All posts by Sarah Holmes

South Downs 100

As if smashing the South Downs as part of last weekend’s successful IWRR Relay team, Stu Backhouse was back to give the historic path another bash…. but this time doing the whole 100 miles himself. 

Accompanied by long time pal Ian, he set out on the mammoth journey running in the reverse direction to last week’s team effort, Stu and Ian started at Matterly Bowl, near Chilcombe at an eye wateringly early 6am kick off. Luckily the persistent rain from the previous day had dried up and the sky looked promising.

A loop around the woodland of the private Matterley Estate passing through the farm before they began the ascent on to the ancient track. They negotiated their way to Beacon Hill Beeches with no problems at all. The air still cool due to the early hour. They continued onward and upwards, Winchester Hill and the infamous Butser Hill came and went, affording them some spectacular views from the high ground (very high ground in fact) 

“The Hills were ridiculous, even for me! Some were 2 miles long” said Stu

As they left the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, the marathon distance passed beneath their feet. A remarkable achievement for most, but these trojans still had nearly 75 miles left to go, so no celebrations or fist pumps just yet.

“I had a wobble at 30 miles. Psychologically it was hard” said Stu “I had to have a massive word with myself”

After seeing off Harting Downs, Cocking Hill and Bignor Hills, the boys had a bit of welcome relief as they dropped down into the valley and crossed the River Arun. But as we all know, Vallies aren’t one sided so once across the belly of the valley they were faced with the colossal Kitehurst Hill taking them along to Washington and the Chanctonbury Ring.

50 miles in now and it was about 4-30ish. The boys still running at a nice steady pace. Plenty of daylight left.

They dropped down again to cross the second of the 4 rivers on the way, The Adur. 

Truleigh Hill, to Saddlecombe Farm, around Devils Dyke to Ditchling Beacon, the boys were motoring now. One foot in front of the other trying to cover as much ground before the sun went down. 

“I felt really good at this point. We were banging out sub 9 minute miles”

75 miles behind them and the light faded. They still had 2 rivers to Cross and countless hills yet to be conquered. Undeterred they carried on. Looking carefully for the signposts in the dark that would keep them on the right path. 

From the heights of Ditchling Beacon they were plunged downward to cross the River Ouse before being straight up to Firle Beacon and back down to the River Cuckmere. The next hill was home to the famous Long Man of Wilmingham, unfortunately for Stu, concealed in darkness. 

“I felt broken by then, I just wanted to sit down. But there was no way I was going to quit”

Just 10 miles left now, just 10 MILES! After ticking off the village of Jevington, they had one more Hill to climb, on top of which the trig point heralded the beginning of a very welcome descent from the heights of the track and into Eastbourne. All they had to do was make it to the Athletics track.

“That last hill was epic, totally brutal! But we knew it was downhill from there on”

Suddenly the track appeared from nowhere and the boys took their victory lap around the orange oval crossing the line together having shared every step of this magnificent experience together 

“That was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done…. the best and worst race all in one. It was punishing. 12300 ft of ascent and no rest for 24 hours it was brutal. I was buzzing at the end though”

Stu Backhouse – 100 miles – 22.33.34

Yeovil Marathon

Yeovil Town Road Runners were the hosts for the 5th Yeovil Marathon last Sunday. Our very own Mr. 12in12 Glen Jones took the trip to deepest Somerset for the June edition of his charity challenge in aid of the NSPCC.

Starting at the Athletics track at RNAS Yeovilton, Glen lined up with just 300 others for the 9am kick off. Run on the quiet country lanes surrounding town this race is a two lap affair. Taking in Speckington,  Podimore and Limington as it weaves its way around the area.

With a couple of miles to go the course took Glen on a little extra loop to make up the distance to the classic 26.2 miles.

“I found the route quite confusing at times”

Despite this, Glen ran brilliantly, getting back the the Athletics track in a nifty 4 hours, 11 minutes and 40 seconds.

