View from the back of the pack (ie my view!)
Judging from the entry list, I knew it was going to be a great race!
Before the start, Vinny Lynch told me that he wanted to get under19 hours, so I wasn't surprised (well, yes I was) when he lapped me after a mere 3 laps into the race! Quickly followed by loads more...
Then there were Manx walkers Michael Bonney, Robbie Callister and Andrew Titley hot on Vinny's heels. Soon followed by New Zealander Richard McChesney who was out to take the NZ record and get under 21 hours. If that was not enough, stalwart Centurion Frank van der Gulik (NL) who is such a consistant 24 hour walker soon passed me by.....
In the ladies race, we had our very own Sandra Brown (Surrey WC) pitted against Isle of Man walker Janette Morgan (also a Centurion). Two walkers at the top of their game. But in different races...
Given the entry process of declaring a 100 miles or 24 hours race in advance - it was difficult on race day to determine as to who had elected to race 100 miles or the 24 hours. Hopefully, the result sheet is explanatory!
So whilst Janette won the 100 miles (well done!!) Sandra won the 24 hour race (well done!!)
Somehow it didn't seem to matter as to what race you had entered... just when you stopped walking....
Some walkers entered the 100 EM/24H race based solely on the start time because they really didn't want to hang around all day (in the cold as it happened) until the official start time of the 50EM/100km races in the evening. I confess that I was one of these. In 2015 I did get very cold waiting for the 100km start so this year I thought that entering the 24 hour race with a 12 noon start would be preferable. This is fine if you are not too fussed about a "result" (whihc I wasn't) and you just want to do a distance (which I did).
In the 50km race Matt Haddock from the Isle of Man (Manx Harriers) came first followed by Dutch walker Anne van Andel. Congratulations to Centurion Anne (qualified in Castletown 2015) who created a new Dutch record for 50km.
The support team
No 100 mies/24 hour race is complete without the support team. The 2016 Wandelweekend was no exception.
Centurion Suzanne Beardsmore, husband Jim Hansen along with friend Kerry Martin went to support Centurions Sarah Lightman, Richard MacChesney and would be Centurions Lee Corkhill and Suzannah Corkhill and ended up with a whole lot more of us. Thank you!!!
On the Isle of Man side, Emma, Mo Cox and others (sorry I don't know your names!) were there to look after the Isle of Man walkers. But, as ever, everyone pulled together and looked after all the strays and waifs - namely, myself, Sandra, Victoria, John Kilmartin and nameless others....
So a very BIG thank you to you all.
I have also to thank the Dutch RWV crew on the feeding station - Veronica, Tamara and friends for their hard work and great sense of humour. You were wonderful!
Not to mention other crew at the "half way" feeding station, the lap recorders, the organisers and everyone who made this race so very memorable.