McGarry (32) was unable to repeat her feat of overtaking Guernsey’s Penny Buckingham on the Foote’s Lane track, with the home favourite gaining revenge by securing victory in the 13.1-mile race by 49 seconds, the Jersey runner taking silver in 1 hr 26 min 34 sec.Third, as in that classic 10,000m race, was the Isle of Man’s Jackie Ashman, with Guernsey’s Gail Merrien coming in shortly afterwards to clinch team gold for the hosts.Guernsey’s joy knew no bounds when Alan Rowe romped in to win the men’s event in 1.10.03, 11 seconds ahead of Shetland’s veteran Ian Williamson, the winner of the Jersey Games race in 1997.Said an exhausted McGarry: ‘That was a great run from Penny.
It’s a bit too far for me and a bit of a mental game.
I’ve been so excited since winning the 10,000 I found it a bit hard to get back up for this.’I spent half of the run telling myself that I felt good but none too convincingly! Penny just got too big a lead, although I could see her tiring at the end.’Buckingham had stretched away after eight miles of the course, which started and finished at Foote’s Lane, opening up a 150 yard gap.
The 36-year-old slowly increased her advantage around the two loop course which is mostly flat.Apart from a gentle hill after two miles the new course is considered a fast one, although several runners complained about the wind buffeting them on the west coast section.Sarah Bruce (36) was the next Jersey finisher but just out of the places that would have given the Island a team gong.
Faroes and Isle of Man took team silver and bronze respectively.
Although Bruce finished eighth, in 1.31.03, to give Jersey the same team points total as bronze winners Isle of Man, the award goes to the Manx girls on the time of the second runner, Kara Shepherd’s 1.30.19.But it was Bruce’s best run for three years and she feels further improvement is on the agenda.
‘I was really pleased with that, although I’d have like to been able to help Jo a bit.
But I did my best.’ As did Jersey’s first two men finishers, Mark Griffiths (31) slashing two minutes off his best with 1.20.59 for 19th spot in his third run at the distance, while Phil Morris (43), overtaken by his team-mate in the final 500m, shaved around 18 seconds off his PB with his 1.21.06.The Jersey men had come in a tight bunch with Jon Coote immediately behind in 21st spot with a time of 1.21.41.Jersey’s Sylvia Thompson did not enjoy her run as much, finishing in 13th spot out of 17 starters, well outside her best in 1.41.09.Faroes took team silver and the Isle of Man bronze in the ladies event, with Gibraltar taking silver and Faroes bronze in the men’s race.