Bodkin takes step up in distance in his stride

IT POURED down on the L’Eree start line but the sun was shining on Will Bodkin at the Town front finish yesterday as his milestone 2020 season continued with an impressive victory in the Butterfield Half Marathon.

From 1500m through to 13.1 miles, Bodkin is in the form of his life, the product of Bob Carre’s old GIAAC Colts section finally realising his vast potential and showing his best more than 20 years after he started racing as an under nine.

How appropriate then that Bob Carre’s Sunday morning dog walk around the Bridge should coincide with the sight of one of his proteges – and there are many in the Guernsey Athletics ranks – burning up the roads and heading to a fine personal best winning time of 72min. 35sec.

Bodkin, who never looked like surrendering the advantage he built from early on, was strong throughout, posting low 5min. 30sec. splits that runner-up Nick Mann, who also ran a significant PB, could not eat into.

‘I’ve got so much to owe to him,’ said the champion in reference to Carre at the finish where he was as fresh as the proverbial daisy.

Bodkin, making his competitive debut over the distance, said his Sunday 14-mile runs had given him the confidence that the distance was not a significant handicap, despite being predominantly a middle-distance specialist.

‘I was hoping to get under 73 minutes so I’m pretty chuffed.

‘I had a bit of a wobble around mile six, when it started hurting and with seven miles to go mentally it’s a bit degrading. But you just have to hang in there and keep clicking out the miles.’

Jenny James crossed the finish line in 14th overall, with a women’s category winning effort of 82-43.

Exactly four minutes back of her was Rosie Williams, while completing the top three ladies was Liz Dudin with former Guernsey marathon champion Ulrike Maisch fourth and Mel Nicolle in fifth.

  • More in Monday's Guernsey Press.

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