“Not my fastest time, but the race went to plan. Can’t say I’ll be itching to come back to this one, but it’s done nevertheless….. bring on July!”

Isle of Wight Festival of Running – Day 2

Despite the hot forecast, the skies were more overcast and temperatures lower than expected much to the relief of the 350 runners on the startline. 

Famously tough, the Needles half marathon course is just about as multi terrain as you can get. Tarmac, footpath, grass and sand all feature as this course winds its way around the 13.1 miles from the West Wight Sports Centre to Tennyson Down and back again.

After the kiddies fun run, 11am came and the runners were given the off.

The course took them off on a flattish first 5 miles toward Norton and then along the beach at Totland, lulling them into a false sense of security that the course is easier than expected.

That security soon comes to a sharp end as they get funnelled up the steps just past the beach before making their way up, then up, then up on the series of climbs at The Needles, Headon Warren and Tennyson Down. With some 362m of elevation between them it is really tough going.

The pressure on those tired thighs increases with every hill, but at last they reached Tennyson Monument and the welcome relief off a downhill mile to Freshwater Bay. A wiggle through the treacherous “swampy bit” with all its twists, turns, bridges and knarly roots just waiting for tired legs to trip them up, and they finally emerge on the far side of the playing field for that never ending dash to the finish.

Simon Riley was the first Roadrunner back to the Sports Centre in a nifty 1 hour 34 minutes to give him 7th overall and 2nd V40. Stu Backhouse was just seconds behind taking 8th and 3rd V40. A remarkable performance considering his 20 miles in the highly competitive South Downs Relay less than 24 hours before and suffering a nasty fall in this race coming off Headon Warren, suffering some nasty cuts and a big knock to the hip.

“Big thanks to Simon Riley for looking after me” said Stu 

In his club debut Scott Bradley, stormed home in 12th place and 4th V40 – Talk about making an entrance! 

For the girls it was last year’s full marathon champion Hayley Baxter that was the first IWRR girl back to the Sports Centre taking 6th place in the ladies race and 2nd V40. Sarah Ward was next home in another fantastic performance with Margaret Niland-Murphy not far behind taking the 4th V50 in the process.

In they came, one by one and two by two, all 37 of the white, blue and red vests. All having run their hearts out on those hills. Particular mention goes to Sue Hunter for her fantastic 2nd place in her age category and to Richard Clark, Steve Apsey, Chani Jones and Susie Piper all also making their club debuts.

Finally…a big well done to all the Roadrunners who gave up their time to volunteer over the weekend. From marshalling, to giving out cold sponges, backmarking or just cheering and offering support. 

Simon Riley – 1.34.24

Stuart Backhouse – 1.34.42

Scott Bradley – 1.36.02

Nick Kenney – 1.39.39

Steve Apsey – 1.40.19

Kieron Snow – 1.44.22

Hayley Baxter – 1.46.56

Matt Fletcher – 1.47.25

Stew Barbour – 1.47.49

Mike Kimber – 1.48.51

Harry Vernon – 1.54.13

Richard Bezer – 1.54.59

Kevin Rann – 1.55.57

Noel Finn – 1.55.23

Peter Dixon – 1.56.10

Gordon Mucklow – 1.56.23

George Butler – 1.57.51

Richard Clark – 2.01.28

Dave Cass – 2.02.07

Andy Tickner – 2.02.48

Sarah Ward – 2.03.06

Margaret Niland-Murphy – 2.03.59

Paul Muffet – 2.06.55

Stephen Hickman – 2.13.10

Charlotte Williams – 2.14.33

Jenny Dewing – 2.14.41

Chani Jones – 2.16.05

Susie Piper – 2.19.19

Jane Andrew – 2.18.32

Sue Hunter – 2.20.41

Ian Williams – 2.26.01

Fay Tosdevin – 2.31.01

Nick Carter – 2.32.30

Julie Salter – 2.32.34

Alison Butcher – 2.34.22

Sam Grist – 2.47.09

Lyn Snow – 2.59.09

Isle of Wight Festival of Running – Day 1

Following a fun filled week of running activities hosted by the Islands running community, this weekend heralded a crescendo or activity as West Wight Sports Centre kicked off their weekend or racing. From a junior fun run, 5k, 10k and the scenic half marathon, there was an event to suit everyone. 

