All posts by Adam Killip

Liam and KC become 9th and 14th fastest walkers in Parish history

Liam Parker’s winning time of 15:36:59 is the 23rd fastest-ever circuit of the Parish Walk and puts him in 9th place in the all-time fastest walker list. Having taken 39 minutes and 14 seconds off his previous personal best of 16:16:13 (which he set last year), Liam has leapfrogged a number of great walkers in the overall standings including previous winners John Cannell, Richard Brown, Albert Johnson and Graham Young.

Liam approaching his home town of Ramsey on his way to becoming the youngest winner of the event since Lee Cain in 1996

Karen Chiarello, or ‘KC’ as she is better known, has not only become the fastest lady to complete the Parish Walk but she has also jumped from 18th to 14th fastest in the overall rankings, having improved her PB by 6 minutes and 19 seconds compared with 12 months ago. KC, along with Janice Quirk in 2009 and Sandra Brown in 1998, now shares the distinction of having achieved the best finishing position by a lady (all three having finished second overall in those respective years).

Liam has consistently progressed year-on-year since he first walked to Peel in the under-21s race in 2010, when he finished third in a time of 7 hours and 49 seconds. The following year he won that race in an excellent time of 6:17:13.

2012 was the first year Liam could go beyond Peel, and since then he has finished every year and always in a faster time. On average, Liam has improved his personal best by 51 minutes and 23 seconds each year. Perhaps unsurprisingly his best improvement came on his second finish in 2013 when he improved by nearly 2 hours from his first finish of 19:53:55, to 17:58:35. Here is his Parish Walk record:

Year Church Time
2010 German (Peel) 07:00:49
2011 German (Peel) 06:17:13
2012 Finish 19:53:55
2013 Finish 17:58:35
2014 Finish 17:33:35
2015 Finish 16:34:44
2016 Finish 16:16:13
2017 Finish 15:36:59

KC’s Parish Walk career began in 2009 when she walked to Ballaugh. After a 4-year break, she returned to the event in 2013 to claim her first finish, in a time of 19:42:45. After reaching Bride the following year, KC really began to take her walking seriously in the early part of 2015 and she trained harder than she ever had before. This hard work was reflected in an excellent time of 17:01:31 which secured an 11th place finish and second in the ladies’ race, just over 20 minutes behind winner Janette Morgan.

KC on familiar training territory at the end of the Orrisdale Road, approximately 12 miles into the event. KC and her husband Robert live on the course close by.

In 2016, KC came within just 3 seconds of breaking 16 hours for the first time, and also narrowly missed out on the ladies’ record of 15:58:35 set by Janice Quirk during her superb walk in 2009. This year however, KC bettered both of those standards and can now proudly lay claim to being the Parish Walk’s fastest lady. Here is her Parish Walk record:

Year Church Time
2009 Ballaugh 09:11:53
2013 Finish 19:42:45
2014 Bride 10:26:15
2015 Finish 17:01:31
2016 Finish 16:00:03
2017 Finish 15:53:44

Liam and KC now both feature prominently in the list of top 20 fastest ever walkers:

Rank Name Fastest finish Year of fastest finish Finishes (wins)
1 Richard Gerrard 14:40:08 2015 9 (4)
2 Vinny Lynch 14:42:32 2012 6 (1)
3 Michael George 14:44:49 2013 9 (1)
4 Sean Hands 14:47:36 2006 5 (1)
5 Jock Waddington 15:01:48 2011 10 (4)
6 Robbie Callister 15:16:03 2006 15 (5)
7 Derek Harrison 15:20:51 1979 8 (5)
8 Peter Kaneen 15:26:07 2003 4 (2)
9 Liam Parker 15:36:59 2017 6 (1)
10 David Walker 15:39:16 2015 6
11 Graham Young 15:43:12 1971 3 (2)
12 Richard Spenceley 15:47:32 2011 6
13 Ray Pitts 15:51:42 2007 8
14 Karen Chiarello 15:53:44 2017 4
15 Albert Johnson 15:54:51 1967 1 (1)
16 Janice Quirk 15:58:35 2009 5
17 John Cannell 15:59:33 1982 8 (6)
18 Richard Brown 15:59:44 1998 1 (1)
19 Richard Wild 16:03:36 2014 2
20 Terry Moffat 16:03:41 2015 10

I had intended to update the list of highest number of finishes but unfortunately I haven’t been able to find it in the short time available. This will now be a job for later in the summer.

