Gary Marshall, an unattached (non-club) runner from Newport, was the surprise winner of the Isle of Wight Marathon on Sunday in a time of 2:58:06.
The debutant described his victory as beyond his wildest dreams, although he had aimed at running a sub 3 hour time. He was running in support of local charity Mountbatten.
Gary was well in control during the first half of the race, before experiencing ‘heavy legs’. Gary held on though and was pleased to record a qualifying time for the 2020 London Marathon.
In contrast, Matt Cheyney of Denmead Striders has clocked up 39 Marathons, with a best time of 2:51 in London. Running steadily throughout he took the runner up slot after 21 miles and finished in 2:58:43.
Completing the podium placings was Islander Dave Hunt of Team Spy in a time of 3:01:06. Trained by now retired Ryde Harrier Geoff Watkin, Dave explained he felt OK for the first 19 miles before fading slightly and unable to prevent Matt from passing him.
Paul Cameron of IW Road Runners (IWRR), the 2009 Isle of Wight Marathon winner, was fourth in 3:05:36. Although experiencing a problem after 23 miles he soldiered on, drawing on his vast long distance running expertise.
Elizabeth Steward from Denmead Striders was the first lady home in 3:34:26. Elizabeth once lived on the Island and attended school in Sandown. She said that she had enjoyed the race, but it was a real challenge.
Runner up Hayley Baxter (IWRR) came home in 3:36:13, a time 7 minutes faster than her race winning time last year. Hayley won the trophy for the first Island lady home. She explained she was neck and neck with Lizzie (Elizabeth) at the 11 mile mark, but as she looked over her shoulder she said: “Lizzie just took off”.
Wight Tri athlete Mary Norman was the 3rd lady home in 3:47:29, as well as being the first lady in the Veteran 55+ category.
First junior man home was Harry Rann (IWRR) just 51 seconds inside 4 hours. In contrast, Ryde Harrier Jonathan Norton was the club’s oldest finisher and first in the Veteran 70+ category, recording 4:17:25.
IWRR dominated both the Mens’ and Ladies’ team rankings. Paul Cameron in 4th, Stuart Backhouse in 5th in 3:10:54 and Andrew Macarthur in 12th in 3:19:05 secured the Men’s title.
For the Ladies’ category the IWRR trio of Hayley Baxter, Zoe Sherwin (4th lady) in 3:55:36 and Sarah Holmes (12th lady) in 4:21:53 was triumphant.
Report and photos by Alan and Suzanne Whitewood