ISLE OF MAN – Runners looking to take part in this year’s Microgaming Isle of Man Marathon and Half Marathon are being urged to sign up. With just two months to go, the excitement is building for this year’s event.
The Microgaming sponsored event takes place on 11th August at the Manx Northern Course in Ramsey. Competitors can choose between the 13.1 mile Half Marathon or the full Marathon which spans 26.2 miles. For many participants, the event presents an ideal fundraising opportunity as well as great training for those taking part in the Ramsey Bakery End2End Walk in September. Entries are still open for the 2013 race; participants can register by completing an online form at www.marathon.iomvac.co.uk, and entries close Thursday 1st August.
This year’s participants will join the long-list of established runners and well-known characters who have taken part in the race over the years. To name a few, Steve Edwards, a world record holder in marathons having completed the fastest ever 10 marathons in 10 consecutive days, has become a regular competitor, and John Watt, a well-respected blind runner has completed the course several times.
Delving into its history, Manx marathon events date back to the early 1900’s. One of the earliest recorded races took place in 1921, in a 19-competitor race from Peel to Derby Castle; the Half Marathon event was won by A.E. Taylor in a time of 1 hour and 18 minutes. Over the years, Marathons have been held across various courses on the Island, but it was in the 1990’s that the Isle of Man Marathon and Half Marathon was relocated to its present course in Ramsey, utilising the first-rate facilities of Ramsey Football Club.
Last year, the race attracted a field of over 400 competitors from around the world. Hardly surprising considering in 2012 the Isle of Man Marathon and Half Marathon was named by The Independent as one of the top running events in the British Isles, most impressed with its picturesque views and friendly nature. This year’s race has already had a flurry of interest from competitors, and is set to bigger than ever before.
Colin Watterson, Chairman of Isle of Man Veteran Athletes’ Club, comments: “The marathon boasts a great legacy on the Island, but we truly believe it can hold an even bigger future. The event has built a fantastic reputation over the years for its friendly and social atmosphere. We go that extra mile to ensure that it’s a great day for all involved; all participants receive a goodie bag and enjoy a complimentary buffet after the event. I would like to encourage everyone to get involved and participate in either the Half or full Marathon and experience the event first-hand. The countdown has now begun, and I for one cannot wait for race day to arrive.”