Garry Asling: the Parish Walk’s “Mr Consistent” (and other stories)

Finishing the Manx Telecom Parish Walk and doing so in a fast time (or even breaking a record) is quite rightly celebrated, but for many participants, the target is simply getting across that finishing line within the 24 hour time limit. One man who certainly knows how to pace the Parish Walk to perfection is Garry Asling, who has now finished no fewer than 6 times, all within 38 minutes of the 24 hour mark.

Garry’s debut finish, which was also his first ever attempt, was in 2011 when he finished with just over 6 minutes to spare. Since then he has finished a further 5 times and with a remarkable consistency of speed. Three times he has finished with fewer than 10 minutes to go before the 8am deadline (this year was his slowest, as he made the War Memorial with just over 3 minutes in hand). He is certainly the model of consistency in how to get round this very challenging event. Here is his Parish Walk record:

Year Time
2011 23:53:40
2013 23:22:51
2014 23:46:34
2015 23:50:46
2016 23:48:55
2017 23:56:58

Consecutive finishes

Finishing the event just once is an achievement in itself, and for many people once is enough. Some move on to other sporting challenges, and others understandably take the view that if they’ve done it once, why bother doing it again. Some people on the other hand come back year on year to take up the challenge once more, although getting round every year takes a lot of commitment and mental strength.

The great David Collister holds the record for longest run of consecutive finishes at 30, having finished every year between 1984 and 2013. He also finished again in 2015 to take his overall tally of finishes to 31, a record which will take a lot of beating and which David may yet even be able to increase, as he still participates every year.

In terms of active finishing streaks which were extended in 2017, Up & Running proprietor Chris Cale leads the way. Chris has finished every year since 2003, which is 15 finishes in a row. In second place is Maureen Moffatt, who has made the finish every year since 2006. Interestingly, Chris and Maureen have both finished every year since their first finish, with no breaks in between.

Many other walkers have large numbers of finishes, but at some point in recent years have either had a year off, walked to Peel, or not made it to the finish. A good example is Andrew Titley, who has now finished 16 times since 2001, with his only year off coming in 2011.

Walker Consecutive Finishes to present Years
Chris Cale 15 2003 – 2017
Maureen Moffatt 12 2006 – 2017
Alan Teare 8 2010 – 2017
Gareth Brolly 8 2010 – 2017
June Melvin 8 2010 – 2017
Andrew Titley 6 2012 – 2017
Liam Parker 6 2012 – 2017
Stephanie Quayle 6 2012 – 2017
Emma Shilling 6 2012 – 2017
Greg Nation 6 2012 – 2017
Courtenay Heading 6 2012 – 2017
Adam Killip 5 2013 – 2017
Andrew Dawson 5 2013 – 2017
Roger Davies 5 2013 – 2017

In the week ahead I will conclude the analysis of the 2017 Manx Telecom Parish Walk by updating the lists of all-time fastest walkers, with a little more focus on Liam Parker and Karen Chiarello, and also the list of all-time total number of finishes.

Analysis of 2017 finishers

  • 127 walkers completed the full distance
  • 72 were previous finishers, of whom 33 set personal best times
  • 55 first-time finishers
  • 11.4% of walkers reaching Santon completed the full distance

 Number of previous finishers: 72

Male: 43

Female: 29

Number of first time finishers: 55

Female: 35

Male: 20

The 2017 Manx Telecom Parish Walk will live long in the memory for being one of the hottest Parish Walks in history, which was undoubtedly one of the factors for there being a lower percentage of finishers than we have seen in most previous years.

Record percentage of female finishers

63 of the finishers were men, 64 women. This represents the largest ever percentage of ladies (50.4%) finishing the full distance, beating the previous best of 36.8% which, strangely, was identical in both 2016 and 2015. The highest number of female finishers was 76 in 2013, but in that year conditions were much more benign and a total of 215 people completed the full 85 miles, which is still the highest number ever recorded.

Previous finishers

72 of the 127 finishers, or 56.7%, had finished before.

Pete Miller made the biggest improvement, taking an incredible 5 hours and 29 seconds off his previous personal best and claiming a gold award for a sub-18 hour performance by crossing the line in 17 hours 58 minutes exactly, in a fine 6th place. Pete’s only previous finish was in 2013 and he got to Lezayre in 2015 but in the interim he has completed three ‘Centurion’ walks (100 miles in 24 hours), one in Castletown in August 2015, one in Scheidam, Netherlands in May 2016 and the other being the inaugural South African Centurion around Robben Island in Autumn 2016.

