Shortly after 8am on Saturday 30th April Chris Pritchett and Dan Williams set off from West Cowes on the Round The Island Walk as part of The Isle of Wight Walking Festival.
Chris and Dan were walk leaders with 2 other leaders, Martin and Alan. Their job was to guide a group of 14 people in total, in an anti-clockwise route around the official Isle of Wight Coastal Path in a day. The aim was to walk the route non-stop, which is approximately 70 miles in length, within 24 hours. But as many of the walkers found out, completing the task in a day was more than a challenge.
During the walk Chris kept things together at the rear; coaxing and helping those whose pace was slowing and were suffering from physical wear and tear. Whilst Dan walked at the front trying to keep the group motivated and on pace for a 24 hour finish.
The walk offers many challenges, both mental and physical: dealing with sleep deprivation effects, testing leg strength and physical stamina, sore feet and blisters were battled by many of the walkers. There was an excellent support crew for the event providing food and drink at scheduled stops and recovery should it be needed. The effects of the challenge to walk around the Isle of Wight in a day (24 hours) was too much for some and the number of walkers in the group gradually reduced throughout the event.
At 8am on Sunday 1st May, at the chain ferry in East Cowes, 6 hardy souls arrived (from 14 starting), having showed great fortitude in finishing. They completed the gruelling walk around the Island in a time of 23 hours and 49 minutes.
UPDATE 2018: Dan has since gone on to run the Isle of Wight coast in nearly half time, 12hour 25minutes. You can read about it all on his blog here.