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Snowdonia Trail Marathon


Billed as a bit of a toughie, this marathon certainly lives upto expectation. No fewer than 1685m of ascent (thats 5528 ft in old money) is shoehorned into this epic race. St. Boniface Down is only (only!) 241m as a bit of a comparison for you. 

Voted the best marathon in the UK not once, but twice by Runners World magazine, this race was established in 1982 as a polar opposite alternative to the concrete carnivals the major cities were offering. If that was the objective, then it is mission accomplished. You couldn’t get any more different. Not a flat road or a high rise in sight, this course circumnavigates then finally ascends Snowdon, Wales’ largest peak. It’s not a peak let’s face it, it’s a full on mountain! 

It was a bucket lister for our Ian Russell, who, along with his very own cheer squad, packed up the car and made the journey to deepest Wales to get this one ticked off.

Starting in Llanberis at the wonderfully named Electric Mountain, this beast of a course starts as it means to go on… with a hill! A rocky 3 mile trail of ascent was no obstacle for Ian though as he started brilliantly, keeping a good pace. 

“The first climb was 1,500ft. I ran the whole lot. I thought I can’t start walking straight away! I felt good so I kept running and the views were unreal. I had the biggest grin on my face!“ he tells me

A steep descent followed toward the woodland area at Beddgelert where the course levels out for a bit of relief, or so he thought.

“It was hard going underfoot but I kept it steady. I didn’t want to push myself between 6 and 16 as I knew the challenge was the last 10 miles”

Onward he ran. Toward the next sharp but short incline of Pen Y Pass at mile 16. But that was nothing in comparison for what was waiting for rocket Russell at the Pyg Pass. 18 miles behind him by now and a colossal 3406 feet of ascent lay before him. Challenge enough had it been on a steep and stoney mountain trail. But no, no, no, no, this was rocks, boulders, massive monoliths of Jurassic lava to clamber over. There was no path, the boulders were the path! 

“Going up Snowdon via the Pyg track was unbelievable. It was hard to the point I was climbing with my hands. It was cold at the top but the views were unbelievable. I will never forget them” 

1085m above sea level, (that’s 3559ft) at the summit. But what goes up must come down and Ian embarked on the tricky and technical 5 mile descent.

“I felt good on the way down taking people with a smile on my face and just looking at the mountains”

Ian absolutely smashed it, arriving back in Llanberis to come over the line in 5.34.08, his wife and son there to cheer their hero in. 

Cider Frolic

What could be more pleasant on a sunny July day than a little trot around a Cider Farm in deepest Dorset? Sounds idyllic right? However the reality was tinderbox dry, open fields, unrelenting 30c sunshine and not a single dapple of shade to be seen. Not so idyllic….

However, it didn’t stop team IWRR giving their usual 100% effort. The awesome  eight all rocked up on Friday to set up camp and prepare for the early 8am start the next day.

Set in the grounds of Cranbourne Chase Cider near Wimbourne, this is White Star Running’s most popular Frolic race. What is a Frolic I hear you cry? Well a Frolic is an endurance (or not, depending on how you want to play it) event. A short course that entrants can run, walk or jog as many or few times as they wish over a set period of time. For this particular Frolic, it was a course of 3.9 miles to be run again and again over and over for 12 hours…. it was just unfortunate for our trusty team that it was on possibly on the hottest day, of the hottest summer for nearly 20 years!

8am came and they all set off. Different goals, different game plans, different day at the office for every single one of them. Julie Salter and Paul Butcher were the only two roadrunners to set off as a relay team, Paul taking on the first lap. The other 6 all set off as solo runners. Darren Dollery and Sean Williams both aiming to complete 7 laps of the course to complete their first marathons. 

Hot already despite the early hour, it became really obvious, really quickly that this not going to be a walk in the park. Not hilly by any stretch of the imagination, but not flat either, the undulating loop was tough underfoot. Rutty and rock hard in places, scratchy thigh high crops and matted thick dry grass to negotiate.

Everyone set out well. Dan went to the front from the start, clocking the 4th fastest lap by any competitor in the whole race, whilst the others tried to pace themselves accordingly. 

Halfway on each lap was the welcome sight of the infamous Lovestation or as it was renamed for this event Fernando’s Disco. Manned by some moustachioed macho men in some rather familiar looking vests, it was complete with blaring disco tunes, sangria, cider and the usual array of coke, water and munchies. 

