Foursome rise to Bob Baxter Challenge
On Saturday 29th June on Laxey promenade four
people Carrie Caren, Lisa Motley, Nick Faragher and Neil Birchall set off at
4am to embark on completing the Bob Baxter Challenge.
The challenge was the brain child of Ian Callister in 1972,
to summit all the peaks on the Island over 1000 feet in 24hrs. However it
wasn’t until 1975 and several reconnoiters by Ian and fellow runner Robert
(Bob) Baxter that the final 60 mile course with 37 peaks and 11,400 feet of
ascent was finally completed. It was first ran by Bob Baxter in 1977 in 14hrs
and 55minutes and so the course became known as the ‘Bob Baxter’.
Christine O’Shea was the first woman to complete the course
in 2007, the 30th anniversary. She completed the course in 21hrs and
2minutes. The record for the course was set in 1982 by Colin Donnelly at 11hrs
35minutes, which still stands today. Up until this year only six people had
completed the challenge.
Carrie Caren is a fell runner, completed the Manx Mountain
Marathon twice also the Welsh Trail Marathon in 2012, and Scafell Marathon in
2013. Lisa Motley has finished the Parish Walk three times, Manx Mountain
Marathon three times and Coniston Trail Marathon in 2012. Nick Faragher fell
runs but comes from a cycling background, having completed the End to End Bike
Ride four times and the Fred Whitton Sportive in 2012, Neil Birchall is an
endurance runner and has completed the Marathon Des Sable and Everest Marathon
in 2009 and the Jungle Marathon (in the Amazon) in 2011. He is currently
training for the Lakeland 100.
Conditions for the four runners were good on the 29th,
some mist at times but generally clear, no rain and not too hot. There were
high and lows for the runners but that goes with the territory for any
endurance event, 40% is physical and 60% is in the head. They had a number of
runners join them on the day and would like to thank Allan Gage, Julie Cretney,
Ian Callister and Jan Gledhill. Their support crews were invaluable Phil
Motley, Alex Henderson, Gordy Caren and Lulu Birchall.
After 17hrs 50 minutes Neil Birchall summited Cronk Ny Airee
Laa the last of the thirty seven peaks, then Carrie Caren in 17hrs 53minutes
and Lisa Motley in 18hrs 2minutes. Nick Faragher in 18hrs 7minutes. The
champagne corks were popped as the sun set, to celebrate the end of a perfect
but gruelling day.