Team Shetland off the mark

Team Shetland is off to a cracking start in day one of the NatWest Island Games with three medals so far.

Bobby Bristow, Leon Johnson and Matthew Cox earned a team silver in the men’s half marathon this morning.

In the cycling Christine McLean and Caroline Simpson won a team silver in the time trial. McLean also has a bronze in the individual time trial race.

Athletes in both the men’s and women’s half marathon race were warned of the heat prior to the starting gun.

And come the finish line many were exhausted from the high temperature, needing ice packs and plenty of water.

Bobby Bristow on the home straight. Photo: Kevin Jones.
Bobby Bristow on the home straight. Photo: Kevin Jones.

Bristow notched up a sixth place finish in 74.44, with Johnson in ninth, 76.23 and Cox 29th with 85.57.

Christopher Estwanik from Bermuda took gold in 67.16.

Sadly The Shetland Times’ Charlotte Black took a fall and was unable to complete the race.

With Shetland flags around their shoulders the trio took to the podium.

Bristow said it was unbelievable experience to get silver and the first medal for team Shetland.

The silver medal team takes to the podium. Photo: Kevin Jones.
The silver medal team takes to the podium. Photo: Kevin Jones.

“We knew we had an outside chance of a bronze medal if we did well, but to get silver in such a strong field was brilliant.

“We don’t ever get weather like this in Shetland.”

Johnson said the heat did make it more of a challenge and at mile 10, he felt like it was mile 11 or 12.

“It was difficult with the conditions and speaking to the guys who got medals they were about two or three minutes down on their time.”

“It’s the first time I’ve pulled on a Shetland vest for running. That’s a big deal for me and to top that off with a medal is amazing.”

They hailed the support on route and Bristow said “we were never really on our own for too long before someone gave you a boost”.

Plenty of Shetland athletes were there at the finish line to cheer on the runners, including Katie and Niall Bristow and the Shetland Football Team.

They play the Isle of Wight later this afternoon.



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