That was the interview by Manx Radio as a breathless Pete Miller powered through the check-in zone at Peel, 32.5 miles into his 85 mile Parish Walk last Saturday.
The Moran in question was Paul Moran, our very own Risk and Compliance Director and part-time DJ who was hosting the lunchtime show on Manx Radio.
Spurred on by Paul honouring his request, Pete Miller, Operations Manager at Capital International Group, produced his best ever performance in the annual walk, completing the ultra-endurance event in 16 hours and 14 minutes. This is what the Isle of Man is all about; welcome to the Parish Walk!
Most famous for the TT motorcycle event held annually in late May/early June, the island has another jewel in its crown, the Parish Walk. Taking place on the Saturday nearest the summer solstice, the race starts at the National Sports Centre in Douglas and takes the 1,500 or so competitors from all over the world on a beautiful course around the island. The conditions were near perfect this year, perhaps a little warm, allowing for some incredible performances.
“I’m just going to Peel” is the oft-heard and typically understated phrase of many locals who plan to complete their walk at the 32.5 mile stage, 7 or 8 hours after setting off. The fact that in itself this section of the course is the toughest of the whole route including the infamous Sloc, a steep multi-mile mountain climb 20 miles into the journey, amplifies the irony in ‘just’ going to Peel.
This event in my mind represents everything that is best about the Isle of Man. The stunning, rugged scenery, the understated determination of our people and the selfless sense of community as people line the streets into the early hours of the morning to support the walkers. In most countries the event would be streamed live on TV. This is our London marathon, but to be precise, it’s more like three and a bit marathons rolled into one.
The Parish brings people together, whether purely for fun, as a goal to get out and train at the weekends, to raise money for charity, or as a team event.
I am so proud of the contribution to this year’s event of the team at Capital. We had 15 people take part as walkers and many, many more supporting them along the way, handing out drinks, fresh kit and food all through the night. What a performance the team put in. Pete was leading the way, but not far behind him our Chief Operating Officer Werner Alberts achieved his personal best, finishing in 18:53 to take 27th place. They might be hobbling round the office wearing slippers this week, but once the pain has subsided the glory will always belong to Andy Payne and Rory Dearden, two of our young rising stars at Capital, who also completed the full 85 mile course. Seven of our team ‘just got to Peel!’
Collectively we won the Corporate Team race but more importantly we played our part in contributing to what I believe is a unique and wonderful challenge.
So I salute all of my colleagues that took part, from the weekend warriors to the elite. To June Cannell and Georgina McMaw who put in a 24 hour shift to cheer the walkers on whilst flying the Capital flag. To all the families and friends that helped our people do what they do. I talk to the teams regularly about creating a culture of excellence in all that we do. They all epitomised this over the weekend and we’ll be back for more next year!