The cool sponge station also located there was an essential part of surviving the searing heat as morning turned into midday and midday turned into scorchio o’clock. 

On the other side of the course, team IWRR had set up their own private aid station on the course to provide a safe haven to rest in the shade and hydrate after making the most of the ice cold run through shower.

Paul and Julie ran alternate laps exchanging their squeaky baton each time and enjoying watching everyone else come through. 

Darren Dollery and Sean Williams were aiming for 7 laps of the course to give them their first marathons each. They both ran brilliantly for the first 20 miles, rarely stopping and keeping up a good pace. However the heat started to take its toll, as they both considered giving up after 5 laps.

“I was done” said Darren “I really wanted to do it all in one go but I was just so hot I felt I couldn’t go on. I got a talking to from Holmsie in our aid station. She said take a break … you’ve got all day to do 2 more laps… whatever you do DO NOT QUIT! You’ll kick yourself later. I did as she said, took a little break then I cracked on and got my Marathon after all, I am so pleased”

Similar story for Sean, he also took a break before completing his marathon distance, but unlike Darren he didn’t hand his chip in… he hopped on the free bus down the pub to watch the England match.

The others were still out there. Dan was in the lead lapping the field in his seemingly effortless style, putting in the graft lap after lap. Andy, Michael and Sarah were still chugging out the miles as they also passed their marathon distances but carried on into ultra territory.

“I’ve never run any further than 27 miles before, so I had no idea what I could do” said Sarah “I had a figure in my head that I wanted to reach, but had no idea if I was physically capable” said Sarah

Distance supremo Michael suffered cramp from 16 miles onward.

“I was going to quit after I’d run the marathon distance, it was agony!”

But after a little rest he decided to run a few laps with his little protégée Holmes. 

“I knew this would be the hardest couple of laps for her. She hadn’t eaten anything other than gels so I knew she might need a bit of support”

Onward they all went, ticking off the laps, Andy calling it a day after 10 circuits and a whopping 37.5 miles. Michael had gotten a second wind, Holmsie hanging on in there.

Sean had reappeared on the course, refreshed after England’s triumph over Sweden, blasting his way around to complete another 2 laps giving him more than he came for, 33.5 miles his first Ultra! Paul and Julie managed a fantastic 20 miles each. Phenomenal considering they both hadn’t run for weeks due to Julie’s broken hand and Paul working away.

Dan ran his 15th lap and retired 

“I had a wobble at the Lovestation. I knew no one would be able to catch me in the time remaining so I decided that I would make this my last one”

He’d done it again! He’d won! With an hour and a half to spare, he’d proved his class as an endurance magnate despite the extreme conditions. 56 miles behind him.

That left just Mick and Sarah out there. The heat was finally starting to wane as the final hour approached. Sarah had reached her goal of 40 miles but after checking the leaderboard after her 11th lap it emerged that she may or may not be in 3rd (internet updates were slow in the fields of Dorset). Despite having already been on the course for 11 hours and 45 minutes, she made the decision to go out and do 1 more lap to try to ensure that she got on the leaderboard. Michael went out with her.

“I never entered the event expecting to place at all, but as soon as I realised that it might happen I was determined to push until the end and give it everything I could. I am so greatful to Mick for helping me through the tough miles”

And boy was it worth it! That last lap put her not just third but elevated her into 2nd place lady and a staggering 5th overall and put Michael into 3rd place Male and 4th overall. A 1,2,3 for the roadrunners. A masterclass in the power of the mind, of determination and of the pure stubbornness to not relent. 

Veni, Vidi, Vici. Time for a cider. 

Wyvern 10k

Just outside of Southampton lies Wyvern College, near Fairoak. The HQ for this out and back race organised by Hedge End Running Club. 

This event is small but impeccably organised. An athletes village, complete with charity stalls, BBQ and beer tent surround the start area where our Steve Hunt lined up with his son George for a rematch after the youngster beat his dad last year. 

This slightly undulating course took the pair from the college grounds downhill on narrow Country lanes toward Horton Heath and then further out along Burnett Lane before a sharp u-turn brought them back the same way they had come culminating in a track finish. 

