Sam Jones won the Manx Mountain Marathon for the second time in three years on Saturday, while fellow local Nikki Arthur made it three-in-a-row in the women’s class.

Jones led from the word go and was already several minutes clear of his closest rivals on the initial steep ascent of North Barrule.

Little more than seven miles into the 31-mile distance over 14 of the island’s highest summits from Ramsey to Port Erin, Jones had doubled his lead.

On the climb from Black Hut on the TT Course to the highest peak of Snaefell he was more than eight minutes clear of the quartet of Olly Chambers, Joey Bond, Jordan Waters (Horsforth Fell & Dale) and Christian Varley.

Leading female was Anna Lewellyn (Lonsdale Fell Runners) in 15th place, two ahead of Arthur, with the latter’s fellow local Amber Carridge 20th.

By Injebreck Jones was in control of the race and was a full 11-and-a-half minutes clear of Bond and Chambers, with Varley up one place to fourth and fellow Peel man Gary Kelly fifth ahead of Dan Richmond.

Another runner looking strong was Cole Hayes in seventh. Arthur was now leading the women’s race in 12th overall.

Jones continued to head the race and, although his initial aim was to crack four-and-a-half hours, the wet conditions underfoot and long stretches of headwind wisely led him to easing off in the latter half of the race over the more technical southern leg from St John’s to Port Erin.

He crossed the finish line outside Bradda Glen cafe in a time of 5:12.51, more than 26 minutes down on his time last year when he finished runner-up to top Lakelander Ellis Bland, who was a non-starter on this occasion.

It was Jones’s second victory, having also won in 2022 in 4:50.14 when running much of the race in company with Bland on the latter’s maiden attempt.

Bond and Chambers stayed in reasonably close company for much of Saturday’s event, but Bond ultimately took second place in 5:29.28, 16m 37s behind the winner and 2m 05s ahead of Chambers.

Surprise of the day was the earlier mentioned Hayes in an excellent fourth place, edging out Varley in the closing stages.

Manx Mountain Marathon
Women’s race winner Nikki Arthur approaching Injebreck. She crossed the finish line sixth overall, eight minutes clear of the runner-up (Photo: John Watterson) (John Watterson)

Arthur, whose fiance Orran Smith was sidelined with a lower leg fracture incurred a couple of weeks earlier in Wales, won the women’s race by eight minutes from Llewellyn, with Carridge just outside the top-10 in 6:02.13. They were split, in seventh place, by local newcomer Richmond who produced a fine run to go under six hours at the first attempt.

Kelly was the best over-40 in 10th spot, not far in front of leading over-50 Barry Wilkinson (Borrowdale).

Best local over-50 female was Rosy Craine in 34th (fifth woman overall) and leading local male over-50 Gordon Crowe in 28th.

Manx Mountain Marathon
Eventual runner-up Joey Bond leads Olly Chambers (fourth) out of the river crossing at the foot of Carraghan (Photo: John Watterson) (John Watterson)


The Half-Mountain Marathon from St John’s to Bradda was won by Jordan Cain, more than six minutes ahead of Nick Colburn, with teenager Harry Kneen third and Phil Knox fourth, the latter in a smidgen over two hours.

Multiple former winner Lloyd Taggart was the leading over-50 in fifth spot, beating the three leading over-40s - Tim Dunne, Daniel Thomas and Kevin Shimell.

The first women home in a combined field of 159 were Jessica Blackley and Emily Mylchreest in 11th and 13th respectively, with Sammy White third female and best over-40 in 20th spot.

More on both events in Thursday’s edition of the Manx Independent.