Dawes targets Games swansong next year

STEVE DAWES is trying to go the full circle as an Island Games athlete.

Guernsey's Steve Dawes was first V40 in the Edinburgh Half Marathon. (30878091)
Guernsey's Steve Dawes was first V40 in the Edinburgh Half Marathon. (30878091)

Following an outstanding run at the Edinburgh Half Marathon, the quality veteran has admitted to targeting the Guernsey 2023 NatWest Island Games – 20 years after debuting on home soil and 12 after his last, as an athlete at least.

After competing at Isle of Wight 2011 and stepping aside from athletics before Bermuda 2013, he raced in Jersey 2015 as a cyclist.

Dawes’ return to athletics over the winter intrigued many in the local running community, but he has kept his ambitions close to his chest – until now.

He posted an Island Games A standard of 68min. 10sec. for ninth overall and first V40 in Edinburgh, finishing just 21sec. down on his personal best from 2010 to further underline his return to top form.

Even after coming close to his 5km and 10km PBs over Easter, that result defied his expectations.

‘The target before Easter was a sub-70min. clocking, but then after the Easter runs I felt that maybe mid 68-69 was possible because I was always a bit better at “half” than 5 and 10k,’ he said.

‘So I did some specific half pace/predictor type workouts at around 68-30 pace. Some of the workouts made it feel achievable and others, it felt like a bit of a stretch.

‘I figured that tapered on a good day, 68-30 to 69-00 could happen, but I would not have put money on it – that’s for sure.

‘So overall, I’m very happy with the time and it has helped make my mind up that I’d really like to try and make the Guernsey Games team as my final Games.’

He was in healthy company from other Guernsey athletes in Edinburgh, with Nick Mann (77-00) otherwise best of the Sarnian men as Abbie Swain (98-01, PB) took domestic women’s honours.

Over in Manchester, Gian-Luca Robilliard impressed over the shorter and sharper 800m distance.

The teenager claimed a marginal PB of 1-56.72 at the BMC SportCity Grand Prix after a very swift opening lap, becoming the first Guernsey man to post an A standard for the distance this cycle. Training ally Jack Le Tissier clocked 2-01.28.

Kate Bain claimed a women’s A standard with her 800m season opener, posting 2-15.82.

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