‘Ecstatic’ Will rediscovers his very best

WILL BODKIN seems to be in the shape of his life after several quiet years – yet he has company.

Will Bodkin, right, seen here in action on the track, is back to his very best and showed it on the coastal road stretch. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28580928)
Will Bodkin, right, seen here in action on the track, is back to his very best and showed it on the coastal road stretch. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28580928)

The past Island Games man glided along in near-perfect conditions to clock 15min. 29sec. for the West Coast 5k, but even this impressive personal best gave him little breathing room on Sam Lesley and James Priest.

This trio did not take long to drop their 100 chasers from the L’Eree start line, but everything was aligned for an exciting contest between them.

Bodkin, who last represented Guernsey on the IIGA stage at Jersey 2015, has rekindled impressive form across various distances, while Lesley’s pure speed and Priest’s stamina made them worthy opponents.

Priest initially pushed the pace but Lesley took the reins near Perelle and come the flowing final stretch of the course, the site of the popular Vazon Mile, some gaps were evident.

Lesley strode along 20m clear of Bodkin and it was the same again back to Priest.

But ‘Bodders’ had enough in the tank to unleash a rocket finish in the last quarter-mile to Vistas, breaking a tiring Lesley, who took runner-up in a much-improved 15-40.

Priest closed a highly promising ‘podium’ just 6sec. back and a substantial gap separated him from the next runners, young Sammy Galpin and Isaac Bate, both in the low 17min. range.

‘I was absolutely ecstatic with it to be honest,’ said Bodkin, whose previous PB was 15-32 from the track.

‘I was hoping for a sub-15-30 before the race but I didn’t think we’d actually run that fast.

‘James and Sam took it out really fast but unfortunately they couldn’t quite keep it going to the finish.

‘They still ran really fast, though, which is great – it’s awesome with so many runners doing so well at the moment. The standard has really moved on from five years ago.

‘Hopefully we all keep moving in that direction and we have a handful of sub-15 runners soon.’

On the women’s end, teenager Summer Woodhead ran to par to post a winning time of 18-51.

A flurry of activity followed just under a minute later as Rosie Williams, Mel Nicolle and Nix Petit burst in under the 19-40 mark.

U15 Talia Godet produced a solid effort and just missed out on breaking 20min.

The Summer Series concludes with the short but sharp Vazon Mile on 25 August.

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