Scorching temperatures made it hard work for the father and son team as the Mercury was hitting 30c 

“It was very hot! I’d been out drinking all day watching football on Saturday, so 8 pints of beer was not good preparation, but it seems everyone was struggling with the heat. There were loads of people with hoses cooling people down in the little country roads” 

Unfortunately for Steve, the youngster got the better of him again with young George pipping him again in 1.01.52 and Steve coming over the line in 1.05.06

“George ran with me for 7k then he left me for dust…. again! I reckon I’d have beat him if it was cooler! (I wish!)”

Scores on the doors 

George -2

Steve – Nil 

Looking forward to next year’s rematch fellas!

Morvan Oxgene

Most people would use their holiday to kick back, out their feet up and take a well earnt siesta. Not the case for team Wilmott as they spent the first Saturday of their vacation running 30k of hills hills hills in a searing 35c heat.

“We saw the race advertised when we were on holiday here last year and thought it looked nice……. how wrong were we!” Jodie tells me 

Starting in Chateau Chinon, a small town in the national park region, this event is part of the International Fell Running calendar. With a choice of distances on offer, team Wilmott opted for the 18 and a bit miler starting at 4pm. 

“Just over an hour till race starts….18 miles of mountains in just a little heat? What could possibly go wrong?” quips Pete on Facebook just before the race started.

But it turned out that the heat was the last of their worries as the mirage of the “fairly challenging run with lovely views” that they’d hoped for quickly faded into the reality that this course was a bit of a beast.

“We have both never experienced anything like it” says Jodie

3500 feet of elevation was crammed into the 30k route, with some inclines so steep our audacious pair were scrambling on all fours. Punishingly up and down all the way it took all their physical and mental strength to keep going. Pushing on, through forests, jumping over felled trees, squeezing through rocks and even running up a stony stream until they got to the final crescendo of a hill to get them back to the town and across the welcome finish line.

In true Wilmott style, the pair gave it 100% with Peter finishing in 3.14.19 giving him 11th overall and 1st in his age category. Jodie crossed the line in 3.37.36 giving her 31st overall, 4th lady and 3rd in her age category. Cracking performances.

Last word from Jodie….

“Both of us would never do it again. Ever.”

Hope 24

The private estate of Newnham Park in Plympton was the venue for this test of endurance. Club legend Dave Cass took part in this friendly event, attempting to run further than he’d ever run before over the 24 hour period. 

Starting at noon, Dave stood on the startline alongside his brother in law (also called Dave), to embark on this feat of mind over matter. The rain had abated and the sun appeared as Dave began his challenge. 5 mile loops of a challenging trail made up the course.

“That was probably the toughest 5 mile course I’ve run. Miles 1-2 was all uphill followed by several other short inclines and it was so hot and humid”

Dave ran his first four laps consecutively giving him a solid 20 mile foundation before taking a well earnt break. 

“I struggled a bit on the fourth lap. It had started to rain again. I wished I’d taken my break after 3”

But he recovered well enough to put in another 2 laps before hitting the sack overnight. 

“Finishing the 6th lap was great. It equalled my previous distance record of 30 miles. I went to bed knowing that I only have to run one more lap to exceed this, which was my aim” 

After a sleep, Dave was up early to get the job done. He ended up running not 1, but 2 more laps giving him a grand total of 40 miles. A new record. In the words of Mr. Cass himself 

“Mission Accomplished”

Brading 10k

Despite having to compete with a stellar line up over at Seaclose Park for the IOW Festival, a few roadrunners did make is over to Brading for the Ryde Harriers 10k race.

The temperature was scorching as they lined up for the 11am start at Smallbrook Stadium on one of the hottest days of the year so far.

From the Stadium, the runners made their way along the Ashley Road, down Lanes Green, West and Coach onto Beaper Shute, the Brading Road and back to the Stadium.

Harry Rann and Stuart Backhouse tussled for the duration of the 6.2 miles with the youngster just sneaking ahead to finish in a fantastic 5th overall taking the junior men’s top spot to boot. Stuart crossed the line 3 seconds later in 6th taking the top spot in the V45 category. Steve Rumsey was next home in 8th to take the V50 crown and completing the first place men’s team. Richard Harvey crossed the line in 11th place taking 3rd place V45. Ross Eglinton made his club debut to finish 18th with Steve Bennett completing the 3rd place men’s team and taking 2nd place in the V60 category. 

