Organised by Ryde Harriers, this event incorporated the national Police Marathon Championship. Last year their race was staged in Milton Keynes- a very different course from the Island’s 26+ miles.
With the IW Community Club at Cowes as the start/finish venue competitors completed a circuit via Gurnard, Locksgreen, Shalfleet, Yarmouth Road, The Causeway, Thorley, Shalfleet, Corf and back to Cowes via Pallance Road.
First home was Island-born Christopher Redhead in a time of 2:45:32, a new course record. He now lives and competes in France and was previously a competent cyclist, starting out with Vectis Roads Cycling Club.
He inherited the lead after about 20 miles and had a winning margin of some 4 minutes. Chris is only the fifth Islander to win the race in 59 years, but is the first to be triumphant twice, having previously won in 2013. He also won the Veteran 40+ category this year.
Another former winner (in 2009) is Paul Cameron (IW Road Runners) who held a lead of more than two minutes for well into the race. Paul, however, was forced to withdraw this year after 22 miles when he pulled up suffering from ‘dead legs’. Following treatment from the Red Cross he appeared at the finish walking unaided.
All the next four finishers were police officers. Male police champion was Alex Davies from Newquay Road Runners/Devon & Cornwall Police in 2:49:37. It was a deserved victory as he was runner-up in the last two annual police championships. Alex was also 2nd in the IW Marathon and 2nd Vet.40+.
Third overall and 2nd in the police championship was Dave Giles representing Newcastle Tri Club/Staffs Police in 2:55:39. He was also 3rd Vet.40+.
A Scot, Richard Cockbain, was the only other runner to break three hours in 2:57:46. Running in the colours of Edinburgh AC/Scottish Police he was 4th overall and bronze medallist for the police.
An excellent run by Sarah Hill from Farnham Runners/Hampshire Constabulary in 3:00:31, a female course record saw her crowned the ladies Police Champion. Once a running companion of the Olympian Kelly Holmes she also took the Female IW Marathon title and the Female Vet.40+ title. Tara Malone was 2nd lady home in the IW Marathon and Ffion Davies 3rd. Judy McCabe (IWRR) was the 1st Island lady to finish.
As the fifth male finisher, sixth overall, Daniel Faulkner of IW Road Runners posted a P.B. of 3:01:25 in only his third Marathon. Last year he ran 3:27- some improvement.
Winner in 2011, Ryde Harriers’ Les Cupis was tenth in 3:10:05, a new course record in the Vet 50+ category and 1st IW Male Vet.
There was a double family triumph for the Holmes brothers from Fleet & Crookham A.C. Nicholas won the Vet 55 title in 3:29:49, a new course record whilst Adam, was the top Vet 60+ in 4:05:36. Their team mate Richard Simpson was taking part in his 30th consecutive IW Marathon.
Meanwhile, Ryde Harriers Jonathan Norton tasted success in the Vet70+ section in 4:05:36 beating his own course record by seven minutes.
IW Road Runners triumphed as the top Mens Team, with Devon & Cornwall Police runners up. Isle of Wight Road Runners ‘B’ was third placed.
Amongst the Ladies team contenders IWRR finished ahead of the Metropolitan Police trio.
Report and photograph thanks to Alan and Suzanne Whitewood
Photographed L-R: Second Place Alex Davies with winner Christopher Redhead