Guernsey Press

High-profile runners among a large Easter Festival entry

Triple Olympian Steph Twell and her husband Joe Morwood are both returning to defend their titles at the EY Easter Running Festival.

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Olympian Steph Twell is returning to defend the women's title at the EY Easter Festival. (Picture by Andrew Le Poidevin, 33092283)

There is more top competition with Louise Small, a six-time senior women’s Hampshire cross-country champion, joining the elite fray for her first Guernsey outing since 2011.

And there is a high-profile entrant of another kind in Harry Morgan, whose JOG ON brand has achieved widespread following through videos and podcasts that capture stories from all levels of the running community.

These notable visitors are just part of a bumper 349-strong senior entry for this year’s four-day racing bonanza.

‘It’s fantastic to see more people getting involved, because we want to make the event as inclusive as possible,’ organising committee member Chris Gillman said ahead of also welcoming wheelchair athletes for the first time.

‘At the sharp end, we’re bolstered by visiting athletes from Jersey, and many of the UK clubs are represented too.

‘Guernsey’s UK-based athletes will be returning to compete, so the depth of the fields and racing will be good.

‘Last year’s overall male and female winners are returning... so we are expecting that to raise the performances of our local athletes.’

One intriguing prospect is Edinburgh University student Chris Bain, who recently ran a Guernsey road 5km record of 14min. 47sec. at the Podium Festival.

He joins previous 5km winners Richard Bartram and Dan Galpin, plus Alex Rowe, in the cohort of Guernsey-born ‘mainlanders’ set to push the domestic regulars.

Nat Whitty’s anticipated return to racing, and Emma Etheredge’s visit from London, will bring in more familiar faces to the top tranche of Guernsey women’s competitors.

However, it is hard to look past the lofty standards of Great Britain athletes Twell and Small.

Gillman said that cash incentives for course record-breakers ‘should add a bit of extra spice to proceedings’.

Action starts at 10am on Good Friday with a flat 5km from L’Eree to Vazon, offering fast times if conditions suit.

Easter Saturday marks the classic Keith Falla Memorial Cross-Country from Lucksall Garage, starting at 10.30am, followed later by the popular quiz night returning after a five-year absence.

The cross-country theme continues on Sunday with the mile relays at Delancey Park at 10.30am.

Racing concludes at 9.30am on Monday with another flat and potentially fast road race, spanning 10km from Grandes Rocques to Northside.

  • Steph Twell will be taking part in a Q&A session at the number collection, from 6pm tomorrow at Footes Lane.