Polly Segar was the First Lady IWRR home taking the top V35 spot. Alison Butcher ran a cracking race to make it home in under 55 minutes and 2nd place V45. Emma Ford smiled her round as she always does to run herself into the 3rd place team and the 3rd V40 spot.

Great running everyone

Harry Rann – 38.31

Stuart Backhouse – 38.34

Steve Rumsey – 39.10

Richard Harvey – 41.23

Ross Eglinton – 42.29

Steve Bennett – 43.37

Richard Bezer – 44.44

Brian Canning. – 45.48

Kevin Rann – 46.45

Polly Segar – 47.16

Dave Cass – 49.04

James Shoulder – 51.54

Alison Butcher – 54.53

Emma Ford – 55.21

Laura Holme – 55.54

Matthew Wade – 56.40

Fiona Attwood – 57.51

Dave Wilcock – 57.53

Sharon Cass – 1.02.18

Jo Randall – 1.05.40

Lyn Snow – 1.22.11 

Team competition 

Men’s

1st Rann, Backhouse, Rumsey, 

3rd Harvey, Eglinton, Bennett

Ladies

3rd Segar, Butcher, Ford

Lordshill 10k -HRRL #12

The final race of the 2016/2017 Hampshire Road Race League. From September to the end of June the league Races cover all corners of the county and some 96 competitive miles between them.

A small but perfectly formed team crossed The Solent for the unthinkably early 8.30 start. Despite the early hour, the sun was already roasting as the runners assembled at the Ordinance Survey Building, just north of Southampton.

A single lap course of mainly road saw our Roadrunners rocket around the Industrial Estate before heading up toward Lee Manor Farm and back through Nursling before heading back to where they started. 

First of our trusty roadrunners home was Cole Pearce in a supercharged 22nd place overall. Ross Wilkes completed his season in the league with yet another blinding run to bring him across the line in just under 38 minutes. A flurry of white vests finished next as David Blake and Nick Kenney finished within a few seconds of each other to complete the first men’s team and securing promotion in the league for the next season. 

Matt Fletcher was next home making himself one of only 15? men in the league to have run every single race. An outstanding achievement and commmitment from Matt made even more impressive by his double hernia diagnosis mid season. 

The girls came in next with Hayley Baxter making it across the line in 46 and a half minutes and Tarnia Eldridge in under 53. A particular Thanks goes to Hayley who signed up at the last minute to ensure that despite being incomplete, the ladies team would still score. 

A successful way to end this years Hampshire League. 99 Roadrunners took part in the league across the season with 8 of our ladies and 6 men participating in the minimum of 7 races to give themselves a final league position. Thank you and congratulations to every single club member that has competed in any of the races over the course of the season. Your blood sweat and tears scores points for our wonderful club every time you cross that finish line -so well done to you all #teamIWRR

Cole Pearce – 36.17

Ross Wilkes – 37.52

David Blake – 40.00

Nick Kenney – 40.24

Matt Fletcher – 40.47

Hayley Baxter – 46.34

Tarnia Eldridge – 52.45

Eastleigh 10k – HRRL #11

Perfect conditions greeted runners for the 34th Eastleigh 10k race on Sunday. A million degrees away from the 6 inches of snow that postponed this race from its original date back in March, a cool breeze and cloudy sky gave our team a comfortable temperature to run their socks off in. This sold out race is number 11 of 12 on the Hampshire Road Race League. With only 1 more race left in the league, the jostling for positions is really hotting up as the runners muster everything they’ve got to finish as high as they can for themselves and for their team. Known to be a fast and furious course, Eastleigh attracts nearly 3000 runners, making it the largest 10k in the South. 

Starting at the unthinkably early 9am at the Fleming Park Leisure Centre, the course flips a right on Shakespeare Road, loops around bringing the runners into the long and straight Woodside Avenue. A couple more little twists and turns and they head for home along Chestnut Avenue. 

Ross Wilkes was the first roadrunner to make it back to the Sports Centre in a nifty 37 minutes, with Cole Pearce not too far behind him. Pete Sexton was next under the finishing arch in just over 39 minutes bagging him 9th V50. Sneaking under the 40 minute mark was Matt Fletcher, completing the first men’s team.

