Parish Walk

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Parish Walk on 2006.

The Parish Walk (sponsored by Manx Telecom, previously known as the Clerical Medical Parish Walk until 2009, then Scottish Widows Parish walk up to 2011) is a walking race that takes place on the Isle of Man each year usually on the weekend nearest to the Northern Summer solstice.[1] It is the biggest walking event on the island.[2]

The Parish Walk is so called because the route passes through all of the island parishes, a total distance of 85 miles (137 km). Originally, walkers had to touch the door of each of the seventeen parish churches, but nowadays electronic timing chips are worn. A time limit of 24 hours is given, and there are cut-off times for reaching each stage.

Only a small proportion of walkers are expected to complete the full distance each year. Walkers may drop out at any of the stages, which correspond to each parish, with an official time and distance. The entry fee for the 2018 race was quoted at £40 or less dependent on discounts.[3]


The challenge was seeded by a Manx Sun newspaper article in 1852 entitled "A summer's day Journey", recording a journey taken by the then-Coroner, John Cannel, who covered 90 miles in 15 hours on horseback. The following year he followed a similar route, only this time on foot, visiting each of the island's 17 parishes.

It was not until 1913 that the event took its current form when the Parish Walking Match was organised by the Isle of Man Times and the Manx Sporting Club. The outbreak of war interrupted the event, and it was revived in 1923.


It is believed that[weasel words] the Parish Walk may be the largest annual fundraising event in the island. However, as each participant is left to raise money themselves and for a charity of their own choice, no figures have ever been compiled. Participation involves a chargeable entry fee.[3]


The Parish Walk starts at 8am at the National Sports Centre in Douglas. From the start line of the athletics track, competitors must complete one lap of the 400 metre track before leaving through the Marathon gates, negotiating the TT Access Road before doubling back to the first of the Parish Churches (Braddan), proceeding in the following order;

The finishing line is on Douglas promenade by the War Memorial at the bottom of Broadway.

Past winners[edit]

Year Men's Winner Time Women's Winner Time Overall Position
1960 Stan Cleator 19:50:30
1961 Henry Harvey 17:10:17
1962 Henry Harvey 16:25:40
1963 Joe Brown 17:04:09
1964 Henry Harvey 16:21:06
1965 No race
1966 No race
1967 Albert Johnson 15:54:51
1968 Leece Kneale 16:05:52
1969 Ian Hodgkinson 17:11:25
1970 Dudley Seddon 17:21:49
1971 Graham Young 15:43:12
1972 Derek Harrison 16:19:15
1973 Derek Harrison 16:36:04
1974 John Dowling 16:40:07
1975 Ted Warner 18:49:52
1976 John Cannell 17:28:12
1977 Steve Gardner 19:11:01
1978 Murray Lambden 16:19:37
1979 Derek Harrison 15:20:51
1980 Derek Harrison 16:13:10
1981 John Cannell 16:15:11
1982 John Cannell 15:59:33
1983 John Cannell 16:31:38
1984 Derek Harrison 16:10:17
1985 Willie Corkill 16:29:31
1986 Willie Corkill 17:03:45
1987 Willie Corkill 16:58:33
1988 Martin Lambden 17:12:01
1989 Charlie Weston 18:17:55
1990 Gordon Vale 17:55:10
1991 Charlie Weston 17:46:58
1992 Graham Young 16:38:27
1993 John Cannell 16:11:11
1994 John Cannell 16:13:46
1995 Brian Ashwell 16:37:47 Jill Green 20:29:08 7th
1996 Lee Cain 17:26:29 Winnie Callister 22:59:02 17th
1997 Chris Flint 17:36:40 Jill Green 18:39:57 4th
1998 Richard Brown 15:59:44 Sandra Brown 16:16:36 2nd
1999 Chris Flint 17:07:46 Karen Marie Brogger 17:48:40 2nd
2000 Peter Kaneen 16:59:54 Karen Marie Brogger 18:04:35 4th
2001 Robbie Callister 16:59:27 Rosemarie Crellin 20:04:54 15th
2002 Robbie Callister 16:34:30 Rosemarie Crellin 18:34:07 5th
2003 Peter Kaneen 15:26:07 Rosemarie Crellin 17:12:19 4th
2004 Robbie Callister 15:26:31 Sue Biggart 16:48:32 3rd
2005 Robbie Callister 15:24:24 Sue Biggart 16:53:54 3rd
2006 Sean Hands 14:47:36 Sue Biggart 16:23:14 4th
2007 Robbie Callister 15:36:47 Sue Biggart 16:49:46 7th
2008 Jock Waddington 15:44:43 Sue Biggart 16:42:09 5th
2009 Jock Waddington 15:45:56 Janice Quirk 15:58:35 2nd
2010 Jock Waddington 15:18:06 Susan Moore 17:44:13 12th
2011 Jock Waddington 15:01:48 Maureen Moffatt 18:19:21 16th
2012 Richard Gerrard & Vinney Lynch 14:42:32 Sue Biggart 17:03:53 8th
2013 Michael George 14:44:49 Janice Quirk 16:16:39 6th
2014 Richard Gerrard 15:15:20 Janette Morgan 16:48:14 6th
2015 Richard Gerrard 14:40:08 Janette Morgan 16:38:14 9th
2016 Richard Gerrard 15:31:43 Karen Chiarello 16:00:03 3rd
2017 Liam Parker 15:36:59 Karen Chiarello 15:53:44 2nd

