The fourth running of our only official club race was certainly record breaking. It wasn’t the course records that were shattered this time it was the thermometers! A sweat inducing 32c was melting the Mercury as the brave, the fearless and the determined donned their running shoes on Sunday morning to take on this beastly dragon of a course.
145 runners lined up under the golden arch at St. George’s School, baking hot already, 10 miles of testing undulation, interspersed with some nasty inclines laying ahead of them.
11am and they were off! Beginning as they were to go on, with the rather cheeky uphill start into Watergate Road before they embarking upon the first nasty climb in the shape of Nunnery Lane.
The array of different colours on the course was fantastic, with runners coming from different Island clubs and organisations, unattached lone wolves and plenty of vests from clubs over the water in En-ger-land too.
Temperatures were rising with every second that passed and the challenge was getting harder and harder, but that didnt deter the runners as the real business began as they arrived in an extremely sunny Chillerton. All they had to do way get to the top of this beast of a hill (all 2 miles of it), and they’d be making the downhill turn for home.
At Berry Lane the insurmountable hill had been conquered by all. Each one of the runners slaying their own dragon as they reached the summit. The drinks at the top were a sight for sore eyes, as was the view, as the runners then descended back toward Gatcombe.
Although the race was half run and the worse of the ascents behind them, the continuous ups and downs of the last few miles was draining for most of our plucky competitors as the humidity and the ridiculous temperature had started to take its toll. But they all soldiered on, battling their way through to the end.
This year’s winner was David Baker from Southampton AC, just dipping under the hour in 59.56 with Ben Pitman of Lordshill in 2nd. Our very own Cole Pearce ran a phenomenal race to repeat his 3rd place performance from last year to finish in 1.04.01.
Simon Pilcher also ran a blinder, to finish in 5th place in just under 65 minutes. A flurry of crossed the finish line Michael Douglas was next over the line for the warriors in white in 8th place, Stu Backhouse in 9th to take 1st V40 and Steve Rumsey in 10th also bagging himself the top spot in his V50 category.
It wasn’t long before the next band of brothers returned as Simon Randall took 13th place and 2nd V40, Pete Sexton was 14th and 2nd V50 and Richard Harvey 15th to take 3rd V40.
In the ladies race it was a win for Ryde Harriers Wonder Woman Charlie Metcalfe, blasting around in 68 minutes. In 2nd place was our super trooper Trish Train that made it over that line in a fantastic 76 minutes, giving her 1st place V45 also. Ex club member and daughter of Peter, Rosie Sexton made a fantastic return to racing to finish 3rd overall.
Jodie Wilmott continued her return to form with a fabulous 4th place, giving her 2nd V35. Zoe Sherwin and Sarah Ward completed the ladies team with a joint time of just over 90 minutes.
In they came one by one and two by two, some using each other as a support system to drag each other through this gruelling race. All hot, all exhausted but all triumphant.
“That my first run as an official IOWRR” said new member Simon Paul “I hated and loved it in equal measure!!!”
A special mention goes to Fay Tosdevin and Sue Hunter for finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively in their V55 category. Well done ladies.
All that was left to do was present the hard earnt trophies, munch on all the homemade cake and swear never again…… well until next year….
Simon Pilcher- 1.04.59
Michael Douglas- 1.06.04
Stuart Backhouse- 1.06.20
Steve Rumsey- 1.08.13
Pete Sexton- 1.10.37
Richard Harvey- 1.11.07
Simon Riley- 1.14.58
Trish Train- 1.16.09
Harry Rann- 1.16.47
Steve Bennett- 1.20.08
Richard Bezer- 1.20.11
Jodie Wilmott- 1.20.53
Darren Dollery- 1.22.05
Tim Keyte- 1.23.04
Kev Rann- 1.23.11
Brian Canning- 1.23.42
Dave Cass- 1.24.03
Zoe Sherwin- 1.30.04
Sarah Ward- 1.30.04
Simon Paul- 1.30.08
Julie Dixon- 1.31.27
Giorgio Marinelli- 1.31.28
James Shoulder- 1.33.06
Lisa Upstell- 1.37.16
Peter Dixon- 1.38.00
Julia Parker- 1.41.35
Matthew Wade- 1.43.27
Julie Rasmussen- 1.45.46
Bianca Johnston- 1.46.20
Fay Tosdevin- 1.49.09
Sue Hunter- 1.54.31
Nick Carter- 1.55.21
Lyn Snow- 2.32.12
As always, a massive thank you to every single person that’s helped behind the scenes to make this race happen.
Full results are available here
Particular thanks to Peter Billington and Dave Samuel or their wonderful photography