For the ladies, golden girl Trish Train proved that her injury is well and truly behind her to take the V50 top spot in 41.22, finishing a massive 3and a half minutes between her and the next woman in her category. Jodie Wilmott continued her march back to form with her second 10k Pb in 72 hours.

“I still felt I could have pushed a bit more” she tells me on the ferry home “I sort of wish I was in the country for the final race of the season. I feel like there is a bit more in the tank”

Lizzie Pilcher was the 3rd lady across the finish line, bagging herself a 30 second Pb and shimmying under 46 minutes, whilst Zoe Sherwin continued her fantastic season with another Pb to complete the First Ladies team.

Every roadrunner out on the course ran brilliantly, wearing their vests with pride, representing our gorgeous diamond island with smiles in their faces. Notably both Gemma Fletcher and Ivan Ward made their official debuts over the distance whilst Sarah Ward took a huge 5 minutes off her previous Pb. 

“I ran all the way, even up the hill!” said Lyn Snow after the race looking very pleased with herself.

Great running team IWRR! 

Ross Wilkes- 37.02

Cole Pearce- 37.43

Pete Sexton- 39.07 

Matt Fletcher- 39.45

Trish Train- 41.22

Garry Sharp- 42.46

Michael Coultrup- 44.13

Jodie Wilmott- 44.19

Kev Rann- 45.51

Lizzie Pilcher- 45.58

Zoe Sherwin- 47.47

Ivan Ward- 47.58

Sarah Ward- 48.17

Sarah Holmes- 49.24

Dave Wilcock- 54.38

Gemma Fletcher- 55.34

Sarah Sharp- 58.07

Steve Hunt- 1.00.12

Lyn Snow- 1.22.00

Isle of Wight Roadrunners Club 10k Championship

Was it the allure of Chip butties and Mrs.Rays raffle that drew so many contenders out on this sunny Summers evening? Or the fact that it was a nominated race also, meaning that there was a chance of winning even if you didn’t actually win the race, (make sense??……Good!)

Excitement was building as the roadrunners congregated along with invited guests from other Island clubs to collect their numbers for the annual 10k championship. Nominated times had been submitted the previous week, largely by guesswork and many on the conservative side as many competitors had the upcoming league race on Sunday in the back of their minds.

The runners assembled excitedly outside the Riverside Centre, all feeling naked without their trusty watches. On the stroke of 7pm they were given the off. Running toward the Quay Arts Centre, they swung a right up Little London and continued along the cycle track before embarking upon the long drag up Stag Lane.

They emerged huffing and puffing onto Horsebridge Hill for a welcome downhill section before hitting the second incline in the shape of Clissold Road. The runners were greeted here by the joyful sight of the water station manned by our very own Simon and Jo Randall, giving everyone plenty of encouragement as they went past. The runners then hurtled down Standen Avenue before being ushered safely across the road for the home leg. A right turn down Hunnyhill gave the roadrunners the final bit of momentum to keeping pushing on to the finish back at The Riverside Centre.

Paul Cameron was the first runner back showing his road to recovery is a path he’s at the end of and what a joy it is to see him getting back to his best.

“My legs hurt!” He jokes on Facebook the next day “I was actually really surprised with my time. I’m pleased”

And so he should be, he was so quick that Jacob, our photographer for the night, missed him! Michael Douglas was next to cross the newly laid bridge across the Medina to take 2nd place. Ross Wilkes continued his spate of brilliant performances to come home 3rd, with Stu Backhouse in 4th and Steve Rumsey in 5th.

For the ladies, it was Trish Train who took the top spot, with Jodie Wilmott running herself an unofficial Pb to land herself in 2nd. Polly Segar ran herself into 3rd position with Sarah Holmes delighted to come in 4th place and Lou Howell in 5th.

In they came, one by one and two by two, all having run themselves proud.

But the real winners of the night were those who guessed their times the most accurately. The runners all got themselves a congratulatory chip butty and a drink from the bar as they gathered around for the grand reveal.

Sally Trotman was 18 seconds outside her estimated time to take third position. Jane Andrew repeated her nomination success from The Rog Run to guess within 8 seconds of her time. The outright winner of the night was relative newcomer Giorgio Marinelli who was only 4 seconds out from his predicted time.

