Guernsey Press

‘There’s something for everyone’ - Olympian Twell full of Easter praise

Steph Twell can see the EY Easter Running Festival becoming even more popular with high-quality visitors after this year’s successful edition.

Guest of honour Steph Twell during Saturday's Keith Falla Memorial Cross-Country. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33102676)

The 40th edition of the annual attraction drew its largest field in six years and in fact one of its biggest ever, including 229 runners finishing the opening Good Friday 5km alone.

But the quality was also notably high as Twell, a triple Olympian, led the women’s field from fellow Great Britain athlete Louise Small and three UK athletes commanded the men’s races at record-breaking speeds. Both Friday’s 5km and Monday’s 10km course records fell by over 30sec.

Speaking on the Guernsey Press Sport Podcast, Twell responded ‘absolutely’ when asked if she thinks more high-calibre visitors will be attracted by the standard shown this year.

  • Hear more from Steph Twell on the latest Guernsey Press Sport Podcast

‘I think we might have even seen that from last year,’ she said before highlighting the competition faced by her husband, Joe Morwood, who won last year but was third in every race this time.

‘I actually came back to the mainland last year and told Louise Small about it, saying, “You have to come back, you have to do this again,” because Louise, for example, hadn’t been on the island since she was 19 years old.

‘And actually, the courses have changed.

‘I think the festival is offering people different experiences different years, either in competition, or now the venues are slightly different.’

Twell improved her 5km season’s best to 16min. flat, 26sec. quicker than Battersea Park two weeks prior.

‘To be able to deliver that just shows that actually this is a really fast course – and also probably a more scenic one.’

Twell gave back further to Guernsey Athletics by speaking in a Q&A on registration evening, taking part in the club’s Easter quiz, and helping coach its juniors on Tuesday.

She also enjoyed various activities with family and friends outside of the racing.

This all contributed to her enjoyment of the weekend.

‘Obviously being held over Easter weekend is fantastic, but I think the fact that you finish and you can either ice your legs in the sea straight after or you can find yourself in Vistas for a nice brunch spot, with lots of like-minded people of common interests, is just really nice.

‘And I just think it adds to the overall event as well. It’s not just the racing and the finishing.

‘It’s also just ambience, and the people here are just so friendly. I think it offers something for everyone.’

Her comments follow the Tourism Management Board’s publication of a new framework that highlights a need to recognise the importance of events-led tourism opportunities.