Saturday saw the 5 and 10k races take place. Both courses twisting and turning around the footpaths of the Freshwater countryside. 

The promised hot weather arrived as cloudless blue skies prevailed over the first of our eager runners lined up to tackle the Farringford 5k race. With just one runner in the race, it was all team IWRR needed as our rocket Ross Wilkes smashed his way around the route, giving the race his signature 110% effort, to emerge back at the Sports Centre in Pole Position claiming the win.

“I gave that my all, I’m very pleased! Especially as I wasn’t even in the country less than 24 hours ago!”

Another fantastic performance as he continues to go from strength to strength.

An hour later and there were more white, red and blue vests were on the startline, this time for the Tapnell 10k. The sun higher in the sky by now and the temperatures nudging toward 25c.

Wiggling through ploughed fields, peppered with roots and rabbit holes and hip high wheat crops it is no easy trot. 

It proved no obstacle for Matt Fletcher and Holly Newton though. Matt powered his way around to finish in a triumphant 3rd place overall with Holly close behind taking a superb 2nd in the ladies race and 7th overall. 

“That was hard!” said Holly “I’m happy with that though. I haven’t run a speedy race for a while, so I’m pleased with how it went”

“That was brutal, but I went for it from the start which is unusual for me. I was spent by the time I got to mile 5, but I’d worked my way to 3rd and there was no way I was letting go” beamed Matt.

Charlotte Dollery was the next Roadrunner home in a magnificent club debut in just over the hour. Carolyn Littleton and Sue Hunter ran excellent races to finish 3rd in their age categories. Nick Carter and Julie Salter smiled their way around as usual, with Lucy Deville not too far behind

“That was not to be sneezed at” said Lucy “It was so hot and dusty!”

Penny Downer completed the bidding for team IWRR, finalising the day’s racing.

5k 

Ross Wilkes – 17.57.19

10k

Matt Fletcher – 43.05

Holly Newton – 46.01

Charlotte Dollery – 1.02.50 

Sue Hunter – 1.05.05

Carolyn Littleton – 1.07.03

Nick Carter – 1.11.04

Julie Salter – 1.11.04

Lucy Deville – 1.14.25

Penny Downer – 1.22.53 

South Downs 100 Mile Relay

100 miles of rolling countryside made up the course for this invitation only event. From glorious Beachy Head in East Sussex following the South Downs Way from point to point, ending up in Chilcombe near Winchester.

One of only 15 National Trails in England, the South Downs Way spans 3 counties. It follows ancient routes along the ridges and chalk escarpments of the Downs. It takes in the famous Long Man of Wilmingham, the Chanctonbury Ring and Devils Dyke the view from which artist Constable described as “the grandest in the world”

As if negotiating the terrain isn’t challenge enough, it is completely self navigated with only tiny signs to follow.

Our team of 6, accompanied by their trusty support crew and after a night’s fuelling with Toby, they made their way to the early start at Beachy Head. Warm already despite the early hour, the breeze was minimal and the temperature in the mid teens already. 

Ben Douglas set out first from Beachy Head, starting the bidding for team IWRR on this epic journey. A nice downhill start put our dynamo Douglas in the lead on his way on his undulating 6 mile leg to Exceat. It was here that Sean Williams took the baton as he embarked on his way to Bo-Peep passing the famous Long Man of Wilmington on the way.

“The massive hill upto Bo Peep was nasty. Just when you think you’re at the top, you realise it isn’t the top at all”

He smashed it though handing over to last minute signing Harry Rann. Luckily he escaped the attack of a horse fly before receiving the baton. Our very own “worlds oldest junior” set out on his 5 mile journey to Itford Farm where team captain Darren Cole was waiting for him.

