Bell strikes out in front

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On a fleeting business trip to the Island, the UK runner, from Consett near Newcastle, took the lead from the start, and although he felt other runners threaten to overtake him, twice, he ‘didn’t want to look behind’ in case they came back at him again.

‘On a good day I’d imagine this course can be really fast,’ he said.

‘I run every weekend, but this was my first half-marathon for a couple of years.

I like the idea of running downhill, towards the end.’ He might be back next year, to defend his title, but second-placed Peter Green, from Liverpool Harriers, won’t.

He finished in 1 hr 14.53 min and while admitting that he was never going to win the race, was upset by the number of cars he had to run around, or dodge, during the race.

‘This must be one of the poorest courses I’ve ever raced,’ he said.

‘There were so many traffic problems, with cars continually pulling up in front of you.

The marshals were fantastic; but they couldn’t control the cars.

I’ve never known it so bad.’ First Jersey runner home was Dave Ibbotson.

‘The conditions suited me,’ he said.

‘I tucked in behind other runners and used them as a wind-break, before pushing on.

I felt strong out there, even though I normally prefer to run shorter distances, like the 10k.

I think this was a new PB for me.

Ibbotson finished in 1.20.14.

First woman home was, predictably, Jersey’s Jo McGarry, winner two years ago, although she felt rough after three miles, feeling the effects of a chest infection a month ago, before, between six and 11 miles, she upped the pace and ‘really began to enjoy the race’.

‘I was really flying, and caught up with all of the local (male) runners,’ she said.

She also believed that, in the long run down to the finishing line at the northern end of the Five Mile Road, she would be the first Jersey runner – male or female – until Ibbotson, whom she had been running with for a little while, put his head down and accelerated away from the rest.

‘They all passed me at the bottom of the hill.

‘That’s taught me a lesson.

I’m going to have to learn how to run downhill,’ she said; a lesson she will have to learn relatively quickly, as in two months time she will be running first up, and then down, a five-mile path to the top of Mount Snowdon and back.

‘I need new challenges,’ she said, as if more explanation was needed.

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