Guernsey Press

Men’s champion Morwood saves his best run for last

JOE MORWOOD finished this year’s EY Easter Running Festival with a flourish.

Men's overall champion Joe Morwood celebrates his success in the concluding 10km road race. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31993348)

The Aldershot athlete broke the tape at Easter Monday’s 10km road race to confirm his individual men’s title, while his famed wife Steph Twell took the overall women’s crown despite losing out to Elle Twentyman on the final morning.

The finale covered a coastal route from Grandes Rocques to the Bridge and came with a strong south-westerly wind, which aided runners most of the way at the cost of an even tougher last 2km.

Approaching halfway, the eventual winner still had the company of three Guernsey athletes – namely Dan Galpin, Steve Dawes and Alex Rowe.

But Morwood proved too strong from there, maintaining his pace staunchly to win in 31min. 20sec.

Galpin managed to hold on until around 8km and was rewarded with second in 31-32, while veteran Dawes clocked 31-56 for third.

The newly-crowned champion called it his best run of the week.

‘It was nice race-craft practice, which I’m not very good at, as you can see from the 5k,’ he said in reference to being pipped at the post by Richard Bartram in the opener.

‘I got it right today.’

Winning the title was just the cherry on top of an enjoyable festival, on which he added: ‘I am just very grateful to have had a great week and to have met loads of people.

‘Big thank you to Guernsey Athletics for inviting us over and contributing quite significantly for us to get here.

‘We just had the best time, and to win as well was a nice bonus.

‘We will definitely be coming back.’

Behind the top four men came a particularly strong run from Twentyman.

After playing second fiddle to Twell in the 5km and cross-country, the 2022 champion wasted no time in creating a small lead in the finale.

The three-time Olympian came back to her in the closing kilometres – and even spent some time leading – but Twentyman finished very strongly to seal top woman and fifth overall in a course record of 33-05.

Elle Twentyman takes the tape to win the women's 10km race. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31993358)

She crossed the line 7sec. clear of her very respected rival. The third woman, Guernsey’s Sarah Roe, clocked 35-35.

‘Really enjoyed the race today – nice to end the festival on a high,’ Twentyman said.

‘I played the race a bit tactical and sat behind Sammy [Galpin, sixth place] until the final kilometre, but pleased to take the tape in the final race.

‘Overall a great weekend and really enjoyed having a good battle with Steph.

‘Looking forward to coming back next year.’

But the women’s festival honours went to Twell, who had earlier said: ‘I want to be part of a community and enjoy the races… they’re mixed races so running with the males, I love that, and I love the environment.

‘You can have a good time, and go and put your legs in the sea.’

In Sunday’s 4x1 mile relay at Delancey Park, the junior quartet of Lister’s Lads came out top in 21-27.

Their Gian-Luca Robilliard, Nicolas Ackermann and Henry Lister ran three very competitive legs before Jack Le Tissier posted the joint-second quickest split of the day (5-07) to secure victory.

We Don’t Have A Team Name Yet finished second overall and fastest mixed team just 38sec. behind.

Rowe opened with a 5-02 – the fastest of the day – backed up by Morwood matching Le Tissier to the second.

Two internationally-renowned female runners finished the job, with 2006 European marathon champion Ulrike Maisch handing over to Twell, who posted the day’s fastest women’s split at 5-50.

Gemma’s Angels took the all-women’s honours.