Darren had a reasonably flat, (well in a South Downs context), to his leg, but it wasn’t long before the elevation started. Once it started it went on and on and on on this, the second longest leg of the entire event. The end came at last as Darren made it to the Newmarket layby where experienced trail runner Stu Backhouse was patiently waiting.

Stu conquered the 5 miles to Ditchling Beacon with ease as he passed onto Bill Goozee having run a speedy 6.20 average, (yep even on those hills!) 

Bill banged out a similar performance as he made his way to Saddlescombe passing Devils Dyke. One leg each and 34 miles behind them, the boys were going great guns. They’d lost a few minutes here and there due to traffic at road crossings and some hard to navigate sections. They’d lost their initial lead but were still having some great tussles with the other teams as the day rolled on.

Ben continued onward to Adur, comparatively one of the kinder legs. Handing over to Harry, our rocket Rann had a hard task as he pretty much has 5 miles (out of 6.5) of continuous elevation gain. Passing the prehistoric hill fort of Chanctonbury Ring, he finally found a bit of downhill relief in the last half mile as he descended toward Washington. 

Sean took the baton from a rather hot and bothered Harry who was feeling the pressure and the heat. The next leg wasn’t any easier either. Sean had a whopper of a hill, (650ft within a mile) taking him up onto the high ground where Stu was waiting.

The downhills weren’t any easier either. Peppered with large stones and boulders, roots and loose gravel, they were trecherous. Nevertheless the boys were smashing it.

Stu battered the next leg. The 4 miles from Springhead Hill to Houghton Lane were devoured up in lightning time passing over to Bill who continued on the momentum as he made his way up Bignor Hill to Littleton Farm.

Darren took on the next part of the journey. No whoppers on this leg, but constant undulation took Darren across the high ground before dropping down to Hill Barn Farm in the Valley. 2 legs each now. 64 miles and still some of the biggest climbs where still to come. The heat taking its toll now, and the difficulties of stopping and starting after running so hard on the hills were starting to set in as stiffness and fatigue began to appear. The clock was ticking as they had to make it to the end of Leg 15 before the cut off time, otherwise it was all over. They would be pulled from the race and It would have been all for nothing.

Ben had a rude awakening to his final leg as he was sent immediately up Cocking Hill. It proved no problem for this speedster as he motored up it along to Harting Down where Sean was waiting. He took the team onward, up and down the relentless undulation to the Queen Elizabeth Country Park. 

Getting there now, they were 75% of the way to their destination. The next leg was crucial. Only 4 miles, but it contained the infamous Butser Hill. Not only that, the cut off point was at the next changeover point and they couldn’t afford to lose any time. A last minute switch in the running order saw Darren taking on this beast, despite having only run 3 legs ago. 

Off he went, giving it everything. Desperate to catch sight of the changeover point at the Sustainability Centre before time ran out. Keep going, keep going. Before he knew it he was there with Harry waiting for his teammate. They made it in the nick of time and they continued, buoyed on by the surviving the tight cut off time which allows for an average of just 7.20 minute per mile over this brutal course.

“My heart never stopped trying to escape out of my chest” puffed Darren

Harry, rested now, took the bull by the horns and annihilated his final leg. The youngster determined to have a good leg and run his team proud. Plenty of downhill on this section as he pushed on and then finally up Old Winchester Hill. 

Just 2 legs left as Harry handed over to his running mentor Stu. The longest leg of the entire relay was second to last on the list, cruel on tired legs for many, but Stu’s extensive experience and endless determination saw him spank through some technical downhills before his last climb took him upto Bill at Holden Farm for that final exchange of that metal tube that had travelled with them for 90 odd miles. 

Bill kept it moving, still running at a phenomenal pace. Knowing that the end was just a couple of miles away. One more hill. The last of what must have been hundreds by now. Up he went, running as hard as he could.

