Records tumble at the 64th Isle of Wight Marathon
Impeccable organisation and cheerful marshals made for a memorable race on Vectis
Both course records were smashed and Ryde Harriers dominated the team events at the 64th running of the historic Isle of Wight Marathon from Isle of Wight Community Club, Cowes on Sunday (4 October). Isle of Wight Marathon has been held continuously since 1957, making it the longest-running marathon in the UK and the 25th oldest in the world.
There were 171 finishers in 5:51:04 as lockdown frustrations were turned into lifetime bests by almost half the top 20 finishers. Ross Skelton – a 2:19:21 performer at his best – may have been restricted to 2:28:30 by the hills and stormy weather conditions but the HY Runners member still sliced seven minutes off Jack Oates' 2:35:01 course record set last year.
Also inside the previous record was James Maloney (unattached, 2:32:36) from Esher and first M40 master Mike Boucher (Aldershot, 2:35:23) was not far off in third on a filthy day. Ryde Harriers' former winner Gary Marshall (M40, 2:36:15), Adam Tuck (M40, 2:48:50) and Dave Hunt (2:52:08) then filled the next three places to claim the team prize for the host club.
The women's record – 3:00:31 set in 2015 – was slashed by almost four minutes by Ryde Harrier's Charlie Metcalfe (W40, 2:56:38). The defending champion and previous record-holder Sarah Hill (W45 Farnham Runners, 3:10:26) was runner-up and Holly Newton (Ryde Harriers, 3:18:01) third. Sarah Peake (4:06:10) secured the team prize for Ryde Harriers.
Ryde Harriers, formed in 1886, have vast experience in promoting running events on the Isle of Wight but on this occasion deserve credit for ensuring the continuity of this historic marathon race despite the double challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and the awful weather.
Of the many tributes paid on social media, Jim Clow (M70 Victory AC, 4:50:14) captured the moment with this: “A special thanks to all the race marshals who were out in the rain and wind for hours, and still cheerful and full of encouragement. The weather made it a tough run, and I was very pleased with myself when I crossed the line. The whole organisation was impeccable, just as I expected from Ryde Harriers.”
Results and race details available via runABC South race listing here
Image showing IOW Marathon history courtesy Ryde Harriers on Facebook