Thousands Walk the Wight

By Sara Bryce

Monday, May 12, 2014

 

Thousands Walk the Wight

Sophie Neary, from Cowes, who walked with her Jack Russell, Tiggy.

THOUSANDS braved the gusty winds to take part in yesterday’s (Sunday) Walk the Wight in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

More than 7,000 walkers took part in the walk, choosing from the eight-mile Flat Walk from Sandown to Shide, the 12.5-mile first half of the main walk from Bembridge to Carisbrooke Castle, the 14-mile second half from Carisbrooke Castle to The Needles, or the whole 26.5-mile route.

The Island’s Lord Lieutenant Maj Gen Martin White, who started the Main Walk at Bembridge, said: "Everybody on this Island has, in some way at some time, been touched by the hospice.

"You can see that by the number of people here, the different age groups, the dogs, the grannies, the man on stilts and the wacky costumes. It’s just amazing."

Hospice chief executive Jo Blackburn, who walked with her dogs, Archie the Airedale terrier and Raven the black Labrador, said: "It was wonderful, I loved it. Given I only came here in February, this was my first opportunity to see the Island properly and it was stunning."

She added: "One of the most important things to recognise is this event would be nothing without the support of the volunteers who put it together.

"There are hospice staff from all areas here in their own time and then to have 160 volunteers contributing as well is phenomenal."

The first runner to complete the full Main Walk was Andy MacArthur, who crossed the line after four hours and seven minutes.

The first walker to finish the Flat Walk was 66-year-old Patrick Conway, who crossed the line at 10.20am, just ten minutes behind the first runner Jodie Lacey.

The first dog across the line was Daiton and owner Deborah Ingiosi.

See Friday’s County Press for more pictures and an eight-page Walk the Wight souvenir.

Reporter: sarab@iwcpmail.co.uk

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