The Round The Island Challenge 2012
Last weekend 125 extreme runners took on the two day Round The Island Challenge on the Isle of Wight.
Competitors arrived on the Friday evening to a buzzing Cowes. The Round The Island Yacht race tented village with beer tents, live bands and huge TV screens created a great atmosphere prior to the start of the race.
Saturday morning in 3 waves the walkers and runners set off from the very unique start to this event. The competitors loaded onto the ferry from West Cowes to East Cowes and as the loading ramp was lowered the race started and the competitors ran off to start their 38 mile first day.
The weather was kind, but the wind was strong. This meant that when the competitors came round Bembridge they were faced with very strong head winds making the tough 38 miles even harder. However, the views of the island, the solent, the channel and 1700 yachts racing round the island meant that the effort was worthwhile.
Staying in Brighstone Holiday Centre on the Isle of Wight the competitors were refuelled, had a few beers, listened to Russell Secker talk about his running across Europe and watch Andy Murray get through to the Quarters of Wimbledon.
The next day with 32 miles to run the competitors headed off to the famous Needles Battery into a continuing strong head wind. With a lot less climbing on day 2 the times were quicker and the views of the solent stunning.
There were some great performances throughout the field.
Justin Montague broke the record for the course by more than 30 minutes in a fantastic time of 10 hours 19 minutes.
The fastest lady back was Melanie Hawker in a superb time of 12 hours 33 minutes.