Roe debuts at second on island all-time list

HALF-MARATHON debutante Sarah Roe strode right into second on Guernsey’s all-time list for the distance last Sunday.

Sarah Roe. (Picture supplied by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31899795)
Sarah Roe. (Picture supplied by Andrew Le Poidevin, 31899795)

With under three weeks left to lay down qualifying marks for the longest athletics event at the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games, the two-time Commonwealth Games track runner produced an A standard of 79min. 49sec. at the Surrey Half-Marathon.

This eyebrow-raising debut backs up her victory at last month’s Imperial 10 Miler, confirming her as a strong probability for the women’s ‘half’ team at the home Games.

‘The time was faster than I expected going into it, so I was very happy with how it went,’ said a runner who had set the half-marathon as her main target for Guernsey 2023 but has not ruled out her former focuses of 5,000m and 10,000m.

‘Obviously there’s a high level of competition for places in the half-marathon team for the Island Games, which is really exciting for us ahead of a home Games.

‘I wanted to put myself in as best position as I could ahead of the selection deadline.’

Louise Perrio retains her throne as Guernsey record holder, having run 78-12 at the 2018 Manchester Half-Marathon.

But the status quo in Guernsey women’s half-marathon running has changed massively since then – and Roe was not the only stand-out performer last weekend.

The London-based Megan Chapple moved to third in Guernsey’s all-time list by posting 80-29 at the Paddock Wood Half.

In the same race, Ulrike Maisch prompted further revisions to the rankings by clocking 82-37 – making her Guernsey’s seventh fastest of all time.

Fellow Paddock Wood competitor Jenny James came close to her own PB with 83-00.

On domestic soil, Rick Weston took the honours in Guernsey Athletics Club’s traditional five-mile road race from Rocque Balan to North Beach.

The adopted Guernseyman is juggling his own Island Games ambitions with marathon training but showed his class when, after running 16 miles to the start, he led the way round the headwind-buffeted course in 27min. 29sec.

Triathlete Chris Norman pushed him right until the last mile and earned runner-up just 20sec. behind. This follows his victory at the previous weekend’s season-opening Rocqaine Duathlon.

Veteran Matt Jamieson underlined his improvement with a cracking run for third, posting 27-52, as Carl Holden ducked under 28min. in fourth and Andrew Zabiela completed the top five.

Another fairly recent arrival to Guernsey, Susie Armstrong dominated the women’s race in 31-41 for her first major victory on local soil.

Veterans Colette Jackson and Michaela Gallienne topped off the women’s podium positions.

Distance.gg’s Church-to-Church run, consisting of 19.3 miles over a hilly course, provided an alternative focus for some targeting upcoming marathons.

Jamie Ingrouille and Rosie Williams enriched their Guernsey Marathon preparations by taking top honours, with the former covering most of the distance alongside runner-up Clint King.

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