Last night proved a successful night all-round for Guernsey distance runners, I came out on top in my head to head battle with local athlete Janne Holmen in the men’s 5000m and Louise Perrio & Martine Scholes dominated the women’s 5000m, taking gold and silver respectively.
As I previously posted my decision to race the 5k was a late one but I’m glad I did as the atmosphere was electric; I’m not exactly sure how people were in the stadium but the stand was full and hundreds more scattered around the rest of Wiklof Holding Arena. From the moment they announced the athletes on the start line to the time we crossed the finish line the support was fantastic, and was is definitely one of the best atmospheres I've experienced in an Island Games.
In terms of how the race unfolded the first 100m of the race starting at a pedestrian pace, but Janne Holmen was clearly eager to set a strong pace and dashed to the front when he realised no one was prepared to take things, I quickly slotted in behind him. This was my race plan from the outside and I was expecting Janne to take the lead fairly early on if the pace was slow. I knew he would prefer a fast race rather than a slow and tactic affair so I was more than happy to sit in for the ride initially. After 4 or 5 laps of this he moved out a few times to encourage me through, initially I did nothing and continued to sit in. I did take the take for a lap but Janne soon realised I was happy not to force the pace so continued working off the front. Things stayed like this until 500m which was when I decided to use a couple of back markers as the moment to kick for home. Approaching two Jersey athletes I went round Janne and surged for home which gained me a few yards, a lead which I stretched out over the next 200. At that I point I glanced over my shoulder to see that I had good lead but I decided to keep not to take my foot off the gas until about a 100m to go, despite easing back slightly I understand my last lap was around 58/59secs.
As I say the crowd support during the race was superb and it was awesome to get a standing ovation from from the full stand down as I came down the home straight for the final time. I even had the Guernsey football team singing at me after I had crossed the finish line. The guys are currently playing Jersey in the semi finals so all being well we will be able to watch the guys in the final tomorrow night.
Thanks to Steve Dawes, below are some pics of the race, will try and attach the video tomorrow but running out battery right now!...