The first athletics event of the 2023 season, indeed the first sporting event of any kind, will be held on New Year’s Day afternoon in St John’s.

The annual fell race to the summit of Slieau Whallian and back will again be sponsored by David Cretney and will start and finish in the Peel and St John’s Cricket Club field at Mullen-e-Cloie, getting underway at 1.30.

Registration will be at St John’s AFC clubhouse from 12.15 until 1 o’clock.

The race will be a counter for the Callin Wild Manx Fell Running League, in addition to the junior league. Distance is 5km (three miles) with 275 metres of arduous ascent.

Minimum age is 12 years. Safety gear is not compulsory but all runners are strongly advised to carry a waterproof jacket.

Fancy dress is optional. If worn, it should not hinder running. Costumes must allow safe running and overtaking on ground which is often steep and slippery, with some very narrow paths and low branches. No fancy dress objects to be carried please.

Entry is through SiEntries - (links on or on the MFR Facebook page). A few entries will be allowed on the day but they will need to be at registration early to fill in the compulsory entry forms.

There is limited parking at the football club and at the old railway car park close by. There is a massive park that can also be accessed opposite St John’s primary school, off Station Road. Please do not park on the Hope Road or anywhere near to the cricket or football grounds.

Refreshments will be available at the football clubhouse after the race.

All entry fees go towards Orran Smith’s Spine Race fundraiser for IoM Multiple Sclerosis Society.

l Round three of the Manx Vehicle Auction-sponsored Ramsey road running league will take place two days later on Tuesday, January 3 starting from the swimming pool area at 7pm. One-lap (1.7km) and three-lap (5km) options. Age 16 or over on race day. Sign on at the pool from 6 o’clock.