Isle of Wight Marathon
This event has been held continuously since 1957, making it the longest running (and one of the first to be held) in the UK. The course features the quieter roads on the West of the Island - undulating town and rural roads through Cowes, Gurnard, Rew Street, Porchfield, Shalfleet, Yarmouth, Afton, Willmingham, Thorley, Wellow, Shalfleet, Porchfield, Northwood and back to Cowes. From the Isle of Wight Community Club, Cowes.
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Very hilly, tough route.
I have a love-hate relationship with this race. Mainly because I've DNF'd twice before and every other time I've done it has been hard.
Not really a PB course, but the top runners can do it in an amazing time, this year's winner did 2:35. I, on the other hand, am more than satisfied if I can pull off a sub 4 hour. This year was a bad one. I started to really feel it at the halfway mark and from there on the wheels really started to come off. It took everything I had to keep going. But I finished.
The course itself is mainly road, but there is a small section from Yarmouth towards Freshwater that follows along the cycle path. The first mile is pretty much downhill, but It doesn't take long before the hills come into play, the first notable one being Roll's Hill. But the best hills are kept until you get to the later stages. At mile 24 there's a beauty called Pallance Road. But that is the last one so after that, it's flat into the finish.
The Organisation of the event is always brilliant and there is a great sense of camaraderie. The marshalls are always amazing, giving you much needed support along the way. The one thing about the Isle of Wight marathon is that you don't see a huge amount of supporters along the way as you do in a lot of other marathons, so the support from the marshalls is taken gratefully.