Only the third running of this charity event and already it has become a favourite with local runners. The charity in question is the well-loved Jersey Hospice which is the prime provider of end-of-life care here and it depends entirely on donations, bequests and the like.

The race starts at the charity’s retail outlet in St Ouen in the north-west of the Island, finishing at the hospice itself on the outskirts of the capital St Helier. A big crowd of us shivered our way onto the free buses which were to take us out to the start – a miserable, damp sou’westerly probably discouraged a few of the less committed entrants. Nevertheless, in excess of 400 of us lined up for the start, augmented by a further number of relay runners.

For me it was a significant occasion as I chased a possible prize in my new M70 category. Not too many of us old fools still running at 70 but those that do are generally useful runners and are not to be taken lightly. Personally I considered that I was in decent shape and planned to run 5.30 kms which would bring me home in about 1.55. And as we streamed off out towards the north-western tip of the Island at Grosnez I had to make a conscious effort to ease off the pace. A long way to go and it was far to early to concern myself with the competition. I love getting involved in a race with others but to do so in the early stages of a 21.1k race would invite disaster. At least I have learnt that lesson down the years. So with 5.20s and 5.25s showing on the watch I settled in to the cruise and, as we turned back into the lanes, the weather relented.

My daughter Emma is running well now, her son (my grandson) Dawson just a year old. We’d chatted a little before the start but now she was off well ahead of me with a running buddy (they were to finish in 1.47). Slowly I came onto the shoulder of a running friend Phil (himself 70 shortly) and we had a little chat before I edged away. I was to finish a few minutes ahead of him.

The course is designed so that the race comes back past the start at about half way. Now we were headed firmly across country towards the finish and the race really begins. I felt fine and strong with a steady pace established. At this point one’s pace is set and the watch is perhaps of mild interest but of little practical use. Your pace is now allied to those runners round and about you and you stick with them. One or two will fall away and the occasional runner will pass you out but this third quarter of the race is where you just hold steady.

I’m happy to exchange the odd word or joke with runners I come across in races. Today there was one guy with whom I swapped places a few times. A couple of times I tried a few friendly words but he was having none of it. His prerogative of course and his energy was better directed to pulling away from me in the final stages.

This course has the considerable benefit of a flat, even slightly downhill last few kms. Now then is the time you can push on, accelerate, if you have anything left. Of course everyone does likewise and picking up places is hard work. Suddenly there’s the entrance to the hospice and up the slope to the finishing line with welcoming spectators and earlier finishers. My time, 1:53.01, a couple of minutes ahead of schedule. A slight negative split too (second half faster than first half) so confirmation that I couldn’t have done much better on the day.

It turned out that 75-year-old Bob Hurst won the M70 prize with a great time of 1.50. I got second place though (and 186th overall) not that far in front of John Cunningham and Bernie Arthur. Overall winner was Bruno Francisco in 1:13.36.

No pics sadly – I’m not paying Jersey Evening Post £20 for one.

Link to the results here.