“Despite it being one of the easier legs, terrainwise, you are running as hard as you possibly can because you’ve seen all the blood, sweat and effort that the rest of the boys have put in. It’s a fantastic feeling to cross that line for the team”

They’d done it! They’d finished! 100 miles covered and some quad crippling 3800m of ascent (12 600ft in old money) That’s almost halfway up Mount Everest or two thirds of the way up Kilimanjaro! Beers and burgers in hand they were tired, drained and dehydrated, but jubilant. Not all teams make it back to Winchester, in fact these guys know that disappointment firsthand, but not this time. The heroes returned.

“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done” said Harry 

“Top day with the best in the biz, but god they make me feel old!” said Stu

Big respect also to the support crew of Abi and Michael for timekeeping, navigating and keeping the boys fed and watered. 

Scores on the doors – 

Finish Position – 9th Overall – 12 hours 2 minutes and 45 seconds

Last word from team captain Darren 

“Everyone ran amazingly! It was an awesome day as always and we took a big chunk off our previous best time. I’m super proud of our “road” runners giving it some on some tough trails”

Dorset Invader

In its brand new home of Gerrads Farm in Pilsden, White Star Runnings Dorset Invader Races took place over the weekend. With 4 different races on offer over the extended break, there is a fun camping vibe. Set amongst organic farms, wildlife reserves and sites of scientific interest in the rolling countryside in West Dorset, the course promises to be a challenge. It winds its way around the 6 hill forts surrounding the area, but it also promises some spectacular views across the county and out to sea.

Two Roadrunners made the trip over for the bank holiday to take on the half marathon. Team Wilmott took to the trails in this revamped version of this race.

Setting out at 10am, overhead was more overcast than the previous day’s clear sky, the temperature was perfect as they set out into the countryside. Taking in the surrounding villages of Laverstock and Stoke Abbott there is, peppered in between, some 1700 feet of elevation, making this race not for the faint hearted.

It didn’t deter team Willmot from smashing it out the park with Pete coming across the line in 6th place with Jodie just a couple of minutes behind in 9th overall and 1st Female.

Peter Wilmott- 2.01.21

Jodie Wilmott- 2.03.26

Vitality London 10k

Set in the heart of the capital, this race has got bigger and bigger every year since it’s inaugural running in 2008. It’s easy to see why too. Organised by the team that bring us the London Marathon, it’s as slick and as well supported as you’d expect, coping easily with the 15000 runners all lining up to compete.

Amongst them was Steve Rumsey, David Shoulder and Claire Howard, who despite having to stand outside her hotel due to a fire alarm half the night, made it to the start line alongside track legend Sir Mo Farah.

Starting on The Mall, they headed past Nelsons Column on the way to The Strand. Once on the famous street they headed in the direction of the City. Round the arc of Aldwych they went before disappearing toward Chancery Lane. Passing Holborn Cross and St. Paul’s Cathedral, they each took a turn at the Bank of England, bringing them back past St.Pauls for the return journey.

They then wiggled their way back to The Strand, continuing past Charing Cross before heading down Whitehall and the welcome sign of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament with 1km go. A sharp right turn took them down Birdcage Walk to the finish line outside Buckingham Palace. 

Steve was the first roadrunner back after a considerable period away from racing. 

“I really enjoyed that! It was a tad congested at times but I’m really pleased. It’s the first time I’ve raced since September”

Claire was next back, showing no signs of her sleepless night.

“I thoroughly enjoyed running through the streets of London” Claire chirps the next day “I saw Mo, Jess Ennis Hill and one of the Brownlee brothers, it was great! I was happy with my time considering all the early morning commotion” 

Dave completed the bidding for the Roadrunners 

“That was my Christmas present from one of my sons. Another good one for the memory bank! “

Sounds like it’s one to get on our to do lists 

Steve Rumsey – 39.40

Claire Howard – 53.17

David Shoulder – 64.05

Snowdonia Half Marathon

A backdrop of wild rocky mountains, hidden valleys, cascading rivers, deep forests and glacial lakes accompanied the tenacious trio of Lucy Deville, Fay Tosdevin and Lyn Snow around this beast of a course on Sunday.

