not the official record holder – courtesy of his wind-assisted 10.55 run in 2017.
Following a stint working in Mauritius, he has returned to training and will headline the men’s field from Sam Wallbridge, stepping down from his usual 400m hurdles distance.
Island hammer record holder Sia Banbury heads a strong throws field that also features leading javelin thrower James Bougourd.
An 800m is also scheduled and, given the current circumstances, athletes will be required to stay in-lane for the whole distance.
Athletics development officer Tom Druce expects, even with restrictions on under-18s athletes and endurance events, a meet of great significance.
‘Not only will it be the first event to take place in the British Isles, but of course it is the first meet to take place on the newly refurbished track.’