There was a good turn out and a high class field for the Seven Stations Walk last Sunday despite its close proximity to the big race. I would call it a Parish warm up - most of the top guys were walking.
Myself and occasional training partner Matthew Haddock decided that we would go for it from the outset as I was unsure about finishing due to bad feet and he was carrying a groin injury.If nothing else it would be a very good training session under race conditions.We went so well that we were only passed by 2 people in the entire walk - once by Sean Hands early on and then by Jock Waddington in the mists approaching Foxdale. In fact, despite walking together, it was a very lonely race ! We got to Peel ok enough in about 12th place but I was starting to feel the effects of my blistered feet and decided, rather sensibly for me, to pack in at Kirk Michael( 24 miles) before I made the situation any worse. I had dropped about a quarter of a mile off Matthew by that stage and was just behind James Moore. Well done to both those lads for finishing it and to the organisers for such a great job. There were plenty of marshalls and water stations plus the mobile guys who were constantly on your case asking if you were ok. I think if the event can be moved backwards by about two weeks, it may grow and grow. I hope so - endurance events leading up to the Parish are thin on the ground and with traffic an ever increasing problem, walking under race conditions are ideal.
I rested my feet for 4 days and went out for an 8 mile quicker walk last night. My feet were fine and my time was ok ( for me !) but I have done my back in ! If it's not one thing, it's the other - is my walking training always going to be this way ??!!
I was chuffed to see there are now almost 1000 entrants for the big day, following a little confusion over the exact numbers. This will be my first parish experience and I want it full on, numbers and all ! Hopefully, with a week still to enter, the figures will rise. Get your entries in folks if you haven't yet done so !