Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Parish Walk: Record numbers expected for event's centenary

Parish Walk
Image caption The first account of the race can be traced back to 1848

Organisers of the Manx Telecom Parish Walk are hoping for a record breaking year as the event prepares to celebrate its centenary in 2013.

Hundreds are expected to sign on for the 85-mile challenge when registration opens on Saturday.

Race director Raymond Cox said: "It's going to be a very special day in the history of the event and we are expecting another record breaker".

Last year 1,818 people started the event with 203 completing the distance.

Vinny Lynch and Richard Gerrard crossed the line together to claim victory in a record time of 14 hours, 42 minutes and 32 seconds.

'Extra motivation'

Mr Cox said: "The race can trace its routes back to the 1850s, but the first comparable to the modern format was held in 1913.

"It's always a special event in the island's sporting and community calendar - but 2013 promises to be even better due to it being the centenary.

"For lots of people who have an ambition to take part it might be the bit of extra motivation they need."

The island's largest community sporting event is subject to standard race-walking rules and must be completed within 24-hours.

The walk starts and finishes in Douglas and competitors must visit each of the island's 17 parish churches.

Competitors have the option of pulling out at any stage but typical targets are Rushen after 19 miles or Peel after 32 miles.

The centenary event will be held on 22 June 2013.

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