My 2010 Jersey Marathon ended with me ‘phoning around my relay team members standing them down.  A stomach bug had struck and I’d never have made the six mile leg from Waterworks Valley to St Ouen’s Village.  Instead I spent the duration helping with the backup timekeeping effort down at the Weighbridge.

The Standard Chartered Marathon is now five years old.  My nose was a bit out of joint when they plonked their new event a few weeks ahead of the long-standing Jersey Half Marathon.  I have to say now though that they, and especially Race Director Helen Baker, have got it spot on.  Albeit with an eye-watering budget they organise the three races on the day to standards that pretty much equal any race that I’ve been involved in.  Every year has seen improvements, and learning from the previous year, which is how it should be. 

Their masterstroke though is the Relay.  This is what makes the day such a huge community event.  (Cork has done likewise with its marathon, knowing that it would never rival Dublin in hosting a stand-alone event.)  Many more people get involved and it becomes an island-wide thing rather than a bloody nuisance with roads being closed for a few hundred ‘proper’ runners.  The 3k fun run, oversubscribed at 500, is another terrific innovation getting the younger ones and their parents involved.  Spartans, with me very much included, missed a trick over the years by not seeking to change things to be more inclusive, or to reignite the Jersey Marathon distance.  It could have been done with a bit of forward thinking.

The race attracts extraordinary coverage from the local media.  The race logo pops up in the JEP repeatedly in the run up to and aftermath after the race and the sponsors/organisers get a pretty good marketing payback on their investment.  The paper has always been very supportive of local sport however.  BBC Jersey give over a full four hours radio to race coverage.  The Beeb have started to target coverage of major sports events having dropped their long-running Sunday morning show Sportscene.  They did it pretty well on Sunday with ‘running expert’ Dave Woodsford making up for the absent sports regulars who are out in Delhi.  And that Christie Tucker is as foxy in real life as she sounds doing the politics!

So long live the Jersey Marathon.  The results are up (or will be soon) here.  More to come in the next post. 

Miles on the week – 14.4
Miles ytd – 1,124.9

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