Guernsey Press

‘Tired’ Dawes wins in PB

STEVE DAWES is still getting faster with time.

Pic supplied by Andrew Le Poidevin: 09-05-2023...Guernsey Athletics 2023 Liberation Day 7 mile road run. Runners leave the starting area at Rousse in the foggy conditions. L-R Pete Amy, James Priest, Steve Dawes and Rick Weston. (32093665)

At least that is the impression created by the veteran’s victory at the 2023 edition of the traditional Liberation Day seven-miler, which improved on his already notable run from last year – and that had come just 20 days before an excellent Edinburgh Half Marathon.

The domestic top dog came home in 36min. 37sec., worthy of sixth on the Guernsey all-time list for the iconic race.

‘It was decent,’ he said, after beating last year’s PB by 18sec.

‘It means I am fitter than last year, and last year I did it a few weeks before a 68min. half.

‘I am tired as I did a big session on Saturday, so it’s all going in the right direction I think.’

Conditions appeared unwelcoming on the start line near Rousse, including a fair amount of wind, light drizzle and rather thick fog.

But the wind direction proved rather favourable in the early miles, making for some very fast going.

Fellow Island Games half-marathon pick James Priest initially brought the pressure to the reigning champion as both flew down the west coast, but he began to lose touch after the mile point near Les Amarreurs.

From there, Dawes admitted, it was a case of ‘never looking back’ until the North Beach finish.

Although Priest never pressured him from there, he was rewarded with his efforts with a PB of 37-41 and a solid second place.

Guernsey Marathon winner Rick Weston ran a fairly lonely race for third in 38-32, while Pete Amy’s strength in the second half allowed him to set a PB of his own (38-59) and claim fourth from Carl Holden.

Meanwhile, Nat Whitty went in nursing an ongoing injury, having not run the course before nor set a specific target.

But the Games-bound athlete still exerted her dominance over the women’s field from the start.

After banking some time with a particularly quick opening mile, Whitty settled into a solid clip and came home in 41-33.

That makes her the third-quickest women ever for the course, behind only Sarah Mercier and record-holder Louise Perrio.

Given that she is still regularly cross-training to work around an injury that has troubled her for most of 2023, she had to take the positives.

‘This is only my third week of what I would call proper running training, so I’m in a good place,’ she said.

Ulrike Maisch claimed runner-up for the second consecutive year in 43-14.

That marked a marginal PB for the veteran, who is also due to represent the island in the half marathon at Guernsey 2023.

In third place, and just over two weeks after a PB at the London Marathon, came Vanessa King with 47-48.