Billed as the toughest half marathon in the UK, the Snowdonia National Park plays host to this popular event for the 9th year in a row. Excited the ladies lined up with some 700 others to take on the challenge.

Starting in the villiage of Llanrwst, the course took the ladies up to Lake Geirionydd before continuing ever upwards to Lake Crafnant.

“The first 5 miles were all uphill” says Fay “Proper hills too… like the one we call the “Hill with no name” in Ventnor. The scenery was amazing though. That second Lake was flat and beautiful”

The ladies had a bit of welcome downhill to the village of Trefriw. The relief didn’t last long as they were taken up the eye wateringly steep 1:7 Forest Hill at the 11 mile point. But they treated to a downhill finish taking them via Gwydyr Castle and back to the finish at Llanrwst. 

Fay was first back in a smidge over 2 and a half hours, giving her a cracking 5th place in her age category.

“That was the most enjoyable run I’ve had in ages” she beams “I’m still buzzing! There’s nothing like being in the mountains to inspire me to get fitter”

Lucy was under the finishing arch just 10 minutes later as she took an awesome 2nd place in her age category.

“What an amazing experience” 

Lyn finished in her signature strong fashion in a little over 3 hours to complete the set for the IWRR girls. 

Well done ladies, a tough challenge well executed 

Fay Tosdevin – 2.34.07

Lucy Deville – 2.45.16

Lyn Snow – 3.06.18

Netley 10k – #HRRL10

The second of 2 back to back HRRL races took place just across the water in Southampton on Sunday. Team IWRR were greeted with perfect conditions as they headed over to Royal Victoria Country Park for Southampton Athletic Clubs sold out 10k race. 

Adjoining Netley Police College and close to the Hamble River, the course took the runners around 3 laps within the Country Park finishing with a 600m sprint to the finish line adjacent to the historic chapel.

Ross showed no sign of fatigue after last weeks stellar performance to do it all again sneaking yet another PB whilst taking 13th overall and 8th senior male in a highly competitive field. Pete Sexton was next taking 4th V55. Ladies captain Jodie Wilmott was next back taking 8th in her age category and 16th female overall all whist taking another PB as her return back to form continues. 

Garry Sharp smiled his way around as always to take 5th V50. Kev Rann celebrated his birthday weekend with another consistent performance.

James Shoulder completed the bidding for men’s team in just over 50 mins. The rest of the girls made it home smiling, even Tracey who got caught in a very heavy downpour in the final throws of her race. It didn’t dampen her spirits though as she was cheered in by the rest of the team. 

Ross Wilkes – 36.44

Pete Sexton – 42.14

Jodie Wilmott – 43.47

Garry Sharp – 44.12

Kevin Rann – 47.04

James Shoulder – 50.24

Sarah Sharp – 55.24

Bridget Keyte – 1.00.49

Tracey Houdoire – 1.16.08

Run the Wight

Stripey socks at the ready, it was all bright eyes and bushy tails at the beginning of this gorgeous, inspiring, well organised event. The choice of distances and levels of difficulty on offer is fantastic. From the kids 4 mile, to a flat 8, the “halves” of 12.3 and 14.7 miles or of course the full whammy there is a distance to suit most. Some 8000 walkers (and runners!) stretch from point to point like parade of human spirit across the centre line of our beautiful diamond island. Each one of them taking every step with someone else’s memory or ongoing journey held dear in their hearts. It’s this spirit that keeps them putting one foot in front of the other on the increasingly steep climbs to reach the finish line at Alum Bay.

Started in 1991 by our very own Elaine Harris’ father Bill and his mate Frank Stevens. It began as a team building exercise for the staff at Moreys but has evolved into the largest sponsored walk of its kind not just in England, but in Europe! Mind blowing!! 