Other walkers to set huge personal bests were:

  • Michael Osborne, who lopped a massive 3 hours 25 minutes and 59 seconds off his debut finish from last year, finishing 14th in 18:56:21;

 

  • Robin Crellin, who finished 22nd and improved his time by 2 hours 45 minutes and 6 seconds to 19:46:38; and

 

  • Kevin Edwards, who finished in 8th place in a time of 18:14:39, which represented an improvement of 2:38:48.

First time finishers

Top 3 first time finishers (male):

Position Number Name Time
19th= 325 Aaron Kneale 19:29:16
24th 276 Glenn Faragher 20:28:55  
41st= 515 Lawrence Dyer 21:19:44

Top 3 first time finishers (female):

Position Number Name Time
23rd 1193 Silvia Moschen 20:26:11
36th= 916 Lucy Titley 20:55:19
41st= 1185 Heather Melvin 21:19:44

Almost two-thirds of those finishing for the first time were ladies (35 out of a total of 55).

The fastest first-time finisher was Aaron Kneale, who finished 6th in his first competitive walking event (last year’s Ramsey Bakery End to End Walk) and who had trained hard for the Parish Walk. Aaron claimed joint 19th place in a time of 19:29:16, teaming up with multiple finisher Jayne Farquhar shortly after Maughold and walking the rest of the way with her.

Silvia Moschen was the fastest lady finishing for the first time, crossing the line in a fine 23rd place in 20:26:11.

The second and third fastest ladies to finish for the first time, Lucy Titley and Heather Melvin, were in esteemed company for the duration of the walk. Both walked virtually every step of the way with previous finishers who have gone under 17 hours for the full distance – 16-time finisher Andrew Titley in Lucy’s case, and 3-time finisher Tom Melvin in Heather’s case. Heather and Tom were also in company with Lawrence Dyer who was the third fastest male to complete the course for the first time and who also claimed the Merit Award at Tuesday’s prize-giving ceremony.

The second-fastest man to finish for the first time, Glenn Faragher, set a steady and consistent pace and finished in a very credible 24th place in 20:28:55. This is particularly impressive given that, according to the database, this was Glenn’s first entry in the Parish Walk.

Finishers’ analysis

Here is a table showing every finisher, their position and their time, with details of their PB improvements where applicable.

