The Parish Walk 2023

Werner Alberts
June 26, 2023

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the massive achievements of our Parish walkers this past weekend. For those who are not familiar with the event, The Parish Walk is a race that covers an 85 mile course around the parishes of the Isle of Man. Competitors can stop at any of the parishes along the way with many aiming for Rushen (19 miles) or Peel (32 miles). Those striving to complete the entire 85 mile course must do so in under 24 hours. It's a real test of both physical fitness and mental determination.

The Parish Walk is loved by the local community; most people on the Island know at least one person who is either participating or supporting a walker.

With over 1000 walkers setting off from the start line on Saturday, this year's event proved particularly challenging due to the heat; there are usually around 20 gold medal finishers (finishing under 18 hours) but this year there were only 11.

This year, our Finance Director and two time Parish Walk winner, Paul Atherton, was going for a hat-trick and although he came second, we are so proud of his stellar performance. Adey Callister was going for his gold medal and was looking strong until the dreadful heat got hold of him – remarkably he still finished under 20 hours. In my view the true heroes are those walkers who finish between 20 and 24 hours and the superheroes are the ones who finish in the last hour. I witnessed first hand again the grit, determination and resilience of men and women who had to endure incredible pain and exhaustion, yet refused to give up. This is the spirit of the Parish Walk. 

I also want to celebrate the achievements of our team members who did not complete the entire walk. It is an injustice to say: “I just made it to Peel or to ….”.  It is remarkable to reach Peel, which is 6 miles further than a marathon and hardest part of the entire route. 

Here are the achievements of our colleagues:

  1. Paul Atherton – Finished in Second Place in 15hrs 43 mins
  2. Adey Callister – Finished in 20th place in 19hrs 6mins
  3. Greg Williamson – Finished in 66th place in 22hrs 3mins (and what an emotional finish with his family there)
  4. Alicia Woodward –  Finished on 100th place 23hrs 2mins (Alicia and her sister both completed the event and raised money for Craig's Heart Strong Foundation)
  5. Caroline Hussey – Lezayre 16hrs 48 mins
  6. Stephen Cowan – Bride 14hrs 52 mins
  7. Neal Champion – Jurby 12hrs 45 mins
  8. Richard Atherton – Jurby 11hrs 42 mins
  9. Darren McDonald – Ballaugh 11hrs 5mins
  10. Chris Nash – Peel 8 hrs 57 mins.
  11. Dulcie Teare – Peel 7hrs 7 mins (2nd in the u21s ladies race)
  12. Jill Harrison – Peel 9hrs 36 mins
  13. Ryan Smith – Peel 7hrs 7 mins
  14. Neil Campbell - Rushen 5hrs 22 mins
  15. Clarinda Cannell – Rushen in 5 h 22mins
  16. Herman Oberholzer – Malew 3 hrs 17 mins

Herman, my wife and I supported two competitors, James and Monika Basson, who travelled to the Island from South Africa just for the Parish Walk. James made it to Peel and Monika pushed on in a truly remarkable iron woman fashion to be the 19th women’s finisher in 21 hours 53 minutes.  Our “super scientific” race food regiment of salt sticks, cola and chicken stock soup did the trick during the last 7 hours of her walk.

I would like to thank all our colleagues and family members who supported our walkers and other walkers. Support and community participation are part of the spirit of the Parish Walk and what makes it such a unique event. A particular thanks goes to June Cannell, who expertly organised the Capital International Group support station on the road to the Sloc.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed within this article are those of the authors and not those of any company within the Capital International Group (CIG) and as such are neither given nor endorsed by CIG. Information in this article does not constitute investment advice or an offer or an invitation by or on behalf of any company within the Capital International Group of companies to buy or sell any product or security or to make a bank deposit.

Continue reading