STEVENSON REFLECTS ON ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL MOUNTAIN
MARATHON - no matter how much he credits those
that have helped him, surely the biggest credit
should go to himself.
Just a few thoughts on Saturdays events now
everyone has had a chance to take in all that went on. A quite remarkable run by
Paul Thompson in one of the fastest times on the course. Incidently I don`t
really think there can be an actual course record for the Manx as every year the
race route and conditions are different. For instance the route we take through
Kerrow N y Glough farm at Greeba can either add or take off minutes to everyone's
times depending on which route we have to take which is dependent on where crops
are being grown etc. Nevertheless it was a super fast time by Paul and a win
that was very popular as he has been trying for 8 years to get a win over here
and he is a really sound bloke. The reception Paul got when he was handed
the Lloyd trophy at Saturday evenings presentation showed everyone was genuinely
pleased he had achieved the win he wanted so much.
Onion Gale was a bit disappointed not to retain his
title but he was quick to praise the winners efforts. I know from working with
Onion that he felt a bit of pressure on him this year with everyone expecting so
much from him. He did not let anybody down recording another brilliant sub 5
hour time to show last year was by no means a one-off performance.
Andy "6 times"Hauser continued his amazing sequence
of results with his first ever third place finish in the Manx and Tony
Okell recorded his best finish yet in 4th place but was disappointed to tire in
the closing miles when he looked to be heading for the top three. Tony just
can`t seem to get this race right. He has undoubtedly got the ability to win but
things always seem to go wrong for him. I just hope he keeps at it as eventually
I am sure he will come out on top.
The Manx is a tough event and I think everyone who
gets to the finish at Port Erin deserves praise whether they are first or last.
It would be nice to give them all a mention as I am sure they all have their own
story to tell. Obviously I can`t mention everyone but a few performances that do
stand out are Simon Skillicorn in a superb 6th place more than 30 minutes faster
than last year, best newcomer Andrew Brierley in a top ten placing, a great race
between Victoria Musgrove and eventual winner Clare Kenny in the females and
success for our continental friends with Rolf Bruwhiler improving from last
years 13th to 7th and finishes for Jiri Fiala from the Czeck Republic and Neil
Lindeman from the Netherlands.
The half marathon was a great success and I feel
sure this will grow a lot in future years and will hopefully become a stepping
stone to the full race. Runners in the main race were pleased to have a few more
people around them in the second half as there is usually a lot of big gaps in a
race of this length. Ozzie ran very strongly to take victory by nearly 6 minutes
from Mark Preston who is slowly getting back to his form of old. Third was
another Clayton runner Stephen Whittaker who was originally down to do the full
race. He has had problems off late trying to train properly and he was delighted
to have the opportunity to still race on the Manx hills but over a shorter
distance. Rose Hooton was top lady in an excellent fifth place overall. Next
female was Switzerland's Barbara Neuenschwz, girlfriend of Rolf Bruwhiler, She
was absolutely delighted with her performance and quite rightly as was
Lorraine Croome from Devon in third.
Organisation wise things went well apart from a
few problems which are inevitable in an event of this size. The decision to
allow the slower runners to go off at 7.30am was another big success. The race
all came together in the second half with a lot more finishing closer together.
This made for a great relaxed atmosphere outside the Ocean Castle with lots of
runners and spectators sitting in the brilliant sunshine. The feedback we have
had so far has been very very positive which we are extremely pleased about. One
thing that competitors comment on every year is the helpful and good natured way
that our officials and marshals do their jobs. As race secretary I would like
to thank everyone of them for their excellent contribution to the race. Also
thanks to the group of people who quietly but efficiently set the course up and
then gather everything back in again after race day. Finally thanks to all the
land owners for access to Raynet and the Civil Defence and to all our
sponsors Okells Brewery, Department of Tourism, Robinsons Fruiterers, Mars and
Lucozade through H E Richards and to the Mona Aerated Water