Run Guernsey

A complete resource for all things about running in Guernsey

10 tips for running this autumn/winter

As the nights draw in and the sun fails to rise before we get to work the necessity of running in the dark finds us all.  Here’s a few tips to help get through the winter.

  1. Wear something reflective or fluro. Making yourself really visible to other road users is key. Many running specific clothes have reflective elements built into them with materials like 3M Scotchlite . Running specific high visibility vests or gilets like Proviz.  A clip on LED flasher also creates great visibility.

    Hi Viz and LED flashers

    Hi Viz and LED flashers

  2. Plan your run to minimise the amount of unlit streets. Runners are slaves to habit of using the same route but you can get inventive and change routes to stay under the street lights.  A GIAAC winter favourite is the town hills circuit which is a lengthy run that loops round the various hills whilst staying in a small area.
  3. Bus & Run – ever thought of taking the bus to work and running home in the evening? Putting yourself in the position where you have to run to get home is a good way of making sure you don’t skip a run.  Depending on long you want to run for you can always throw in a loop round town or the Bridge and Back under the lights before the final stretch to home.  If you’ve got showers at work then you can reverse the process the next day and get changed into fresh clothes you brought in the day before.
  4. Layer to regulate temperature. Often we think its cold outside but once you get running the heat builds up and you can end up sweltering under too many layers. Rarely does it dip below 10c but often its windy and damp.  A favourite bit of kit of mine is a wind or shower proof gilet over a base layer – keeps the torso warm even in the worst conditions whilst keeping movement free.
  5. Get a head torch and run the coast paths. With super bright head torches available at reasonable prices running the coast paths is doable so long as you don’t want to go super fast.  Winter debris like pebbles and vraic on the path are a constant threat but the torch will pick them out.  When the moon is full and sky is clear of clouds there can be enough ambient light to run without needing a light once your eyes adjust. Check out the range and advce from Petzl
  6. Double check before you cross. It’s easy to become absorbed in a run and at night its harder to work out what all the traffic might be doing so take an extra look before you step off the kerb.  Careful with the volume in your earphones – the volume of music also takes away your awareness of traffic
  7. Run with a buddy or join a group. The best way to make sure you go for a run is to make a commitment to run with someone whether a friend or through joining a group,  There’s plenty of running groups catering for all standards out there, some like Lee Merrien Running use the track at Footes Lane in the winter to avoid running on the roads in the evening.
  8. Track your progress. Tracking your exercise through technology has never been cheaper, Garmin’s, fitbits and now the new Apple Watch2 all provide a mass of exercise data that you can track on websites like, or explore routes on
  9. Do the Guernsey parkrun on Saturday morning. Start the weekend with the smugness of having knocked out a 5k run before others have surfaced from their duvet.  9:00am from the car park next to the Beachhouse and its free.
  10. Time to change your kicks ? If you’ve been running all year in the same shoes then it could be time for an upgrade. Running on the roads is harder on the body so you need to make sure your shoes are in good condition and suit the type of running you do.

Save the date: Guernsey Ultra 21st May 2017

Details of this 36 mile run are now available on the race’s dedicated website  With around 1000 metres of climbing on the cliff paths and lengthy stretches of flat west coast path it makes for a unique and scenic experience for any ultra athlete.

Course Record:  4:57:40 Tiaan Erwee 2016

see also: Facebook group page


Sun 14th Dec 2014
£5 entry.

Starting off at Pembroke, adult route is along route Militaire to the “Half Way” then along the front, up The Pollet and finishing off at the Town Church. (That’s about 6km)

Runners/walkers and bikers are asked to sign in before 10.30am, children are asked to sign in at Bulwer Avenue by the Media Centre no later than 11am.
Details from Linda on 07781 103369.

This Is EPIC Night Time Marathon.

12 people joined Philip Smith and Warren Mauger at 2am on Friday 5th December to run the full 26.2 miles marathon – various other runners joined in and by then end of the run there were 30 runners enjoying running under the moonlight sky to support and stand alongside Marathonmanuk.

More details on the This is Epic facebook page


Marathon des Sables

mds_logo_hiresThe annual Marathon des Sables is renowned as ‘the toughest foot race on Earth’ but it might equally be described as the ultimate exercise in human bonding, as three Guernsey residents who completed this year’s event are now able to testify. Brian Bougourd, John Bell and Daz Carre were among more than a thousand entrants on the start line in Morocco three weeks ago for the 29th running of the marathon of the sands.