Position Race No: Name 2017

Time

Previous Best Improve
1st 33 Liam Parker 15:36:59 16:16:13 00:39:14
2nd 3 Karen Chiarello 15:53:44 16:00:03 00:06:19
3rd 11 Adam Killip 16:58:26 17:30:40 00:32:14
4th 21 Karen Lawrie 17:48:50 17:53:10 00:04:20
5th 16 James Quirk 17:52:03 17:56:30 00:04:27
6th 172 Pete Miller 17:58:00 22:58:29 05:00:29
7th 37 Alan Cowin 18:05:12 16:39:13
8th 99 Kevin Edwards 18:14:39 20:53:27 02:38:48
9th 12 Andrew Dawson 18:22:02 16:52:55
10th 5 Sue Biggart 18:22:45 16:23:14
10th 35 Chris Cale 18:22:45 16:43:22
12th 29 Tony Edwards 18:24:18 19:09:35 00:45:17
13th 32 Ray Pitts 18:27:21 15:51:42
14th 150 Michael Osborne 18:56:21 22:22:20 03:25:59
15th 26 Gabriel Farmer 18:58:13 19:00:37 00:02:24
16th 41 Maureen Moffatt 19:18:25 17:31:21
17th 24 Stephanie Quayle 19:28:57 18:05:08
17th 65 Courtenay Heading 19:28:57 19:55:55 00:26:58
19th 23 Jayne Farquhar 19:29:16 18:39:53
19th 325 Aaron Kneale 19:29:16 First finish
21st 59 Tony Holgate 19:34:44 19:36:14 00:01:30
22nd 85 Robin Crellin 19:46:38 22:31:44 02:45:06
23rd 1193 Silvia Moschen 20:26:11 First finish
24th 276 Glenn Faragher 20:28:55 First finish
25th 129 Nicola Raven 20:30:36 22:06:14 01:35:38
26th 76 Steve Pevsner 20:35:54 20:24:01
27th 58 Bernadette Devlin 20:39:05 19:36:20
28th 122 John Struthers 20:40:57 20:49:51 00:08:54
29th = 68 Michael Lyall 20:41:55 19:58:07
29th = 55 Andrew Dixon 20:41:55 19:29:18
31st 96 Samuel Cannell 20:44:37 20:48:47 00:04:10
32nd = 138 Steven Parker 20:52:12 22:03:19 01:11:07
32nd = 137 Suzy Parker 20:52:12 22:03:19 01:11:07
34th = 69 Hattie Thomas 20:54:34 19:58:46
34th = 108 Megan Thomas 20:54:34 20:27:33
36th = 25 Andrew Titley 20:55:19 16:50:51
36th = 916 Lucy Titley 20:55:19 First finish
38th 48 Alan Teare 20:57:32 18:51:29
39th 95 Gareth Brolly 21:00:03 20:41:50
40th 157 Kathryn Prince 21:03:54 22:30:44 01:26:50
41st = 1185 Heather Melvin 21:19:44 First finish
41st = 515 Lawrence Dyer 21:19:44 First finish
41st = 36 Tom Melvin 21:19:44 16:46:53
44th 126 Abigail Neill 21:20:29 21:55:15  00:34:46
45th 142 Greg Nation 21:20:35 21:17:11
46th 1119 Claire Jackson 21:25:20 First finish
47th 412 Richard Strivens 21:28:42 First finish
48th 38 Steve Corkill 21:33:53 21:49:03 00:15:10
49th 164 Janna Kelly 21:37:41 22:41:36 01:03:55
50th 490 James Corkish 21:40:36 First finish
51st 149 Jayne Simpson 21:42:05 22:22:28 00:40:23
52nd 115 Lindsey Wood 21:48:02 21:39:27
53rd = 439 Richard Ashton 21:49:36 First finish
53rd = 9 Noel Ash 21:49:36 17:00:05
53rd = 8 Stephen Corkill 21:49:36 16:59:35
56th 110 Aaron Curphey 21:52:43 21:27:14
57th 140 May Hooper 22:00:24 22:14:50 00:14:26
58th = 501 Ged Davies 22:02:11 First finish
58th = 202 Kevin Pulman 22:02:11 23:44:44 01:42:33
60th 153 Tiffany Bell 22:05:39 22:33:28 00:27:49
61st 97 June Melvin 22:11:07 20:50:31
62th = 40 Emma Shilling 22:11:53 17:16:15
62th = 148 Rebecca Stride 22:11:53 22:22:29 00:10:36
64th = 246 Matt Cory 22:14:06 First finish
64th = 546 Tom Hanks 22:14:06 First finish
66th = 691 Michelle Barrett 22:16:48 First finish
66th = 158 Roger Davies 22:16:48 22:30:36 00:13:48
68th 207 Bill Vaughan 22:17:50 23:22:21 01:04:31
69th 87 Stephanie Gray 22:18:07 20:34:48
70th 93 Damian Bird 22:19:14 20:47:14
71st 1270 Joanne Thompson 22:20:42 First finish
72nd 959 Sarah Bassett 22:23:37 First finish
73rd 542 Jonathan Hall 22:24:12 First finish
74th 902 Helen Squires 22:33:04 First finish
75th 395 Tristan Shields 22:34:47 First finish
76th 727 Nicola Craig 22:36:12 First finish
77th 644 Sean Skillicorn 22:36:28 First finish
78th 1017 Ann-Marie Clucas 22:42:05 First finish
79th 167 Adie Corlett 22:42:31 22:15:18
80th 92 Carol McCoubrey 22:48:23 20:47:24
81st = 822 Jenna Macgregor 22:52:13 First finish
81st = 1296 Sarah Winrow 22:52:13 First finish
83rd 232 Ben Campbelton 22:56:48 First finish
84th 787 Amy Hide 22:58:52 First finish
85th = 177 John Cooper 22:59:23 23:08:55 00:09:32
85th = 179 Gary Scott 22:59:23 23:08:55 00:09:32
87th = 1099 Caroline Harrison 23:04:01 First finish
87th = 1202 Justine Oates 23:04:01 First finish
89th 1284 Jenny Walmsley 23:04:29 First finish
90th 497 Garry Curtis 23:05:34 First finish
91st 263 Chris Danaher 23:05:46 First finish
92nd 145 Chris Monaghan 23:11:10 22:14:43
93rd 208 Stephen Cletheroe 23:11:58 23:33:08 00:21:10
 

