IW Road Runners, from left, Pete Wilmott, Stuart Backhouse and Eric Smith, started together and finished within a few minutes of one another, all in the top ten. Picture by Peter Boam.
UNSEASONABLY warm temperatures and a new and testing course made life difficult for the 112 runners taking part in this year’s IW Marathon.
However, the new course, which started and finished in Cowes and took in the rural roads out towards the West Wight, clearly suited winner Christopher Redhead. He finished in 2.50.13, more than a minute ahead of second-placed Tom Jeffery, from Peckham, in his first ever marathon.
Christopher, 41, was born on the IW, and has family still living here, but has lived in Mametz, northern France, for more than 20 years.
The first IW-based runner to cross the line was IW Road Runner Paul Cameron, 42, of Newport, who finished in 3.04.17. He stumbled with cramp with around a mile to go and could not get back up again, causing him to finish outside the podium places.
"I felt my legs go at around 17 miles, just like they did in the New Forest Marathon. I think I’ll stick to half marathons from now on," he said.
Devon-based Paul Cooke, running for Ryde Harriers and from the IW originally, was seventh overall, in a time of 3.08.52, triggering a flurry of IW finishers. Stuart Backhouse, Pete Wilmott and Eric Smith, all running for IW Road Runners, came eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.
There were only three IW women runners, led home by Ryde Harrier Emily Wildon. She was tenth out of 15 women taking part, finishing in 4.57.05. Unattached runners Kirsty Cook, of Cowes, and Shirley Belcher, of Gurnard, were 13th and 15th respectively, in times of 5.43.28 and 5.55.06.
The fastest woman was London runner Christine Edeam, who was 25th overall in a time of 3.36.04.
A full list of results is at www.rydeharriers.co.uk
• Pictures from our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk below.