The start of Sunday’s marathon. Picture by Laura Holme.
MARATHONDESIGN engineer Les Cupis won the men’s IW Marathon on Sunday, then umpired the IW Indoor Cricket League in the evening.
Ryde Harrier Les, 48, of High Street, Whitwell, completed the gruelling marathon in a new personal best time of 3.06 and still had enough energy to umpire the cricket at Fairway Sports Centre, Sandown, in the evening.
Speaking to the County Press after crossing the finishing line, Les, who works at A. J. Wells and Sons, said: "I did not have a clue how I was going to get on but I was absolutely delighted to win.
"I got cramp at 23 miles but I was determined to push through it.
"It’s the first time I’ve won any marathon and it’s a special feeling."
Fellow Ryde Harrier Mary Norman defended the women’s marathon title she won last year, in a time of 3.27.
School cook Mary, 49, of York Avenue, East Cowes, said she was delighted to win the marathon inside the 3.30 target she set herself.
Mary, whose husband, Joe, had to withdraw after 15 miles due to injury, said: "This race is always something of the unknown because you never know who will enter but I am so pleased to win."
Sunday’s event, organised by Ryde Harriers and widely considered the toughest marathon in the country, started and finished in Ryde, and went via Binstead, Wootton, Newport, Arreton, Lake, Sandown and Brading.
It was the first time the men’s and women’s races were both won by Harriers’ members and it coincided with the 125th anniversary of the club’s founding. Harriers’ also won the team event.
Around 160 runners took part, mostly from the mainland, but there were still some notable finishes for Island competitors.
They included teaching student Edmund Keith, 22, of Main Road, Brighstone, who was running his first-ever marathon.
Edmund, who finished seventh overall in 3.20, said: "I only trained for a month so I can’t believe I have finished seventh. All I wanted was to get to the end."
Three IW Road Runners took part, with Steve Rumsay the first home, finishing 19th overall, in a time of 3.35.32. Paul Spreadbury finished in 42nd in 3.58.45 and Roger Walker Reed was 55th in 4.11.49.
For others, the marathon was an opportunity to raise money for Island causes.
Sam Payne, 28, of Sandown, and her friend, Carla Maskell, 37, of Godshill, ran the marathon in aid of the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, raising around £600.
The pair, who were both taking part in their first marathon, ran side-by-side and crossed the line in 5:49.
Accountant Sam said: "We were overwhelmed by the support. It was the hardest thing we have ever done but when we got to Lake we knew we could make it."
• Pictures from our online gallery www.iwcpgallery.co.uk below.
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