94th =

 

1080

 

Miriam Garlick

 

23:13:18

 

First finish

94th = 1213 Anita Parnell 23:13:18 First finish
96th 1291 Pippa Wilkins 23:15:31 First finish
97th 529 Davey Gawne 23:17:02 First finish
98th 1268 Corrie Thom 23:17:57 First finish
99th 200 Lee Kewley 23:18:42 23:42:03 00:23:21
100th = 405 Ben Smaller 23:20:35 First finish
100th = 144 John Wagstaffe 23:20:25 22:19:34
100th = 174 Colette Johnston 23:20:35 Unknown
103rd 197 Lynn Strickland 23:31:43 23:30:08
104th 1024 Amy Coole 23:34:35 First finish
105th 1266 Fiona Teare 23:38:02 First finish
106th 1217 Marie-Paule Pierson 23:38:26 First finish
107th 105 Michael Crook 23:40:26 21:13:36
108th = 159 Zoe Lambie 23:40:42 22:00:32
108th = 73 Suzannah Corkill 23:40:42 19:13:58
110th 889 Victoria Singer 23:41:24 First finish
111th = 880 Rebekkah Ringham 23:42:01 First finish
111th = 1083 Denise Gimbert 23:42:01 First finish
113th 417 Sean Unsworth 23:42:40 First finish
114th 821 Charlotte Looker 23:43:53 First finish
115th 1235 Jo Robert 23:44:18 First finish
116th 1212 Rachel Palmer 23:44:18 First finish
 

 

117th =

 

 

792

 

 

Danielle  Househam

 

 

23:48:19

 

First

finish

117th = 112 Kevin Watterson 23:48:19 21:34:16
119th 1298 Alina Wojcik

 

23:48:45 First finish
120th 788 Natasha Hinds 23:48:54 First finish
121st 932 Andrea Weatherill 23:49:09 First finish
122nd = 331 Jack Locker 23:53:56 First finish
122nd = 361 Ted O’Mahony 23:53:56 First finish
124th = 943 Tabby Wright 23:55:10 First finish
124th = 820 Eve Locker  

23:55:10

First finish
126th 189 Garry Asling 23:56:58 23:22:51
127th 171 Carolyn Magee 24:14:21 22:36:42

Unfortunately I cannot locate a previous finishing time for Colette Johnston, who finished joint 100th. Colette was listed in the programme as a previous finisher but the database doesn’t reveal her time. If anyone has this information please send a private message on the Parish Walk Facebook page and I will amend the table. Likewise if you spot any errors with the data, please let me know!

Many congratulations to everyone who finished the event in such difficult conditions.

I’ll be back over the weekend with some more (hopefully interesting) analysis focusing on some particular individual performances.

 

 

Liz Corran Interview – How the Parish Walk Happens

With just under a week to go until the 2017 Manx Telecom Parish Walk, the organising committee led by Race Director Ray Cox is gearing up to put the finishing touches to almost 9 months of planning and preparation before the event starts at 8am this coming Saturday.

“Each member of the Committee is responsible for a different aspect of the event” explains Liz Corran, who has been the Race Secretary since 1994. “Allan Callow takes on the job of marking out the course. Winston Liu is the Chief Marshal responsible for co-ordinating over 150 volunteers and ensuring they are in the right places throughout the day. Kevin Walmsley is the Course Director whose job it is to close each checkpoint after the cut-off time and to ensure walkers’ safety as much as possible, with the assistance of Geoff Walmsley, Debbie Surgeon, Allen Bell, Geoff Quayle, John Ryder and Joan Ryder. Karen Kneale and Martin Lambden are in charge of compiling the results”.  Many of the Committee members have been involved for a considerable number of years both as competitors and latterly as volunteers helping to organise this great event.

Although these days Liz is a crucial part of the administration and organisation of the Parish Walk, like a great many people her first involvement with the event was as a competitor. After reaching Rushen on her debut in 1988, she won the veteran ladies’ race to Peel 3 years in a row between 1991 and 1993, setting a personal fastest time of 6 hours 2 minutes 8 seconds in 1993. The following year she supported John Cannell as he went on to achieve his sixth victory, a record which still stands today. After a 12-year break from participating in the event, Liz walked to Peel again in 2005 and the following year finished the full course in under 21 hours at her first and only attempt. Liz walked all the way with Bridget Kaneen, also a previous winner of the ladies’ race to Peel. “We both had special birthdays that year so we thought we’d have a go at the full distance!” Liz recalls.

