Guernsey Press

Chapple 'shocked' by London Marathon debut on great day for Guernsey runners

Megan Chapple nearly got her name in the Guernsey record books for a quite different endeavour last weekend.

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Chapple missed out on the Guernsey marathon record by just 34 seconds on her debut over the distance. (Pictures from Sportograf)

Better known as the island’s top female triathlete, she made a major detour to tackle the 43rd London Marathon and it paid off as she threw down a marker of 2hrs 50min. 33sec.

That debut put her second on the Guernsey women’s all-time list, just 34sec. outside Louise Perrio’s longstanding record for the distance – not that she was counting.

‘Sub-three hours was the goal, so I would have been happy with anything under that,’ the London-based triathlete said.

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‘I thought I was capable of more, but also didn’t want to set my expectations too high for my first marathon.

‘I had no idea about the record time or how close I was, so it was a real shock to see how close I was.’

Chapple’s focus returns to triathlon ahead of the home Island Games, but she has hinted at another attempt at 26.2 miles in the future.

She remains the most immediate threat to Perrio’s record – just a second under 2-50 – which was set in October 2017 as a major milestone for Guernsey women’s marathon running. Several other runners have run comparably over shorter distances but not stepped up to the gruelling marathon.

But the distinction of fastest Sarnian overall in the English capital instead went to the inspirational Pete Amy.

He has faced a whirlwind five years since winning the 2018 Guernsey Marathon, including undergoing a major spinal operation to treat cancer, after which there was no guarantee he could run again.

Yet after finally securing a place for his London debut, he went out at a bold pace and held on to land a big PB of 2-37-43. That puts him 13th on the Guernsey men’s all-time list.

‘Today was honestly one of the best days of my life,’ the veteran runner said.

‘The 10 failed ballots, the cancer, the back surgery, the comeback and even in training I struggled on the long runs, had injuries, had Covid in January, and bronchitis 10 days ago.

‘But if you’re prepared to put the hard work in, sometimes dreams can come true – and today mine did.’

Otherwise the biggest strides were made by female runners, including Vicky Carre achieving a major goal of her own.

The 47-year-old doctor finally broke the elusive three-hour barrier after 19 attempts at the distance.

Her 2-59-16 PB was also good for sixth in the Guernsey women’s all-time list.

Relative newcomer Sophie Cowley, who has a strong background in various sports, also impressed by clocking 3-09-03 to enter the all-time rankings at 11th.

Vanessa King overcame several extra hurdles to claim 16th on the all-time list.

Less than nine months after giving birth to daughter Mavie, and six after a detached retina impeded her comeback, she ran a nice, steady race to set a PB of 3-19-36.