Isle of Wight

Another great event largely due to the organising skills of Jack Nisbet and Peter Furness. The weekend started with plenty of drama when the rear window of the mini bus fell out and smashed. It took all of Colin and Jac’s powers of persuasion to get the hire firm to get a replacement bus in time to enable them to catch their mid day ferry booking, missing their ferry would have meant a late evening crossing  Further bad news was forthcoming in that Sam Shimakage and his wife could not make the trip (Though Sam’s donation pack of beers, water & treats went down a treat) and Peter and Kay were suff
ering from a bad  stomach infection and could not meet us at Whitecliff Bay on Friday as arranged.

Whitecliff Bay Holiday park proved to be an excellent location to operate from. The facilities were first class, boasting an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, Fitness centre and sauna. Private beach, albeit a long way down from the cliff top The carvery restaurant and full English breakfast  was all inclusive and we of course  made full use of the Bar facilities and evening entertainment.

Day One

Friday 12th June.
The first days run did not pass without incident, the plan was to run two miles together along the coastal trail path, the first casualty was barely four minutes into the run, Pam took a heavy fall grazing her arm and badly hurting her ribs, it could have been a lot worse she was on the edge of a steep drop down onto the beach. After discovering we had gone off course we got back on track only to find the trail path closed due to land subsidence which forced us down onto the beach. It was only Jack’s homing instincts that got us back to the mini bus some 35mins later.

Saturday 13th June.
Good news! Peter and Kay would be joining us in time to run in the afternoon shift.

The morning shift:
First leg: Tony & Margaret (Bembridge Point – Ryde Boating Lake)

Second leg: Paul & Pam (Ryde Boating Lake – Wootton Bridge)
Should have been quite a straight forward leg, just follow the coast path keeping the sea in view on our right. Just past the Promenade the path was closed off with iron gates, had to turn in
 towards the town, followed the High street, whilst Pam did some window shopping, we soon realised we could not see the sea, got back on route after about 10mins. Viewed the old Abbey ruins and new replacement Abbey, some great scenery.

Third leg: Jack & Gary Nisbet (Wootton Bridge – Cowes Egypt Point)
It was a fairly uneventful run we passed a few people biking around the Island and then we had to take the chain ferry over the River Medina , it was a nice brake from running as it was really hot ) and we saw a few Cuttle Fish floating in the river . We than ran through the high street in West Cowes out onto the road and past Osbourne House which was nice , by now the temperature must have been hitting at least 25 degrees and I was really tired but it was only a little way to the changeover point , that was a nice run

Fourth Leg: Paul, Pam,  Tony & Margaret (Cowes Egypt Point – Gurnard Bay Cliff Farm)
Only a short leg  no problem following the course this time.

Fifth Leg: Jack Nisbet  (Gurnard Bay Cliff Farm – Porchfield Village Post Office)

Afternoon Shift:
First Leg: Jacqui Howell & Michelle Sampson (Porchfield Village Post Office – Shalfleet )
This section was mostly along quiet country lanes, I don’t think we saw the coast at all – still much more enjoyable than running around the streets of Hayes though! No major dramas, except that Jack had dropped the medal whilst he was waiting for us to meet him and we nearly set off without it!

Second Leg: Peter Furness (Shalfleet – Yarmouth Tennyson House)

This was a very enjoyable run that took you across farmers fields, a wooden bridge across an inlet, the shore line at Hamstead Quay and a densely populated copse before arriving in the town of Yarmouth, throughout the run I saw hardly any people but the route was well marked with signs for the following days Needles marathon. As I ran along one path I came across a man walking his dog who greeted me with the news that I was going very well as he had seen no other runners. It took a second to dawn on me that he thought I was leading the Marathon!

Third Leg: Kay Tarrant & Brian Skinner (Yarmouth Tennyson Road – Colwell)

Fourth Leg: Brian Skinner (Colwell – Alum Bay Car Park)

Fifth Leg: Peter Furness Alum Bay Car Park – Tennyson Down)
This was the last run of the day, as I left the Car Park at Alum Bay, Tom shouted to me that our dinner was now in my hands (in other words he wanted me to finish this leg as quick as possible). This was a scenic hilly run that took you over the top of the Needles and along rolling hills towards Freshwater. The light was starting to go and it was very quiet on the top of the hills.
I got to the monument and there was no one there, on phoning Colin on the mobile he said he too was at the monument , then we realised there was two one at the top and  an old one at the bottom of a hill.

Day Two

First Leg: Tony , Margaret & Paul (Tennyson Down – Compton Chine)

Started at the top of the Downs, the course followed the coast line for 3 miles, with a steady downwards run for the first two mile. Half way down we came upon some race marshals who thought we were the lead runners of their marathon race. Some beautiful views of the white cliffs and some scary stretches quite near the cliff edge. Could practically see the change over point from the start.

Second  leg: Gary & Jack Nisbet (Compton Chine – Chilton Chine)

Third leg: Pam, Paul & Tony (Chilton Chine – Shepherds Chine)
Continued along the cliff edge, quite a bit of land erosion where the cliff edge had crumbled away into the sea. Still managed to go wrong at one point. Came across some campers in a field they didn’t have a clue where they were. Glanced up across the chine and there was Colin waving frantically at us.

Fourth leg: Jack Nisbet (Shepherds Chine – Blackgang Chine)
Last minute change to order of runners, heard that Peter was not feeling 100% and was doubtful about doing two legs in the afternoon, so Jack agreed to do the last leg of the morning shift and the first leg of the afternoon shift.

Afternoon Shift:
First Leg: Jack Nisbet (Blackgang Chine – St Lawrence)

Second leg: Jacqui Howell & Michelle Sampson (St Lawrence – Ventnor Centre)

Definitely coastal this time, and lots of hills too! Great views and the last stretch was downhill – so enjoyable, in fact, that I opted to run the next leg with Brian! (Shame I got so carried away that I forgot that what goes downhill must go up, so it was mostly uphill and very steep, but that’s another story!)

Third leg: Brian Skinner (Ventnor Centre – Luccombe Village)

Fourth leg: Brian Skinner & Kay Tarrant (Luccombe Village – Shanklin Little Stairs Point)

Fifth leg Tom & Joan Nisbet (Shanklin Little Stairs Point)

Final leg Peter Furness, Brian Skinner & Jack Nisbet(Shanklin Little Stairs Point – Yaverland Holiday Centre)

I was joined by Jack and Brian on this leg. For Brian this was part of a run that was to take him all the way from Ventnor to our base in Bembridge. It was easy running along the seafront that joins the neighbouring towns as we did not hurry to ensure there was not too long a wait for the coach bringing the other s from the final leg. At one stage we were joined by a  small boy who ran with us until losing interest when we pointed to Culver Cliff and told him we were going over it.

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