Liz is however best known as a superb short-distance race walker, having held a number of Manx and British records during her career and having also represented the North of England in competitive events off-Island. Arguably her greatest sporting achievement came in 1996 when she set a veteran ladies’ world record at 20km when competing in Bruges, Belgium. Liz is still very much involved with competitive race walking as a coach with Manx Harriers.

The role of Race Secretary requires countless hours of time and effort in order to bring everything together for the big day. There are a huge number of jobs to be done, and liaising with other volunteer organisations is crucial. Liz explains: “In the run-up to the event, I organise volunteers for the check-ins at each church; contact the churches to make sure there aren’t any clashes with weddings; organise a panel of speakers for the Parish Walk talk; prepare the entry packs for collection at signing-on; confirm who will be the Chief Timekeeper, Chief Judge and Official Starter; sort out the feeding stations; arrange the catering for the presentation and sort out the Dhoon to Laxey one-way system with the Coastguard”. The list goes on and on, but it is clear how much time and dedication Liz and the other Committee members contribute every year.

“In the days before the internet my husband Gordon and I used to be responsible for receiving the entries and then giving them to Karen Kneale to manually record them” Liz adds with a smile. “People used to post their entries through our front door or deliver them in person.” Gordon, himself a 10-time finisher of ‘the Parish’, takes up the story: “One year we had about 370 entries through the door on the deadline day. Liz and I were going out in the evening so I stuffed the letterbox full of newspaper after the closing time had passed but we came home to newspaper strewn everywhere and more entries on the doorstep!”

What about the day itself, does Liz ever get the chance to see some of the event and have some ‘down time?’ “Only a little” she admits. “I’m usually down at the NSC for about 7am on the day, but then I move to the Braaid crossroads as a race judge and then it’s on to Peel to make sure the Phillip Christian Centre is all set up and ready to go, so I’m usually ahead of the walk. Gordon and I then drive to the northern part of the Island to see some of the walkers between Andreas and Ramsey. After that, we go on to the finish to help set everything up there. I normally then try to pop home for a couple of hours’ sleep, but I go back down to the finish to help pack everything away again after the 8am finishing cut-off on Sunday. Gordon stays at the finish all night.”

Liz’s work, and that of the other Committee members, doesn’t stop at 8am on the Sunday morning. There is also the considerable task of organising and running the prize presentation, which this year will be held at the Villa Marina on Tuesday 20th June. The format is very familiar by now, but everything still needs to fall into place. “The presentation starts at 7pm but most of the Committee get there for about 2pm” Liz says. “I spend the Sunday and Monday with a copy of the results sorting out who has won the various trophies and making sure everything is in place for Tuesday night. It’s a far cry from the days when the presentation used to be on the Sunday evening! One year we had Steve Partington feverishly writing out finishers’ certificates in our kitchen as we were trying to get out the door for the presentation!”

 “The main job on presentation day itself is setting out all of the various trophies and ensuring that the finishers’ certificates are in time order, but everyone has their own responsibilities – we’ve got to set up the stage; sound system; slide presentation and organise the florist as well” Liz explains. Given that there are usually in excess of 150 finishers each year, this is a herculean task!

Following a de-brief meeting less than a month after the Parish Walk is over, the Committee in theory has August off before work starts again in earnest in September, but for Liz it’s not quite so simple. She explains: “I’m quite often still chasing up missing timing chips in August so it’s almost a year-round job.”

What is so special about the Parish Walk, and why is Liz still an instrumental part of it nearly three decades after she first took on the challenge of walking the event? Her answer will surely resonate with many people. “It’s like a baby that you watch growing up” she says. “When I first got involved there were only 150 or so entrants and I am so proud to be part of such a good team who have made the event into what it is today. Watching people achieve their own personal goals is so satisfying, even if it means crying with them at the finish, which I have done many times!”

The community spirit and camaraderie of the event is also a big factor in keeping Liz involved with the Parish Walk. “I really enjoy giving something back to the sport which has given me so much pleasure over the years and which has allowed me to make so many friends both on and off the Island” she adds.

