We have just enjoyed another superb day in the
southern hills of the island in weather conditions that were fantastic, writes
sunshine was the order of the day and very little wind, unusual for the island
to say the least, with the only down side being a few icy patches on some of the
tracks where the snow had been compounded. Due to other commitments the first
action I witnessed was at the top of the Colby Road where the competitors cross
to start the long climb to South Barrule.
The race pattern had already been set
with Tony in the lead from Onion and Ozzie. The gaps between the leading three
did stretch as the race progressed but each one new that if they started to
weaken they would be caught by their respective chasers.
At the finish the
winning margin for Tony was less than 2 minutes, absolutely nothing in a race of
this distance and severity.It was one of the fastest times ever recorded on the
15 miles course and was less than 2 minutes slower than Lloyd Taggarts winning
time last year, and as we all know he was to go on to represent Great Britain a
few months later.. Onion also broke 2 hours 15 which illustrates how well our
lads are running at the moment. He had 4 minutes in hand over Ozzie who despite
a couple of changes of shoes due to sore feet still posted a time that would
have won the race more times than not.
The next two finishers also enjoyed a good battle.
Simon Skillicorn knocked a massive 10 minutes off his time from last year, no
doubt helped by the tremendous pressure he was put under by Mike Quine who must
have been well pleased with his first attempt on this course. Undoubtedly the
closest finish was the tremendous tussle between the veterans in the over 50
category. Dave Young, Rob Webb and Dave Corrin showed just how good they still
are after so many years in the sport with just over 3 minutes separating them at
Castletowns Tom Cringle impressed everyone on his
debut on the fells finishing in the top ten. He has been mostly involved in
mountain biking and uses the fells to improve his fitness. On this showing he
would have a bright future if he decided to concentrate on the hills.
There were three retirements, unfortunately, including the favourite for the females award
Cal Partington I`m not sure what went wrong for Cal but it did give Rose Hooton
the chance to score a win again. Rose knocked around 15 minutes off her time
from last year and this after one of her shoes fell apart coming off South
Barrule. Allan Thmpson, who also had to call it a day at Cronk Ny Iree Laa,
sportingly offered up one of his shoes so that Rose could finish which was fine
but she did look rather comical plodding along in
a size 9. Second female was Shirley Folley who I reckon produced one of the best
runs of the day just over 6 minutes behind Rose.
Thanks to Ian Ronan joiners for kindly sponsoring
the race and to Ian himself for helping us. Thanks also to everyone who helped
on the day especially James Coulson, Adrian Cowin, Paul Sykes and Steve Partie
for coming forward this week when we were stuck.