“What a massive surprise!” He beams “What a cool event”

As the winner, he got to choose where this year’s charity donation went, (£1 from each entry). He opted to donate the kitty to The Wessex Cancer Trust. 

The night was rounded off with a rendition of Happy Birthday and a huge chocolate cake to celebrate our Chairman’s birthday, (luckily he escaped “The Bumps”)

Paul Cameron – 33.47

Michael Douglas – 35.31

Ross Wilkes – 38.02

Stuart Backhouse – 38.35

Steve Rumsey – 38.56

Pete Sexton – 39.08

Matt Fletcher – 40.18

David Blake – 41.56

Trish Train – 42.21

Steve Bennett – 43.12

Tim Howell – 43.28

Garry Sharp – 44.04

Jodie Wilmott – 44.27

Brian Canning – 45.27

Tim Keyte – 45.58

Kev Rann – 46.01

Dave Cass – 47.09

Kev Winchcombe – 47.13

Polly Segar – 47.16

Sarah Holmes – 48.13

Giorgio Marinelli – 48.56

Nick Dover – 48.56

Ivan Ward – 49.31

Lou Howell – 49.31

James Shoulder – 49.59

Nick Scott-Denness – 50.55

Sarah Ward – 51.05

Charlotte Williams – 52.35

Lisa Upstell – 52.35

Claire Howard – 53.22

Abigail Keyte – 53.22

Jane Andrew – 53.28

Clare Foster – 53.38

Claire Harvey – 53.54

Andrew Cooper – 53.58

Matt Wade – 54.45

Gill Bushell – 55.04

Sally Trotman – 56.19

Julie Rasmussen – 56.30

Sarah Sharp – 56.31

Fiona Attwood – 56.40

Alison Butcher – 57.04

Gemma Fletcher – 57.07

Dave Wilcock – 57.10

Caroline Curliss – 59.37

Bridget Keyte – 59.39

Ian Williams – 1.01.23

Belinda Rockall – 1.01.23

Tanya Clifford – 1.06.28

Shelley Harris – 1.07.39

Eloise Radestock – 1.07.40

Debbie Radestock – 1.07.53

Lyn Snow – 1.21.53

Round the Island Relay

7.30am Cowes floating bridge.

5 teams are poised to embark on a 70 mile round trip. That will see 80 runners change their self selected batons 50 times, clock up over 560 miles and take just shy of a million steps between them. Quite a feat of organisation considering it’s an officially unofficial, unmarshalled self navigating event. 

“It’s not a race! It’s just for fun” Cherry Owen reminds all the starters as they line up grasping their “batons” (i.e. rubber chickens, squeaky mobile phones etc) After all it was all her idea. To run the perimeter of our sunny island along the coastal path in a relay, with set changeover points dividing the journey into 10 legs, until it reaches its conclusion on the other side of the floating bridge in East Cowes. 

And off they went. Teams from West Wight Roadrunners, Ryde Harriers, Isle of Wight Road Runners and the RS division of the off road group Godshill Massive (or GHM as its more affectionately known), which is made up of members from all the other clubs and unattached runners. IWRR had decided that one of their teams would run at their own pace whilst the other would stick with “RS” for company and safety, as did the Harriers and West Wight teams. Not requiring any company however were 3 of our IWRR distance specialists. Dan Williams, Michael Coultrup and Bill Goozee all set out to run the entire distance.

Dan and Bill set out an hour earlier than the rest, with Michael embarking on his journey at the same time as the other teams.

Despite feeling chilly on the startline, the sun started to peek through as soon as they set off on the first 6 mile leg toward the seafront and onward to Gurnard, Thorness and eventually their handover at Porchfield. Running for IWRR on this leg  were Glen Jones and Tanya Clifford, with Julia Parker appearing for GHM. 

First to hand over was chairman Glen for IWRR determined to give his team a good start.

Glen continued on here running a second leg but switched over to the other IWRR team which ran with the RS Runners. Taking on the helm for the other team IWRR were Kev Winchcombe and Gill Bushell. This leg was complicated with its twists and turns, through the nature reserve. But it wasn’t this factor which proved difficult for Kev. 

