2nd and 3rd of July 2016, 70 miles
This is billed as a tough event, with participants having to complete 38 miles of the Isle of Wight coastal path on Day 1 and after a night’s rest at Brighstone, complete the remaining 32 miles. The start was the Chain Ferry at Cowes and when the ramp went down, the competitors were off, leaving the cars standing! On Day 1 the weather was relatively kind, overcast and not too hot – great conditions for running, apart from a really strong headwind as the competitors reached the final section of the course. No complaints from the crews of the yachts competing in their Round the Island race – our headwind was their tailwind and they made for a spectacular sight as over 1500 yachts sailed past in the other direction! The last section was six flat miles, with the finish visible in the far distance, but being buffeted by the wind. Sheer guts and determination drove people on, relief at finishing visible.
On Day 2 competitors headed towards the spectacular views of The Needles, before turning eastwards and into the shelter of the northern section of the coastal path. Woodlands, marshlands and fields made for varied surfaces underfoot and the sun made an appearance, warming everyone for the last section – but mercifully no strong winds!
Great performances were recorded by Nathan Montague and Anna-Marie Watson, finishing in 9 hours 28 minutes and 10 hours 26 minutes respectively. Day 1 even saw Race Director Neil Thubron out on the course, taking the opportunity to put some miles in before his next big challenge.