The Isle of Wight Marathon attracted 218 entries from club runners on Sunday (4th October) – whilst others took part in the Virtual London Marathon.
Host club Ryde Harriers first staged the IW Marathon in 1957 – 24 years before the London Marathon came on the scene – and were keen to keep the unbroken sequence intact, but with COVID 19 guidelines strictly adhered to.
For 2020 there were 2 starts. At 11:30, the slower runners – taking 5 hours 15 mins or more to complete the course – set off, followed 30 minutes later by the larger group in seeded starts (fastest first). All runners were ‘chipped’ and were sent on their way 2 at a time, at 5-second intervals, with no overtaking in the first mile.
174 runners actually came under starters orders in very wet and windy conditions.
27-year-old Ross Skelton (HY Runners) crossed the line in a time of 2:28:30 just 6-and-a-half minutes outside the outright course record for the event, having targeted the record for this new course he beat that record by 6-and-a-half minutes.
Runner up James Maloney, 22, from Esher, finished in a time of 2:32:36. He described the route as one of the toughest he had run.
Third place was taken by Vet 40 Mike Boucher (Aldershot) in 2:35:23. As a schoolboy Mike had been trained for Hampshire Schools Running by Ryde Harriers legend Geoff Watkin.
First Island Runner home was Ryde Harrier Gary Marshall (2018 Winner) in 4th with a personal best of 2:36:15. Turning 40 this year, Gary said that he had overindulged over Easter and had to lose weight before setting himself a tough training schedule. He had been in the leading pack of 4 until the halfway point, when he fell back slightly.
With Ryde Harriers taking the next 2 places thanks to Adam Tuck (2017 Winner) in 5th in 2:48:50 and Dave Hunt 6th in 2:52:08, Ryde Harriers secured the Men’s Team Trophy.
Ryde Harrier Charlie Metcalfe Female Vet 40 finished 7th overall with a time of 2:56:38 and she was the first lady home. She had been running alongside 2013 Ladies Champion Sarah Hill (Farnham) Female Vet 45. However, when Sarah mentioned that she would be happy to run 3:10 Charlie realised she could better that and gradually pulled away succeeding in a personal best.
Ryde Harriers also won the Ladies Team Award with Charlie, joined by Holly Newton (3:18:01) and Sarah Peake (4:06.10).