Kenyans a class above in Jersey Marathon
MAKING his first appearance at the annual event, Hillary Chirchir stormed to victory at yesterday’s Standard Chartered Jersey Marathon as Kenyan athletes claimed all three podium positions.
Although he never threatened the course record – 2 hr 18 min 13 sec set by Russian Aleksey Troshkin in 2015 – the 2017 victor won by a comfortable four-minute margin, completing the 26.2 miles in 2:22.32. Defending champion Chris Zablocki was not in attendance but Chirchir’s compatriot Emmanuel Melly, the pre-race favourite, had to settle for second place (2:26.43), while another Kenyan, Japhet Koech, who was late to the start line (see page 3), placed third (2:29.27).
‘I wasn’t expecting to win so I thank god because today I win,’ said an elated Chirchir.
‘Emmanuel is a good runner but I try to push near the end. The course was good but the hills were difficult.’
Chirchir says he’ll be back to defend his title next year but for now he will depart the Island with £2,500 in prize money, as will German Ulrike Maisch, the first women to cross the finish line at Weighbridge Square, in a time of 2:57.28.
Phil Ahier, who finished sixth in 2:50.12, took the award for the first Islander to complete the course despite what he describes as a ‘hard’ race.
Sylvia Thompson was the first Jersey woman to finish the course, in a time of 3:20.23.
15-year-old Peter Holmes won the Jersey Evening Post 3k Fun Run, while Guernsey Athletic Club won the Mourant Ozannes Relay Race.
Full report in Monday's JEP – a special Jersey Marathon picture supplement will be free with Tuesday's JEP.