“Leg two was lovely. We ran together until about 7.5 miles when I pushed on from Gill to hand over the baton sooner. However at the top of the hill I missed the turning and went down Hampstead Road putting an extra 2.5 Miles on my route. Gill went the right way and beat me there and sent Jane on her way”

Gill handed over to Jane Andrew, whilst Glen handed his squeaky mobile phone to Matt Wade, with Tracey Houdoire running for RS, continued on to Totland.

“I loved that” said Tracey “we stopped for lunch at the beach afterwards”

At Totland, the next runners were eagerly awaiting their team mates arrival. IWRR were still changing over first, with Danny Faulkner taking charge of proceedings for the faster paced team and Vice Chair Sarah Sharp for the other. Jess Hill and Ali Butcher were the purple representatives on this tough leg taking them up and over Headon Warren and Tennyson Down.

“I loved running over Tennyson, it’s one of my favourite places” said Sharpie 

Danny handed over to Andy MacArthur whilst waiting at Freshwater Bay for Sarah was her husband Garry for the IWRR team and Stuart Backhouse and Giorgio Marinelli who ran the 10 miles of cliff paths down to Whale Chine.

The thermometers had levelled out as cloud cover started to creep over, giving our amazing runners a comfortable air temperature given the time of year.

Still out in front IWRR Andy handed over to Rich Whittington, who had been driving around as support crew for most of the day as he set out on one of the trickier legs with the most elevation from Whale Chine through to Ventnor. For the other IWRR team Garry handed over to Zoe Elliott who ran with Fay Tosdevin, Caroline Curliss and Bridget Keyte for GHM. Stuart decided that 10 miles wasn’t quite enough for him and accompanied Zoe and the girls in purple to Ventnor. 

Rich passed over to Elaine Harris and Zoe to Lisa Upstell and the GHM ladies to Nick Carter as they continued to take the batons from The Spyglass through The Landslip and along the seafronts at Shanklin and Sandown to change at Yaverland. Lisa Upstell used the flatter sections to pull away from GHM at this stage putting the team into 4th.

“I’d forgotten how many steps there were through The Landslip” said Nick “it was so tempting to stop for cake at the tearoom! I could see Michael Coultrup in front of me. He was 50+ miles into his run and I still never caught him. What an inspiration!”

By now the teams were in the final quarter of the challenge. The leg from Yaverland through to St.Helens saw Hayley Baxter take the baton for the IWRR team in front, Callie Hatcher for GHM and Emma Ford handling the squeaky mobile phone for the other IWRR team, taking friend Aaron for navigational purposes.

“I would have got lost at least four times without him” she tells me “The views from Culver were amazing, we had such fun!”

They all successfully navigated themselves around to Tim Keyte, Sarah Holmes for IWRR and Pat Harris and Shannon Brennen for GHM waiting at the Duver. 

“I have absolutely no idea where I am going” exclaimed Holmsie “This could take a while” 

But she didn’t get lost and neither did any of the others as they made their way to Ryde and then past Quarr Abbey to Fishbourne and the final change over.

Steve Bennett took the baton for the team in front with Ian Dyer doing the honours for the other team. Abi Keyte & Kim Hulacka closed the bidding for the GHMers. 

Steve Bennett was the first runner home.

“It was funny coming first as no one was there at the finish yet!” He said “We must have all run it too quick haha! Luckily my partner Chris was there with the dogs to greet me”

Dan Williams was the next one in having run the entire course in just under 12 and a half hours.

“I’ve earnt a beer I think!” He said afterwards. 

In they came, in ones, twos and threes, all with big smiles on their faces. Lots of fun and laughter along the way. Teamwork and cameraderie the order of the day and a fantastic turn out of Roadrunners spread across the 5 teams.

The biggest cheer of the day was saved for Michael Coultrup, who was the final person to make it to the finish having run the entire event solo and self supported. 14 hours of running behind him.

“Who’s up for a run in the morning?” He quipped 

Massive thank you to Cherry Owens, Glen Jones & Pat Harris for their time organising this logistical endeavour. See ya next year!

Scores on the doors 

1- ISLE OF WIGHT ROADRUNNERS 

2- RYDE HARRIERS 

3- WEST WIGHT ROADRUNNERS 

4- ISLE OF WIGHT ROADRUNNERS 

5- GHM RS