Richard Gerrard turned in a display of top quality endurance walking to win the Tower Insurance Isle of Man 100- Mile Walk at the weekend.
The joint Parish Walk record holder took an early lead in the event, which covered 200 laps of the NSC road track, walking through the night, winning by more than 30 minutes from Vinny Lynch.
Gerrard, along with runner-up Lynch and third placed Robbie Callister, a further 19 minutes behind, were all first time centurions on a day which saw 85 walkers tackle the gruelling target of walking 100 miles inside 24 hours.
‘It was much tougher than the Parish,’ Gerrard said at the finishing line following his victory.
‘You would think that a flat course would make it easier, but there’s no change of scenery and it was really difficult at times to stay motivated.
‘I’m really pleased to win, and to finish my first 100 miles event, but I’m also glad it’s over.’
The race was flagged away by two legends in Isle of Man race walking. John Cannell, winner of the 100-mile event in 1987, and multiple distance race winner Irene Corlett, signalled the start of the event at 12 noon on Saturday, with a total of 83 athletes taking to the startline.
All of the finishers were met on the line by Ann Sayer, president of the The Centurions, who finished third in the 1978 Parish Walk in a time of 17 hours 51 minutes.
The first woman over the line was the legendary veteran endurance walker Sandra Brown in an impressive fifth position overall, this being her 42nd centurion event.
Local walker Maureen Moffat was the second woman to finish followed by Janette Morgan.
The Starlight Stroll 20-mile race, with 38 walkers entered, started at 10pm and was won by Michael George followed by Michelle Turner and Richard Wild in second and third respectively.
The 100-mile walk was organised by 2012 Olympic Games chief judge Steve Taylor with the support of Manx Harriers and Isle of Man Veteran Athletes Club
Results: 1, Richard Gerrard 18 hours 29 minutes 40 seconds; 2, Vinny Lynch 19:00.51; 3, Robbie Callister 19:19.45; 4, Jock Waddington 19:34.01; 5, Sandra Brown 19:57.50; 6, Mark Denby 20:05.33; 7, Christer Svensson 20:19.00; 8, Kim Janssens 20:37.05; 9, Terry Moffat 20:37.38; 10, Simon Briggs 20:44.42; 11, Brian Kelly 20:50.13; 12, Chris Cale 20:52.02; 13, Stephen Corkill 20:59.52; 14, Noel Ash 21:35.45; 15, Maureen Moffat 21:36.12; 16, Janette Morgan 21:46.12; Suzanne Bearsmore 21:47.36; 18, Rob Tersteeg 22:02.08; 19, Andrew Titley 22:04.03; 20, Rudy Schoors 22:05.25; 21, Frank Van Der Gulik 22:11.26; 22, Gareth Davies 22:30.49; 24, Helen Westrate 22:31.23;
More in Thursday’s Manx Independent.