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Guernsey New Year's Day cross country

Mace the ace in Guernsey race

Sun shines on Guernsey's traditional New Year's Day cross country

With most live events cancelled or postponed due to Coronavirus restrictions, we travel 75 miles south of the English coast to the Bailiwick of Guernsey for the annual New Year's Day cross country.

Guernsey, at 24 square miles, is the second largest of the British Channel Islands and lies 30 miles from Normandy. It is a self-governing British Crown dependency known for its beach resorts, coastal cliffs, seafood, and currently an active athletics scene!

Guernsey is in Phase 5C of their 'Exit from Lockdown Framework' after a very successful suppression of COVID-19 cases. There have only been two cases recorded in the 10 days between Christmas Eve and 3 January but there are stringent travel restrictions in force.

As a result, sport is taking place as normal and there were 140 competitors in the traditional handicap race on 1 January 2020, held over Guernsey AC's 4.75mile L’Ancresse 'Full Course'. 

First home, in bright conditions with light winds, was popular running group leader Jean Pierre Mace with a 3-minute handicap. Apart from the winner's 90-second advantage at the finish, the handicapper excelled as the middle 100 runners all finished within two minutes.

The fastest three men were Will Bodkin (26:43), Matt Dorrian (28:15) and Fabio Teles (28:39). Megan Chapple (30:50) went below 31 minutes for the first time to move into the top 10 Guernsey women's times ever recorded for this course. The runners-up were Nix Petit (31:51) and Rosie Williams (32:16).

There was also a 2.8-mile race for juniors won by Talia Godet (17:41) with Leo Smith (19:57) first male finisher and second fastest overall. 

Time to put the kettle on, kick back, and enjoy this 10-minute glimpse into the future when we will be enjoying similar events here on the mainland again! Click here for the video...

Full results and race information at runABC's January race listing here

Image: Phil Nicolle for Guernsey Athletics Club

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