Richard Gerrard will again start as many people’s tip to take the honours in the Manx Telecom Parish Walk when the annual 85-mile classic gets underway at 8am on Saturday 17th June. The 4-time champion and absolute course record holder will however likely face stiff competition from friend and training partner David Walker (who has finished second on two occasions), last year’s leading lady Karen Chiarello, and the ever-improving Liam Parker.
Other likely contenders towards the sharp end include the returning Michael Bonney, Brian Kelly, last year’s best first-time finisher James Quirk, close friends Stephen Corkill and Noel Ash, and regular competitors Andrew Dawson and Stew Jones. Last year’s second lady Emma Shilling will hope to improve on her magnificent time of 17 hours 16 minutes set in extremely warm conditions 12 months ago, and Karen Lawrie, Kathryn Clough, Jayne Farquhar, Steph Quayle (and possibly Sue Biggart if she is aiming for a finish) will also be names to watch in the ladies’ race.
The Under-21s race to Peel, over a distance of 32.5 miles, is always more difficult to predict but last year’s female winner Rebecca Greatbatch and male runner up Connor Gilbert have both entered and will be looking to claim success.