Bodkin tops off season with fast track 10k

IT HAS BEEN quite the comeback season for Will Bodkin.

Will Bodkin (front) is now up to ninth in Guernsey’s men's all-time list for the 10,000m. (www.guernseysportphotography.com)
Will Bodkin (front) is now up to ninth in Guernsey’s men's all-time list for the 10,000m. (www.guernseysportphotography.com)

Yet at the culmination of a demanding few months when he has beaten bests from his apparent prime six years ago and entered new territory in becoming a half marathon champion, Bodkin seems to have saved his biggest performance for last.

Racing for the seventh time in a 29-day period, he lit up the Footes Lane track on a cold, rainy and blustery night with a superb PB of 32min. 19.5sec. over 10,000m.

This performance moved ‘Bodders’ up to ninth in Guernsey’s all-time list for the distance, but surprisingly, it gave him little room on runner-up James Priest, who finished just 13.5sec. down.

‘It was a great way to end the season,’ said Bodkin.

‘We were both hoping to dip under 33min., but to smash 33 was a big surprise given the gale force winds.

‘I think it sets us up for some really good times next year – I think “Priesty” in particular now will have the confidence to really kick on from 1,500m upwards.’

In the so-called ‘carnival of the many laps’, Priest showed a certain degree of confidence by forcing the pace initially, ensuring that the early splits pushed the 3-10 mark.

The tempo barely slowed, even though Bodkin was soon enough dictating proceedings, hitting halfway in a rapid 16-06 for a 4sec. advantage and extending that from there.

At the same time, an intriguing battle for third was raging on between Sammy Galpin and former horizontal jump prospect Richard Thorburn.

The latter has reinvented himself as a sub-2min. 800m runner, and that pace certainly showed after they hit the bell, with the Southampton Uni student kicking home for a 35-40.9 clocking.

Galpin’s 35-44.5 gave him a pleasant send-off ahead of returning to Sheffield University the following day.

Meanwhile, Rosie Williams came agonisingly close to her first official sub-40min. run as she sealed the women’s crown.

Williams settled into the race following a fast start and then caught some second wind in the closing laps, but she just missed the mark – official time 40-01.7.

The rest of the female ‘podium’ came from the earlier support race.

Mel Nicolle was the pick of the six ladies with 41-42.7 as Nix Petit finished strongly for the next spot, just under a minute back.

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