Main Mann coasts it in return of half marathon

THE Jersey Half Marathon made a welcome return after it was forced to cancel last year due to the Covid pandemic.

Run Jersey Half Marathon starts at Long Beach in Gorey Picture: JON GUEGAN. (32069370)
Run Jersey Half Marathon starts at Long Beach in Gorey Picture: JON GUEGAN. (32069370)

This was the 31st edition of the event, which was originally scheduled for June, with 153 runners taking part on a new route from Long Beach car park in Gorey, along the coast and up the railway path to Les Quennevais.

Since the original date, travel restrictions between the Channel Islands have been relaxed and it was Guernseyman Nick Mann who romped home in first place in a time of 1hr 16min 29sec – over three minutes faster than his nearest challenger.

That person was Jersey’s Brenton Lee, who finished second in 1hr 19min 34sec, just eight seconds faster than third-placed Will Dupre.

Terri Booth, from Jersey, was the fastest female, finishing in a time of 1hr 3min 38sec, eight seconds ahead of fellow Islander Lara James.

Racing conditions were good, with a cool temperature and slight northerly wind at the start and Mann said he was ‘absolutely delighted’ to get the win.

‘The last time I did a half in Jersey, some five or so years ago, I ran it in about 1:33.00 and was firmly mid-pack, so it’s a good indication of where some dedicated training can lead to for anyone, even as you get into your 40s. The time was solid over what was at times a technical course,’ he added.

‘I had an idea I should be competitive, but you never know until you get into that first kilometre who else is in the race and what form they are in. I guess I was lucky it’s late in the season.

‘It was great to get to know a few of the Jersey runners, who were very welcoming, even when they saw the Guernsey vest, and it sounded like a really good battle for second and third too. Mostly I’ll remember the smiles on the faces of everyone who completed the race. You can’t beat the finish line feeling.

‘I think we’ve all missed being able to race away,’ Mann continued. ‘Running is normally such a great way to get to explore new places. We’ve been lucky to have most of our key races still go ahead in Guernsey, but you miss the challenge and variety of new courses, and racing against different people – that can be really motivating. I’ve not raced in Jersey since I did the Jersey Triathlon in 2016, so it’s been a long time coming.’

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