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Double Success in Guernsey

Posted: 18th Sep 2017 by Lewis Smith

On Sunday 27th August, Ashford AC athlete and 50km race walk specialist, Jonathan Hobbs, finished 3rd in the Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management Guernsey Marathon. On a warm summer’s day, on a course around the island, Jonathan ran his début marathon in a time of 2h 53m07s. A week later on the same island but in heavy rain and high winds, Jonathan won the Church to Church Walk, taking his third title.

The marathon saw 123 finishers in addition to almost 50 relay teams but Jonathan was among the top 5 from the start. Local man Steve Bienvenu almost immediately built a stable lead but the other podium positions changed hands frequently with changes of pace over the undulating course. At 20 miles, Jonathan felt comfortable and briefly went into 2nd place. However, the distance took its toll and he was overtaken by Kent AC athlete Tim Alexander from Medway. At the finish, Hobbs was 39 seconds behind Alexander and 2 minutes 18 seconds behind the winner.

“I’ve walked a few 50km races so I had an idea what to expect and I wasn’t too afraid of the distance. In fact I might have been a little bit too confident, considering I had never run further than 20 miles before, and I paid for that at the end. It’s no easier than race walking and it’s certainly not harder, but it’s a very different challenge.

“However, I wanted to prove to myself that I’m a talented runner and not just a race walker, and I’m satisfied. In a couple of years I might train a bit more seriously and find a faster course and really go for it.”

The following Sunday, Jonathan was just about recovered to compete in the Guernsey Church to Church Walk – a 19.4-mile race which sees walkers passing all ten of the island’s parish churches. Jonathan has won the race on his two previous attempts in 2013 and 2014 but this time his main challenges came from 68-year-old Ian Richards, who competed in the 1980 Olympics. The race lead alternated between Hobbs and Richards for the first 8 miles, with the former strong on the hills and the latter working hard to make up ground on the flat. However, having experience of the course, Jonathan paced it well and got into the lead by halfway and extended it all the way to finish 11 minutes ahead. However, this was no easy finale as the rain was relentless and the final 2 mile walk into Guernsey’s capital, St Peter Port, was into a constant headwind of up to 40km/h. In the end, a relieved Jonathan finished in 2h 57m36s, beating his previous best time by 4 minutes.

“I didn’t know if I could recover in time after the marathon but on the morning of the walk I felt quite good. I raced it according to plan and was confident in the victory, even when Ian was building a bit of a lead. However, I can’t remember a race with worse conditions than this; it was dreadful.”

Chris Hobbs, Jonathan’s father, finished 4th, having had to battle the conditions for almost an extra 40 minutes.

Jonathan is now turning his focus back to the 50km walk and has targeted qualification to the European Championships next year.

Hastings Parkrun Mob Match

Posted: 23rd Jul 2017 by Lewis Smith

Hastings Parkrun Mob Match - July 29th


All welcome.


We have been invited by Hastings Runners to join them for a mob match on Saturday, 29th July. Ashford and District RRC, and Tunbridge Wells Harriers, are also sending teams.


Details of Hastings Parkrun can be found here:


The team with the highest total points wins the inaugural trophy.


Please wear your club vest and register for parkrun so you have a barcode. Make sure you have Ashford AC next to your name for parkrun registration.


For more information, or to confirm you are running, please contact Gerard O'Sullivan at

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