For each of them it was a supreme test of their individual strength, both physically and mentally. But just as important was the way they helped to pull one another through their six-day slog over 251 kilometers of unforgiving terrain in the blistering desert heat. Brian, 45, exceeded all expectations by finishing just outside the top hundred in 103rd position overall. His work colleague John, aged 47, came home 652nd while their friend Daz, the baby of the bunch at 32 years old, pulled through in 638th position, despite having to endure much of the race with a painful leg injury.

‘I got injured at start of the double marathon stage over 50 miles,’ Daz explained. ‘I stressed the tendons in my knee and I could barely walk. Basically, I couldn’t put any power through my knee at all so I couldn’t run, I couldn’t put any pressure on it, so I literally had to keep my leg straight and power walk as best I could.’

Running and walking alongside Daz all the way on that longest day was his training partner John, who had to deal with his own problem in the shape of his terribly blistered feet. But it was Daz’s knee that worried John the most and, after the two men had struggled over the first 40 kilometres out of more that 80 to be completed, their situation reached crisis point. ‘I thought he’s just going to have to bail – pull out – so what’s my strategy now?’ John remembered. ‘The one thing I don’t want is to go into the desert with 45 kilometres to do on my own. It was a negative moment for me.’

With the light fading fast, the pair made it to a checkpoint where medical assistance was available. Daz was propelled to the head of the queue and was given a proper supportive dressing for his knee as well as powerful painkillers. ‘I’d never experienced a pain like that before,’ he winced. ‘I thought each step was going to be my last and that’s why throughout the whole thing I literally had to take one step at a time.’ Daz and John managed to keep on going throughout the night and they took 21 hours to complete that double marathon stage. The following day was a rest day and, as they prepared to tackle the final day’s course over a mere single marathon distance of 26 miles, they realised they had managed to get past their worst moment.

‘I knew if you could complete the long day, come hell or high water you will do the marathon,’ said John. ‘I loved that last day because I felt we were actually competing. We got to a quick walk but we were still overtaking others and moving through the field. We felt part of the race and it helped massively to be side by side.’ Daz said his emotions on finishing the Marathon des Sables were a mixture of exhilaration and disbelief. ‘The way we got through the marathon stage was nothing short of unbelievable – me with my busted leg and John with his busted feet. It’s still not sunk in but it was definitely life changing.

‘It does make you realize, even when you’re at your lowest point and you think you can’t go on, you kind of have to. You really do drag yourself through it and you have to dig deep.’

While Daz and John were struggling with injury, Brian was simply keeping on going further up the field. ‘It was everything I wanted it to be, really well organised, a great big event, multinational and a fantastic challenge all round,’ he smiled. ‘Finishing each day was just amazing, it just felt so, so good and the relief rushed through me.’ Although he was never racing alongside his two friends, Brian played his part in supporting them at the end of each day when they were all reunited in their living accommodation, Tent 145, together with another five fellow British participants.

‘Tent life was just fabulous,’ said Brian. ‘Just one tent among 40 others and that was home. The people in that tent were our mates, our family, and we looked after each other. If anyone needed anything we’d lend things out, swap meals, just to get us all through.’ John added that Tent 145 would live with him always while Specsavers employee Daz agreed it was the thought of reaching the camp that had kept him going. ‘Crossing the finish lines and getting back to camp to swaps tales with fellow runners, lazing about and cooking with those guys, it was brilliant – what we all looked forward to.

John Bell and Brian Bougourd (picture courtesy of Headway Guernsey)

John Bell and Brian Bougourd (picture courtesy of Headway Guernsey)

‘The highs were always when you get to the end of the stage and out in the distance you can see the camp and the finish line and that just lifts your spirits. Sometimes it just looks as if the camp is around the corner but in truth it was another few miles. The desert plays some horrible tricks on you sometimes.’ The three men had prepared meticulously for their desert ordeal but for Brian and John, both employees of Cazenove Capital Management, they knew to some extent what they were letting themselves in for, having completed the Jungle Marathon with their company when it was known as Schroders. ‘Having done the jungle gives a lot of personal calmness and confidence in what you can overcome,’ said John. ‘The jungle was physically harder but the MdS was a bigger mental test. This race was all about mental strength, preparation and personal management and within that water management was the key.’

