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13 November 2014

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You are in: Guernsey > History > Local History > The first Guernsey Marathon

Marathon runners

Marathons have changed over the century

The first Guernsey Marathon

The 2009 marathon will celebrate 100 years of running the race in Guernsey.

The first marathon in Guernsey to be successfully completed was held on 25 November 1909 and featured just four competitors.

100 years on a new Guernsey marathon, the first in 17 years, celebrates the centenary with more than 400 competitors with individual runners and teams tackling the 26 mile and 385 yard course.

In 1909 the four runners actually ran 100 yards further as it was not until 1921 when the length of a marathon was standardised, by the International Amateur Athletic Federation, to 42.195 kilometres (26 miles 385 yards).

In 2009 the runners start and finish at Footes Lane and 100 years earlier they also had the same beginning and end, but they started facing a steep climb up Le Gouffre.

Taking part were three Sarnian Harriers, club captain W. Mahy, E. Le Moigne and H. Becker, and Belgian waiter G. Babbe who worked at the Gouffre Hotel.

After a quick start from Babbe on his home turf Becker took the lead crossing the line in three hours three minutes 50 seconds, only eight minutes 50 seconds slower than the London Marathon winner of the time.

Becket took home the top prize of £1 and a silver hot-water kettle, while Babbe had to settle for second and 15 shillings and a silver tray.

Mahy and Le Moigne reached the finish in the back seat of a motorcar with Le Moigne stopping at Albecq 15.5 miles in and Mahy making it through 22 miles before his painful feet caused him to stop.

last updated: 24/08/2009 at 16:36
created: 24/08/2009

You are in: Guernsey > History > Local History > The first Guernsey Marathon

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