IOW round the Island Challenge

Phil Wallis and IOW round the Island Challenge.

Most people would think that the 26.2 miles of a Marathon would be the Ultimatedistance to run or may be the 40 odd miles of the 4 Inns. Well so would I, but there are other people who do futher and Phil Wallis attempted and succeeded to run the 70 miles around the coastal path on the Isle of Wight (he did nearly 73 actually due to some bad weather and some over grown parts of the course). Held over 2 days with Shaun Burton and John Hammond acting as his support team and also doing Checkpoint duty.
The Weekend started on Friday Am with Shaun Driving and picked Phil Up from his house at 10AM they both then called for John from his boat at Sawley Marina 10 Mins later. 170 Miles later they all got on the Ferry and Crossed the Solent. This is where they got lost and managed to do 30 miles to get to where they were staying when a 1.5 mile route was the preferred option. This was the theme for John and Shaun for Friday,Saturday and Sunday. Anyway all three arrived at the “hotel” which was a school sports hall with another 100 people staying the night where blow up beds and sleeping bags were used. An early Start and all the competitors had breakfast , Phil was in the last of 3 start times starting at 10AM which gave enough time to load the Car up with tables water all the food you could imagine and pen and paper to tick off the runners as they got to Shauns and johns Checkpoint number 2. WIND up on wind blew against the runners faces and blew all the food and papers about after Phils crew managed to find their Checkpoint location (at 18 miles for the runners) after wrong turns and doubting the fact they were in the right place as it was they were and the runners started to come in, it was also cold with a few drops of rain in the air. 79 names were ticked off over the next few hours with Phil one of the last runners to get to check point 2 but looking fine. Shaun snd John Packed up and headed and once again got lost before helping out at checkpoint 3, the wind had not died down at all and when Phil arrived he was looking a bit more like he had run the 25 miles he had done at that point, although having passed a few more of the runners that were ahead of him at checkpoint 2.
At the finish of the first day in Brighstone Campsite it was Shaun and Johns jobs to setup the tents for the night and with the wind and lack of knowledge of how to put up one of the tents as Shauns Daughter had lost the instruction in a camping sleep over (or should that be stay awake) the previous week, it took ages before the tents were available for use. Fortuantly the tents were erected before Phil got to the finish, 8 hours and 34 mins after he had started. A bit of food a bottle of lager and a tale of one of the other checkpoint volunteers about running barefooted everywhere and was intending to run 360 miles in Austrilia next year also Barefoot it was time for bead and at 9:30am everyone was snoring.

Day 2

Apart from the mist and fog in the morning the next day was the complete opposite of the previous day and the sun shone in all its glory and was very hot indeed. Breakfast was had and the start was a bit later with some of the runners having to drop out due to injury, exhaustion or “not another 32 miles” or did not finish til after 11PM last night. Phil Started off at 9:00am with ½ of the field that was left, John and Shaun waved him off took down the tents (which was easier than putting them up) loaded the car up with goodies for CP2 and headed out for the check points location, after the usual faffing about and are we in the right place the check point was setup and wait for the runners. As the position of this checkpoint was in a place where the runners could come from 2 directions Shaun and John were on their toes. The first runners came in and were glad for the water and the food that was there but the sun was fierce and the table had to be moved into the shade, by this time 10 people had dropped out due to heat and injuries occurred up to check point 1 especially to the lad running in bare feet.
Phil Came in and had a bit of a rest and took some water and fuelled up only looking a bit hot but after ¾ of the race did not look too bad. After he went off 2 hours passed and the check point was cleared up. Shaun and John moved on to CP3 just in time to see Phil arriving at this point the sun was at its Hottest and all the runners were feeling it most had 10 mins in the shade before the last 5 miles, unfortunately the last 5 were the hilliest of the lot and Phil took longer than he thought but he came in looking very strong and crossed the finish line in 31st place in 15hours 52mins and 20 secs. Bloody well done phil

This report was brought to you by heavyman


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