Sunday 13th March 2016 saw runners from the Island getting the earliest ferries of the day to go take on the hills of South Wiltshire in the Larmer Tree Races.
The Island boasted 34 runners crossing the start lines of the Half Marathon, 20 Miler and the Full Marathon. Members of Isle of Wight Road Runners, Ryde Harriers and the ‘unofficial’ Godshill Massive took on some savage downland climbs, a little mud and hilly single-track woodland on what was a perfect day for running.
The Half Marathon saw 320 competitors, 11 Islanders, with Sally Trotman of Isle of Wight Road Runners flying around in 2:06:27 (2nd F45), 31st overall. Ryde Harriers’ girls were running strong with notable performances from Sarah Blackwell (2nd F30), Tracey Dillon (2nd F40) and Julie King (1st F50). In fact the Ryde girls packed so well they all shared the same time of 2:12:25!
In the 20 mile race there were 268 competitors with 18 from the Island. First home from the Isle of Wight was Garry Sharp in a speedy 2:59:34 giving him a well earned 11th place. He was hotly followed in by Judy McCabe (1st F35), just 4 places back, in 3:00:54 making her the 3rd placed lady, and Stuart Backhouse was a blink of an eye behind in 3:00:58 (3rd M40) and 16th finisher. Elaine Harris and Julie Salter showed fine form in the F50 category coming in 2nd and 3rd in respective times of 3:40:08 and 3:51:30.
The Full Marathon saw 5 Islanders, all from Isle of Wight Road Runners, forming part of the 302 competitor strong race. Tim Cordery was the first Island man to complete the brutally hilly course in a time of 4:12:41 for an creditable 62nd place; followed by Dan Williams (of Wight Orienteers), just over 13 minutes back (after suffering stomach problems) in 84th place, in a time of 4:26:09. Ian Dyer was the next Island man to finish followed shortly by Steve Hickman. The intrepid Pat Harris twisted an ankle just 2 days prior to the race. Not deterred, he crossed the start line strapped up, took it the marathon course and completed the round-up for the Island contingent in 242nd place.