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Butterfield Half: Dawes and Maisch dominate as storm clouds roll away

Butterfield Half: Dawes and Maisch dominate as storm clouds roll away

Monday 18 September 2023

Butterfield Half: Dawes and Maisch dominate as storm clouds roll away

Monday 18 September 2023

Pre-race favourites Steve Dawes and Ulrike Maisch produced dominant displays in the Butterfield Half Marathon yesterday.

The early morning had started in an ominous fashion, lightning and thunder the backdrop to the race preparation and organisers busy studying the forecast and weather radar before giving the event the green light.

By the time the final competitors crossed the finish line the skies had cleared and with predominately calm conditions it all made for good racing.

Both Dawes and Maisch came into the race on the back of competing for Guernsey in the Island Games half marathon, using Guernsey Athletics’s biggest road race as motivation to keep training as the highs of July.

Dawes, who won in 1 hour 11 minutes 42 seconds, will head to Jersey to take on the marathon in just under two weeks.

Carrying a slight hamstring niggle, he did not want to go to the well yesterday and risk damaging it.

“I wasn't really sure even as the race started what I was going to do and what I was going to run,” he said.

“I knew Pete [Amy] was looking for around 75, which is around the pace I'm hoping I can run in a few weeks for a marathon. So I figured that I’d run with Pete for a while and once I got a gap on him I just pushed on and tested my leg out.”

It ended as a good confidence boost with no reaction to the injury.

Amy finished second in 1:15.22 and Luke Richard third in 1:15.44.

Maisch has had a strong training block leading into the race, but even then as the storm rolled through was questioning whether she wanted to go ahead.

“You always feel tired in the mornings and you’re always nervous and thinking ‘I can’t do this.’ I’m glad it went ahead, in the end the weather was perfect for running.”

With the island’s top half marathon runners Sarah Roe and Nat Whitty not on the start line, Maisch was targeting the win.

‘But I wanted to win in a good time, so I was hoping for a season’s best, 1:22 ish, but I quickly realised that it wasn’t going to happen today.”

She finished in 1:24.35, followed home by Rosie Williams (1:28.15) and Vanessa King (1:32.29).

Maisch is now planning on a “big break and rest”.

“I probably won’t do any cross country races and then I don’t know. I will always be running, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not sure I want to do it competitively because it’s quite exhausting, it’s tiring with life and work and family and I know I’m not going to get any faster. I’ll take a break and then the fun might come back.”


Also in the field of more than 300 were two athletes championing accessibility in sport.

Wheelchair athlete Sophie Veron and visually impaired runner Tom Oswin were both giving a rousing reception out on the course and on the finish line. 

More to come ... 

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