Forgetful Dawes ends up on right route to victory

STEVE DAWES overcame a little off-road racing rust to taste victory in round two of the FNB Cross-Country League.

This comes as, having initially looked beyond January’s Hampshire Cross-Country Championships, he has now committed to helping Guernsey’s medal push at the annual spectacle.

The veteran showed his worth on Saturday by beating James Priest and Thierry Le Cheminant in a four-mile contest around a wet and windswept Delancey – even though it was far from a spotless race.

‘Can you forget how to run cross-country?’ he quipped to his followers on athlete social network Strava afterwards, having missed the season opener at L’Ancresse.

The earliest mishap actually came from 17-year-old Le Cheminant, who took a minor tumble while pushing the pace deep into the first of four one-mile laps.

But Dawes then had the one-two punch of going slightly the wrong way, cancelling out Le Cheminant’s fall, and then suffering his own slip early in the second lap.

Priest had managed to reel them in and even led for a while, with Le Cheminant relegated to hanging on at that stage, but Dawes pulled away with just over a lap left and went on to win in 23min. 13sec. Priest followed 25sec. later.

‘It was a good race in terms of positions changing and us all being in the mix for a while,’ the winner said.

Dawes initially had his sights on the Seville Marathon in February, but he has since opted out to focus on other goals including the Island Games.

‘I thought I may as well do Hampshire,’ he added of an event which he has previously won multiple times.

‘Whether I am in in shape or not, it will be good to do Hampshire again.

‘I may as well go and help the team, and help a strong team.’

Le Cheminant completed the podium in 23-54, not too far clear of rivalling U20 Jack Le Tissier, who clocked 24-06.

Veteran Pete Amy just held off junior 800m star Gian-Luca Robilliard for fifth.

Among the women, Nat Whitty enjoyed a relatively straightforward path to her second win of the series.

Natalie Whitty made it two wins from two in the women’s race. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 31512852)

Also a Hampshire probable, she underlined her status as Guernsey’s current top female distance runner and took 10th overall in 25-19.

That is arguably even more impressive given that she has barely rested this month, with the race falling on day 26 of her Run Through November Challenge to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer after losing her mum to the condition.

Commonwealth Games athlete Sarah Roe again provided the main opposition but never truly tested her, having moved through the field to finish 15th in 25-53.

Nix Petit had a solid race to match her season-opening position of third, clocking 26-55, while veteran Ulrike Maisch finished just outside the podium.

In the three-lap race for juniors and those expecting to be in the lower divisions, juniors Thomas Merrien (18-55) and Darcey Hodgson (20-52) were the top boy and girl respectively.

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News