“Dad was hoping for 2000 walkers in the year 2000, not knowing that he sadly wouldn’t be there to see it (he died in September 1999) But we surpassed 2000 that year and look at it now! He would be blown away!” said Lainey “I’ve walked or run it every year apart from when I’ve been pregnant with my girls, and on those years I marshalled” 

The event has raised in excess of £4 million for patient care at The Earl Mountbatten Hospice since 1991. It takes a phenomenal amount of organisation to make this colossal event happen. Over 300 volunteers and marshalls on the day keep everyone on track, watered, timed and cheerful.

Being runners, we for some reason decide that walking most of the steepest climbs on the island all in one day is not challenge enough. Oh no, we have to ramp up the difficulty level and run it instead. 

Starting at Britten Norton, there were 2 main groups of starters, some going at 6am to beat the crowds, the others at 8, conversely to enjoy them at a more leisurely pace. In the second group were Sarah Ward & Ivan Ward and the effervescent Dave Wilcock all taking on the marathon distance for the first ever time.

The first “half” of 12.5 miles takes in Culver Down, through to Mersley Down and onward over some of the only flat sections to Arreton Barns where there is always a lovely atmosphere with live music and lots of walkers picnicking.

Continuing on and inevitably upward onto St George’s Down, skirting along the golf course there and then back down to the infamous Nunnery Lane and finishing at Carisbrooke Castle where there is a buzzy, party vibe. Here there was a warm reception by a big crowd of fresh legged runners running the second half with the full runners.

“It’s great to come round the corner to a sea of purple t shirts” said Holmsie “I struggled in the first half due to fatigue so having them there at Carisbrooke was a huge lift…particularly seeing Nick Carter do the “Cha Cha Slide” and the “Macarena” haha”

Water bottles filled they were off as they continued up and up and up on to the Tennyson trail from Newport. Continuing on the high ground along through Brightstone Forest to Mottistone Down and on to Brook Down.

It is at this point that the challenge really goes up a gear. From this 18 mile point, the hills become sharper and one after the other. On tired legs, the runners really had to start digging deeper here. 

Once they reached Freshwater Golf Course, a little bit of relief started to set in as Freshwater Bay comes into view. This is the last checkpoint before the finish. After more dancing from Nick Carter the group were in good spirits.

Dancing done, they got back to business as they set off for one last time.

With Tennyson Monument looming in the background, the last 4 miles are indeed brutal. A battle of mind over matter. Up they went, legs heavy now. Passing the monument … one more hill. Keep….moving….forward, suddenly the sea appears front, right and left. The most Westerly point beneath their feet. Turn at the battery into downhill…. (ahhhhhh downhill!) The marathon distance is surpassed along this stretch along with the realisation that they have indeed made it, all they gotta do is put one foot in front of the other and hold on.

One by one they all crossed the golden arch at the finish and collected their medals, drinking in the feel good factor, knowing not only that they had done themselves proud, but that they had contributed to this amazing event and this amazing cause. 

I think it only fitting that the last quote should go to Elaine 

“I have so many memories of doing this with my Dad, or seeing him pop up along the way. I really, really miss him on the day, but I am stupidly proud of Walk the Wight”



SECOND HALF

Tim Keyte 

Abigail Keyte 

Tanya Clifford

Claire Howard

Jane Andrew

Louise Clark

Julie Salter

Nick Carter

Sarah Sharp

Lyn Snow

Kim Hulacka

Bianca Johnston

Lyn Snow

Callie Wareham

FULL COURSE

Stuart Backhouse 

Holly Newton 

Julie Rasmussen 

Lisa Upstell 

Michael Coultrup 

Tarnia Butler

George Butler 

Andy MacArthur

Charlotte Williams

Ian Williams  

Dave Wilcock

Giorgio Marinelli

Harry Rann 

Lou Howell

Sarah Ward 

Ivan Ward

Sarah Holmes

Jess Hill