Despite his experience and preparation, John admitted in hindsight he had got it wrong in one respect – the shoes he had chosen to do the race. They allowed water vapour to escape as planned, but not quite fast enough, and they were also a little too big. It was this mistake that resulted in John’s feet blistering so badly, despite the fact that the gaiters he wore stopped even a single grain of sand getting to his feet.

There were no such problems for Brian, whose only truly anxious moment was when he came close to running out of water one day, and apart from that he simply got stronger as the race progressed. ‘With a bit of luck and a bit of judgement and a bit of good planning it all just came together,’ he smiled. Having originally set out to be within the first 200, by the final day Brian had reached his goal comfortably. With just the marathon distance to do and the rest day behind him he decided to savour experience, take it all in and simply enjoy it.

As they looked back on their sojourn in the Moroccan desert just three weeks ago, not all of the emotional dust had settled as the Marathon des Sables runners continued to readjust to island life. Without doubt, though, it has been a life affirming experience, and Brian summed up their feelings when he said he just felt fortunate.

“How lucky we are living in Guernsey, how lucky we are to be able to run an event like this, to be wealthy enough to pay the entry fee and so on. And to come back to Guernsey is a big, big plus. It’s wonderful out there but it’s wonderful over here as well.’

Brian, John and Daz were helping charitable causes through their participation in this year’s Marathon des Sables.
Daz is raising funds for the GSPCA at and for the Specsavers Childrens Charity at
Brian is fund raising for Headway Guernsey and John is raising money for Children with Cancer UK. To donate to their chosen charities go to

This article was written by Martin Tolcher and was first published in The Guernsey Press.  All rights acknowledged.

More photos of Marathon des Sables on Google

2014 Virgin London Marathon Hall of Fame


Date Race Time Athlete Age Cat   Comment
13/04/2014 London Marathon 3:27:52 Becky Le Maitre F18-39 8th on Guernsey all time female list
13/04/2014 London Marathon 3:29:54 Mark Bougourd M18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 3:18:46 Jamie Sebire M18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 3:49:02 Dave Watson M40-44
13/04/2014 London Marathon 3:58:04 Natalie Dorey F18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 4:00:56 Mel Bichard F50-54
13/04/2014 London Marathon 4:16:12 Lesley Bailey F50-54
13/04/2014 London Marathon 4:28:00 Jason Le Noury M18-39 Apparently race walked to 22 miles
13/04/2014 London Marathon 4:43:30 Penelope Freeman F18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 4:45:22 Ali Martin F40-44
13/04/2014 London Marathon 4:48:36 Laura Clayton F18-39 Blog
13/04/2014 London Marathon 4:48:44 Claud Falla F18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 4:48:44 Natalie O’Neill F18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:06:48 Andrew Beacom M40-44
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:08:47 Clare Stone F18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:11:47 Gill Quigley F50-54
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:12:07 Gemma Chapman F18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:12:08 Brooke Kenyon F18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:35:32 Stuart Dowding M18-39
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:35:32 Sharon McMillan F45-49
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:35:32 Lisa Norman F45-49
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:37:54 Martine Ellis F18-39 Blog and podcast !
13/04/2014 London Marathon 5:49:46 Heidi Soulsby F45-49

What motivates you to run?

Great blog article from Julia Webb – she’s a former elite athlete and wife to Alan Webb the versatile runner (PBs: 1:43 800 /  3:30 1500 / 13:10 5k) turned pro triathlete.

Checkout the picture from her training diary – so much information packed into place.

Read the blog here. website launched

In an effort to “bring the world of running together”, the International Association of Athletics Federation has  launched , a new global website aimed at non-elite runners. 

The new website has quite a range of content including training programmes for different distances and different levels of athlete together with guides on various aspects of training, nutrition, injury etc.  Perhaps most intriguing is the international ranking system whereby points values as associated with a runner’s race performances and the best 5 contribute to a ranking.

Runners that love pizza – this is just for you

If this article doesn’t get you salivating about your next pizza fix then nothing well.  Bon appetite!

How to wash your running shoes

Apparently there is a right way to wash your running shoes and this video shows you how.
(But I think you probably knew how to do it anyway….)