33.26 just now – on tired legs but still the third fastest time in history.
In the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games Guernsey’s Dale Garland and Kimberley Goodall became minor TV celebrities as they flew their island’s flag in the decathlon and heptathlon. A year later they were the pinups and the couple that had big crowds flocking to Footes Lane as Guernsey hosted the Island Games. We got sick of seeing the Guernsey flag hoisted and listening to their tuneless anthem, and it was with great joy we heard the local crowd go silent one particular evening as Jersey’s Jo McGarry outpaced a Guernsey girl in the 10,000m.
All the while Dale and Kim’s teammate Lee Merrien was in the background, running well on the track and over the country. However in the Isle of Man in the 2001 Island Games us Jersey crowd roared on Ian Carter as he outsprinted Lee to win the 1500m.
Fast forward eight years now. Lee has recently been rubbing shoulders with the very best Brits, and gained his senior GB vest in the recent Euro Cross held in Spain. Last weekend he finished third in the Inter Counties and World Trials to gain selection for GB for the forthcoming World Cross in Jordan.
Ian Carter blazed a trail through the Jersey age-group record books but was never able to kick on in the same manner as Lee. Those Jersey records are quickly being obliterated by runners who receive the benefit of the group training and coaching that Ian never had.
One thing Ian, Lee, Dale and Kim have in common is that they are the nicest people you could hope to meet and they are top ambassadors for their sport and for their island communities.
Lee’s blog is over on the left and currently features pics from the World Trials at Nottingham last weekend.