Maher breaks record by seven seconds

Sam Maher en route to securing Island Games bronze in the Men's 1500m final, in front of a packed Footes Lane crowd Picture: ROB CURRIE

JERSEY Spartan’s Sam Maher has blown a Jersey Island record out of the water during the Battersea Park 5km over the weekend.

The 25-year-old navigated the 5000m metre course under the lights in just 14mins 33.92secs, to better the 31-year-old Jersey 5km record by around seven seconds.

His feat also marked a new Channel Island 5km ‘road’ record, to add icing to the cake.

Maher, traditionally a 1500m runner, has been breaking new ground over the longer distance and admitted that the Battersea 5km race was “circled in the diary”.

“It’s traditionally a very quick and fast race as it’s really flat,” he said.

“I kind of circled it in the diary as something to work up to during my winter training.

“I worked hard on picking my mileage up from what I’m used to and I’m really happy that my winter plan paid off.”

Like many runners, breaking records are at the forefront of Maher’s mind and the Islander was fully aware of the time he needed to beat.

“I’ve known about the time for a long while and have always eyed it up.

“I wasn’t sure that I would be able to break it in this race, but I knew it was there and it was something that kept me motivated.”

While Maher has a new-found love of the 5km distance, he has no immediate desire to turn his back on the shorter formats yet.

His 2023 endeavours earned him three bronze medals from the Guernsey Games, in the 1500m, 5000m and the 4x400m men’s relay.

He continued: “1500 metres is my main discipline.

“That’s what I competed at in the Island Games last July. I think there will be a natural progression to longer distances as I get older, but while I still have the speed there, I certainly don’t want to give up on the shorter stuff yet.

“Keeping hold of that speed is really beneficial even in the longer races where you need sprint finishes to secure a top finish.”

His achievement earned a 29th place finish from the 270 who competed.

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