It promises to be a record breaking year for the Sure Guernsey Marathon.
Entry numbers are up across the individual race and the accompanying relay and among those vying for the title are runners well capable of taking down the course record.
This year’s event has also seen the addition of a mile race aimed at younger runners.
Heavy winds on Friday hampered preparations and travel plans for visitors, but with conditions calming down, organisers are confident of an exciting race day.
“The first couple years was a challenge with Covid,” said Race Director Michael Quittenden.
“So we didn't ever know quite what to expect with the overseas runners side of it. What we’ve found in the last couple years is real growth in runners coming over to the island. I think we're getting a good reputation. We've got some runners who have come back for several years as well, so word of mouth from them has been a real benefit, I'd say. It’s certainly building.”
Pictured: Race Director Michael Quittenden (far right) and Event Manager Hannah Mundy (second from right) with volunteers at the marathon sign-in.
Last year’s mens winner Dessie Burke is back from Ireland and aiming for a 2 hours 35 minute run, Rick Weston is the pick of the runners from Guernsey and looking at a similar target while much less is known about Benjamin Mutua, who has a marathon PB of 2 hours 18 minutes.
Among those expected to vie for the women’s title are Guernsey’s Rosie Williams and Linden Hiscock from Manchester.
The course hugs the coast, designed to showcase the best of the Island.
“We're up on all categories for numbers this year, with a big growth in our overseas runners, with teams coming over from Jersey and the UK, as well as marathon runners coming from the UK, France and even further afield from South Africa and the US,” said Hannah Mundy, Event Manager.
“The wind currently is definitely a challenge for our team. With setup, it's pushed us back a day. But we've got a great team who work with Regency Events, who are fantastic in helping us set up not only the main marathon village, but also the relay stations. The weather should be dying down for Sunday so we should be all good.”
Pictured: The race starts and finishes at South Esplanade, which will also host the event village.
The event supports both Bowel Cancer Guernsey and the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation.
The Sure Guernsey Marathon begins at 9am with the Mourant Relay Race starting at 9.30am. The Guernsey Marathon Mile, open to anyone aged over six, starts at 10am.
The men’s course record is held by 2021 winner Will Bodkin in 2:35.15 with the women’s mark set by Vicky Carre the same year at 3:10.10.
For course details visit here.
Main image: Last year's winner Dessie Burke leads the field up La Val des Terres at the start of the race.
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