Strong Guernsey team revealed for Island Games half marathon
The home half-marathon squad for the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games has been unveiled.
Steve Dawes and Sarah Roe lead the list of six competitors who feature in the ‘half’ squad, which is the first tranche of athletics competitors to be announced.
James Priest and Sammy Galpin complete a strong men’s team, while Nat Whitty and Ulrike Maisch top off an experienced women’s line-up that team manager Tom Druce is particularly impressed by.
‘I am happy they are both extremely strong line-ups,’ Druce said.
‘The women’s is probably the strongest team we have put out in an Island Games. That’s really exciting for us.
‘Sarah and Steve are the leading athletes and they have got a great chance of competing for individual podiums.’
Dawes will be bringing his Games career full circle having competed at Guernsey 2003, while Roe has competed in every edition since 2009 and is the current champion over 5,000m and 10,000m.
The committee has selected the half marathon team before the rest of the squad to help the athletes prepare for the 13.1-mile event, which takes place over a Town seafront course on Friday 14 July.
This selection announcement follows a recent qualifying frenzy, particularly on the women’s side with Roe, Whitty and 2006 European marathon champion Maisch all excelling in recent weeks and displacing several other highly capable runners.
Young Galpin has earned his Games debut, with Priest also forcing his way into a squad where veteran Dawes appeared to be the only sure-fire pick.
This depth will naturally give both genders strong team medal prospects.
‘The fact we have got such depth in this event made it difficult,’ Druce added.
‘Things are really going in the right direction. It puts us in a really good position for those six to go on and hopefully have a great race at the end of the week.’