Record numbers rise to the Jersey Marathon challenge

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Many of the approximately 2,600 competitors, who competed in either the full marathon, the relay or the 3 km Fun Run, would have woken fearing the worst. Forecasts during the week had predicted strong winds and heavy rain.

But the rain held off in the morning as the runners took to the streets.

The first three to cross the line at the Weighbridge were all Kenyans.

Hillary Chirchir took away the £2,500 top prize in a time of 2 hours 22 minutes 32 seconds – about four minutes shy of the course record.

He was followed by Emmanuel Melly (34) in second place in a time of 2 hr 26 min 43 sec and then 29-year-old Japhet Koech in 2 hr 29 min 27 sec. Mr Koech actually started the race ‘eight or nine minutes’ behind the rest after he was late to the start line.

‘They had already started by the time I got there,’ the runner said. ‘I saw them ahead but I was encouraged by the crowd.’

The first woman over the line was Ulrike Maisch of Germany in a time of 2 hr 57 min 28 sec who also won £2,500. Elsewhere the Guernsey Athletics Club were the first team to finish in the relay event in a time of 2 hr 28 min 48 sec.

Teacher Chris Fancourt, who has been competing in 100 different sports in 100 days for the Teenage Cancer Trust, finished his challenge by completing the full marathon. Over the last three months he has taken part in sports such as underwater hockey, gymnastics, hula-hooping and touch rugby.

About 500 people took part in the 26.2 mile marathon – including 74-year-old Victor Gonsalves from Jersey, the oldest runner to take on the full distance.

The race started at the Weighbridge, headed up Waterworks Valley into St John, west to St Ouen and into St Peter and past the half-way mark. After that, runners headed through St Brelade to the Les Quennevais Sports Centre and onto Corbière before heading east again along St Aubin’s Bay and back to the Weighbridge.

About 1,500 people, in 300 teams, took part in the Mourant Ozannes Relay Race – including 81-year-old Bob Tanguy in the Dengqymour Athletics team.

And there were hundreds more runners, including children as young as nine, who took part in the Jersey Evening Post 3 km Fun Run.

Andrew Thomas, race director, said he believed the marathon was Jersey’s ‘biggest sporting event’.

‘As for next year, we just want to get more people here. We want to reach 1,000 marathon runners,’ he said

Mr Thomas also thanked the more than 400 volunteers including race marshals, the honorary police and St John’s Ambulance.

More pictures in a special Standard Chartered Jersey Marathon supplement in Tuesday’s JEP.

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