It is clear that without the efforts of a great number of volunteers, not least Liz Corran, the Parish Walk simply could not take place. When the gun goes off at 8am this Saturday, it may be the start of the event for some 1400 or so walkers, but the planning, preparing and admin for the 2017 Manx Telecom Parish Walk really started back in September last year and won’t properly finish until next month!

Liz Corran’s Parish Walk record

 Year    Church            Time               

 1988    Rushen           4:58:00           

1989    German           8:11:28          

1990    German           7:17:38         

1991    German           6:18:46

1992    German           6:03:54

1993    German           6:02:08 

2005    German           6:33:05

2006    Finish              20:48:37

Can anyone take 17 minutes and 52 seconds off the Parish Walk record?

This might seem like a very odd question, but there is a reason for it.

Richard Gerrard is the Parish Walk course record holder, having set the excellent time of 14 hours 40 minutes 08 seconds in 2015 when claiming his third victory in the event.  The question is: can that time be beaten?

If you delve a little deeper into the gold mine of information provided by the SportIdent electronic timing system, which has been with us since 2007, the evidence suggests that the answer is “yes” and that a sub 14 hour 30 minute Parish Walk is possible.

The electronic system records each walker’s split time between each church, and the times are logged in the electronic results which are accessible in the ‘Archives’ tab of the parishwalk.com website.

Taking a look at all the split times recorded since 2007, it is possible to piece together the ‘perfect’ race by combining the fastest sector times between each church. The result looks like this:

Sector Fastest walker Split time (h:m:s) Year
Start to Santon Jock Waddington 01:46:14 2011
Santon to Malew David Griffiths 00:35:36 2008
Malew to Arbory Richard Gerrard 00:18:02 2015
Arbory to Rushen Richard Gerrard 00:24:20 2015
Rushen to Patrick Richard Gerrard 01:55:36 2015
Patrick to German (Peel) Vinny Lynch 00:15:57 2012
German to Kirk Michael Vinny Lynch 01:05:01 2012
Kirk Michael to Ballaugh Richard Gerrard 00:29:38 2015
Ballaugh to Jurby Richard Gerrard 00:35:59 2015
Jurby to Bride Richard Gerrard 01:19:06 2015
Bride to Andreas Richard Gerrard 00:31:49 2014
Andreas to Lezayre Michael George 01:01:55 2013
Lezayre to Maughold Michael George 00:54:04 2013
Maughold to Lonan Michael George 02:03:55 2013
Lonan to Onchan Michael George 00:43:42 2013
Onchan to Finish Richard Gerrard 00:21:22 2015
Total Time: 14:22:16

Unsurprisingly, 15 of the 16 fastest times were set by walkers who went on to win the event in that particular year. The only exception is David Griffiths’ terrific time of 35 minutes and 36 seconds between Santon and Malew in 2008, a year when David walked to Rushen ‘for fun’ but set the pace at the front for a number of miles.

Jock Waddington on his way to victory in 2011

It is testament to just how fast the race winners are these days that only two of the fastest times were set in 2012 when Richard Gerrard and Vinny Lynch claimed victory together in 14:42.32 (which at the time was a course record) to become the first-ever joint winners of the event.Vinny Lynch (no. 1) and Richard Gerrard crossing the line in 2012

Michael George’s sector times from Andreas to the finish in 2013 illustrate how hard he must have worked in order to claim victory in what was a memorable race. At Andreas, Michael was only 13 seconds in front of Richard Gerrard, with Vinny Lynch only a further 10 seconds back. 6 miles down the road at Lezayre, Michael’s advantage had increased to 2 minutes over Richard and at Lonan it was up to 4 minutes. Michael eventually won by 6 minutes and 10 seconds in a time which was only just over 2 minutes slower than the pace Richard and Vinny had set the previous year.

Michael George in full flow on the descent into Port Lewaigue in 2013

Setting a time of 14 hours 22 minutes 16 seconds would require someone to cover each mile about 13 seconds faster than the present course record.  That might not sound like very much, but taking account of terrain, fatigue, weather conditions and all the other variables which make the Parish Walk the event that it is, it would be an incredible effort. Having said that, Derek Harrison’s record time of 15 hours 20 minutes 51 seconds in 1979 stood for 27 years before Sean Hands bettered it in 2006 by over half an hour, so perhaps anything is possible…

Adam Killip – 2 June 2017

 Author’s note: I have not been able to access split times prior to 2007.

 I am humbled to have been asked by the Lambden family to contribute to www.parishwalk.com and I hope to help contribute to keep the website running with articles and features.