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UK Athletics

Twell, Bush excel in Guernsey 10km

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Steph Twell
Steph Twell: back in winning form

European Junior Cross Country Champion Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham and District AC) made a great start to the 26th annual Guernsey Island AC Easter Runs to prove she is completely over the injury that kept her out of the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya, a fortnight ago.


The 17-year-old won the Healthspan 10km at Port Soif in 34 minutes 4 seconds, knocking 90 seconds off her own course record that she set last year. The time is only 7 seconds shy of her fastest yet, recorded at the Nike Grand Prix in London’s Hyde Park last year.


She was pushed all the way by Suzie Bush, one of her training mates in the squad coached at Aldershot by UK Athletics performance coach Mick Woods.


Bush only returned on Wednesday from around three weeks in Ethiopia, arranged by UK Athletics so that she could experience the world’s biggest women’s only 5km road race. Clearly empowered and inspired by the occasion, she showed no signs of jet lag and pushed Twell all the way.


It looked as if the teenager had got away with 2.5km to go but Bush battled back to draw level with her and they raced stride for stride until the closing stages, when Twell came up with the same kind of irresistible finish that earned her the gold medal at the European Cross Country Championships in Italy just before Christmas.


Bush crossed the Guernsey line second in 34:07, a PB by 14 seconds to demonstrate how much she benefited from her Ethiopian expedition.


AFD also provided the next two over the line: Emma Pallant third in 36:13, Andrea Woodvine fourth in 37:02.


Guernsey’s own Louise Perrio was fifth in 37:07 and UK Athletics Director of Athletics Zara Hyde Peters (Coventry Godiva Harriers) sixth senior women (and first master) in 37:40.


Leaders in the men’s 10km: 1 Williard Chinhanhu (Zimbabwe / Poole Runners) 29:19; 2 Lee Merrien (Guernsey Island AC) 30:28; 3 Kibor Joseph (Kenya) 30:39; 4 Matt Ashton (AFD) 30:50; 5 Neil Speaight (Belgrave Harriers) 31:02; 6 James Thie (Cardiff AAC) 32:09.


The Easter Runs continue today with a 4.75 mile cross country race.