Parish Walk


The Parish Walk (sponsored by Manx Telecom since 2012, previously known as the Clerical Medical Parish Walk until 2009, then Scottish Widows Parish walk up to 2011) is a walking race that takes place on the Isle of Man each year usually on the weekend nearest to the Northern Summer solstice.[1] It is the biggest walking event on the island.[2]

Parish Walk on 2006.

The Parish Walk is so called because the route passes through all of the island's seventeen parishes, covering a total distance of 85 miles (137 km). Originally, walkers had to touch the door of each of the seventeen parish churches, which are all still visited but nowadays electronic timing chips are worn. A time limit of 24 hours is given, and there are cut-off times for reaching each stage.

Only a small proportion of walkers are expected to complete the full distance each year. Walkers may drop out at any of the stages, which correspond to each parish, with an official time and distance. The entry fee for the 2018 race was quoted at £40 or less dependent on discounts.[3]

History


The challenge was seeded by a Manx Sun newspaper article in 1852 entitled "A summer's day Journey", recording a journey taken by the then-Coroner, John Cannel, who covered 90 miles in 15 hours on horseback. The following year he followed a similar route, only this time on foot, visiting each of the island's 17 parishes.

It was not until 1913 that the event took its current form when the Parish Walking Match was organised by the Isle of Man Times and the Manx Sporting Club. The outbreak of war interrupted the event, and it was revived in 1923.

Fundraising


It is believed that[weasel words] the Parish Walk may be the largest annual fundraising event in the island. However, as each participant is left to raise money themselves and for a charity of their own choice, no figures have ever been compiled. Participation involves a chargeable entry fee.[3]

Course


The Parish Walk starts at 8am at the National Sports Centre in Douglas. From the start line of the athletics track, competitors must complete one lap of the 400 metre track before leaving through the Marathon gates, negotiating the TT Access Road before doubling back to the first of the Parish Churches (Braddan), proceeding in the following order;

The finishing line is on Douglas promenade by the War Memorial at the bottom of Broadway.

Past winners


YearMen's WinnerTimeWomen's WinnerTimeOverall Position
1960Stan Cleator19:50:30
1961Henry Harvey17:10:17
1962Henry Harvey16:25:40
1963Joe Brown17:04:09
1964Henry Harvey16:21:06
1965No race
1966No race
1967Albert Johnson15:54:51
1968Leece Kneale16:05:52
1969Ian Hodgkinson17:11:25
1970Dudley Seddon17:21:49
1971Graham Young15:43:12
1972Derek Harrison16:19:15
1973Derek Harrison16:36:04
1974John Dowling16:40:07
1975Ted Warner18:49:52
1976John Cannell17:28:12
1977Steve Gardner19:11:01
1978Murray Lambden16:19:37
1979Derek Harrison15:20:51
1980Derek Harrison16:13:10
1981John Cannell16:15:11
1982John Cannell15:59:33
1983John Cannell16:31:38
1984Derek Harrison16:10:17
1985Willie Corkill16:29:31
1986Willie Corkill17:03:45
1987Willie Corkill16:58:33
1988Martin Lambden17:12:01
1989Charlie Weston18:17:55
1990Gordon Vale17:55:10
1991Charlie Weston17:46:58
1992Graham Young16:38:27
1993John Cannell16:11:11
1994John Cannell16:13:46
1995Brian Ashwell16:37:47Jill Green20:29:087th
1996Lee Cain17:26:29Winnie Callister22:59:0217th
1997Chris Flint17:36:40Jill Green18:39:574th
1998Richard Brown15:59:44Sandra Brown16:16:362nd
1999Chris Flint17:07:46Karen Marie Brogger17:48:402nd
2000Peter Kaneen16:59:54Karen Marie Brogger18:04:354th
2001Robbie Callister16:59:27Rosemarie Crellin20:04:5415th
2002Robbie Callister16:34:30Rosemarie Crellin18:34:075th
2003Peter Kaneen15:26:07Rosemarie Crellin17:12:194th
2004Robbie Callister15:26:31Sue Biggart16:48:323rd
2005Robbie Callister15:24:24Sue Biggart16:53:543rd
2006Sean Hands14:47:36Sue Biggart16:23:144th
2007Robbie Callister15:36:47Sue Biggart16:49:467th
2008Jock Waddington15:44:43Sue Biggart16:42:095th
2009Jock Waddington15:45:56Janice Quirk15:58:352nd
2010Jock Waddington15:18:06Susan Moore17:44:1312th
2011Jock Waddington15:01:48Maureen Moffatt18:19:2116th
2012Vinny Lynch/Richard Gerrard14:42:32Sue Biggart17:03:538th
2013Michael George14:44:49Janice Quirk16:16:396th
2014Richard Gerrard15:15:20Janette Morgan16:48:146th
2015Richard Gerrard14:40:08Janette Morgan16:38:149th
2016Richard Gerrard15:31:43Karen Chiarello16:00:033rd
2017Liam Parker15:36:59Karen Chiarello15:53:442nd
2018Richard Gerrard15:25:09Bernie Johnson17:37:1712th
2019Liam Parker15:44:06Emma Shilling17:47:097th
2020No race
2021Paul Atherton15:23:41Samantha Bowden16:38:516th

[4] [5] [6]

Sponsorship


Clerical Medical sponsored the event from 1990 to 2009, until the takeover of HBOS (which owned Clerical Medical) by Lloyds TSB (which owned Scottish Widows) to form the Lloyds Banking Group. As a result of the takeover the event was rebranded as the Scottish Widows Parish Walk. This sponsorship ran up to and including the 2011 event. On 12 October 2011 the organisers announced that Manx Telecom would be taking over sponsorship.[1] Manx Telecom had provided the on-line timing systems for previous years but the 2012 event was their first as title sponsors.

Organisation


The Parish Walk is organised by Manx Harriers, the largest Athletics club in the Isle of Man. A sub-committee of the club organises the event.[7]

Events


There are four main races within the Parish Walk - The Mass race, Ladies Race, Team Race and Under 21 Race.

The mass race

In 2017, the Mass Race was won by Liam Parker in hot conditions in a time of 15:36:59. At 26, Parker was the youngest winner for two decades.[8] He was followed by Karen Chiarello in second place and Adam Killip was third overall and second man to complete the 85 mile course.

Ladies race

The Trophy for the Best Lady Finisher went to Karen Chiarello in 2017. She completed the 85 miles in a time of 15:53:44, placing her 2nd overall. She broke the women's course record (set in 2009 by Janice Quirk) by 4 minutes 51 seconds.[8] The second woman to finish, Karen Lawrie was in 4th place overall.

U21 race

The event is open to anyone with an age of at least 18 and under 21 on the day of the race, and finishes at Peel (32.5 miles).

The 2016 U21 winners were Alex Eaton (Men - 06:16:29) and Rebecca Greatbatch (Ladies - 06:58:40).[9]

Team race

Teams may consist of up to four walkers but each team may only have two members who have previously completed the full 85 miles. The winning team is that with the highest total mileage. The total time is used as a tie-breaker should more than one team have the same total mileage. In 2016 the overall team winners were Organ Donation Isle of Man (Richard Gerrard 1st, David Walker 2nd, James Quirk 15th, Paul Clark 113th).[10] Family with the hat on (Maureen Moffatt =98th, June Melvin =98th, Jessica Hatton =98th, Rebecca Moffatt =98th) were the quickest of the ladies teams. The 2018 ladies winners were 4SW, made up of Jessica Kitchin , Nikki Taylor , Thenral Anand and Sharon Blackley.

References