Southerns champion Bain among Guernsey challengers at Hampshire Championships

KATE BAIN will line up at this weekend’s Hampshire Track and Field Championships with a certain spring in her stride.

Kate Bain heads to the Hampshire Championships this weekend as a South of England U17 champion. (Picture by Martin Gray, 29817268)
Kate Bain heads to the Hampshire Championships this weekend as a South of England U17 champion. (Picture by Martin Gray, 29817268)

The young 800m specialist is now a South of England U17 champion for her favourite distance, having made light work of the opposition at Kingston upon Thames last Sunday in her first off-island competition since July 2019. That also happened to be her 16th birthday.

Attaining a regional title is a feat that even her elder brother Chris, Guernsey’s No. 1 half-miler, has not yet realised.

But the younger Bain sibling continued her own rise to prominence as Guernsey’s top female 800m runner when she broke away at the bell in Kingston, clocking 2min. 18.70sec. to win from Katie Savage (2-21.40) and Kezia Beeton (2-23.65).

After losing several focuses such as the English Schools to the Covid pandemic, Bain was overjoyed simply to be competing off-island.

‘It’s great to finally be able to compete in the UK again, as it’s been two years due to growth-related injuries as well as the border restrictions,’ said a runner who has superseded Katie Rowe as the Guernsey U17 women’s 800m record holder, having posted 2-14.70 in June.

‘I’m really grateful for the work my coach Alun Williams has put in, which has meant that I’ve been able to post good times consistently over the 800m this year, so I felt confident going into the race.

‘The aim was to focus on the race strategy rather than the time, but my PB of 2-14 definitely helped me to kick in the last 100m, something I have been working on particularly through sprint training with Tom Druce.

‘I really enjoyed the experience and I look forward to competing in the Hampshire County Championships.’

This weekend’s outing at Portsmouth’s Mountbatten Centre will be Guernsey Athletics Club’s first significant group trip of the pandemic.

Although it appears to be a step down from Bain’s regional triumph, she can expect an extra push from several youngsters who missed the ‘Southerns’, including the strong Portsmouth locals.

Gian-Luca Robilliard completes Guernsey’s double challenge over the U17 800m races, being a sub 1-57 runner, and he is also contesting the 1,500m.

But Guernsey will send a small and largely senior contingent this year, including the return of former mile star Richard Bartram, who races the 5,000m having defied long-term injury to break 16min. for the first time earlier this month.

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