Last weekend was the island's Parish Walk.  It's always held as near to the longest day as possible as the walkers need all the help they can get.

Visitors often think that 'Parish Walk' sounds like a pleasant stroll:  it isn't.  Walkers must visit every parish church in the Isle of Man - that's seventeen parishes - along a designated route which is 85 miles long.  They have 24 hours in which to do this, hence the need for as much daylight as possible.  The Manx Parish Walk is considered one of the most gruelling walking challenges in the world.

Hundreds start, few finish and, while there is a lot to see at the start with hundreds of people, some in costume, by the time they get near here the field is sparse and very spread out.  This year 1,009 people started, 100 finished.

The race begins at 8.00 in the morning at the National Sports Centre, Douglas, so walkers get to us about 12 hours later, or slightly less if they're in the lead.  This year's race was won by Dean Morgan in 15 hours, 33 minutes and 18 seconds.  Only the top three walkers finished the race in the same day they started it.

The photograph above is from 2017.  Peter Miller (left) and James Quirk are toiling up Ballajora Hill, less than a mile from the office.  At this point Peter and James had walked about 68 miles, so had 17 to go.

They came sixth and fifth respectively.


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