[4] [5] [6]


Clerical Medical sponsored the event from 1990 to 2009, until the takeover of HBOS (which owned Clerical Medical) by Lloyds TSB (which owned Scottish Widows) to form the Lloyds Banking Group. As a result of the takeover the event was rebranded as the Scottish Widows Parish Walk. This sponsorship ran up to and including the 2011 event. On 12 October 2011 the organisers announced that Manx Telecom would be taking over sponsorship.[1] Manx Telecom had provided the on-line timing systems for previous years but the 2012 event was their first as title sponsors.


The Parish Walk is organised by Manx Harriers, the largest Athletics club in the Isle of Man. A sub-committee of the club organises the event.[7]


There are four main races within the Parish Walk - The Mass race, Ladies Race, Team Race and Under 21 Race.

The mass race[edit]

In 2017, the Mass Race was won by Liam Parker in hot conditions in a time of 15:36:59. At 26, Parker was the youngest winner for two decades.[8] He was followed by Karen Chiarello in second place and Adam Killip was third overall and second man to complete the 85 mile course.

Ladies race[edit]

The Trophy for the Best Lady Finisher went to Karen Chiarello in 2017. She completed the 85 miles in a time of 15:53:44, placing her 2nd overall. She broke the women's course record (set in 2009 by Janice Quirk) by 4 minutes 51 seconds.[8] The second woman to finish, Karen Lawrie was in 4th place overall.

U21 race[edit]

The event is open to anyone with an age of at least 18 and under 21 on the day of the race, and finishes at Peel (32.5 miles).

The 2016 U21 winners were Alex Eaton (Men - 06:16:29) and Rebecca Greatbatch (Ladies - 06:58:40).[9]

Team race[edit]

Teams may consist of up to four walkers but each team may only have two members who have previously completed the full 85 miles. The winning team is that with the highest total mileage. The total time is used as a tie-breaker should more than one team have the same total mileage. In 2016 the overall team winners were Organ Donation Isle of Man (Richard Gerrard 1st, David Walker 2nd, James Quirk 15th, Paul Clark 113th).[10] Family with the hat on (Maureen Moffatt =98th, June Melvin =98th, Jessica Hatton =98th, Rebecca Moffatt =98th) were the quickest of the ladies teams.


  1. ^ a b Parish Walk Website for the Parish Walk
  2. ^ BBC article on the Parish Walk
  3. ^ a b Enter Manx Telecom Parish Walk before Jan 31st to get maximum entry discount Isle of Man News 9 January 2018. Retrieved 28 January 2018
  4. ^ Program for 2015 Parish Walk
  5. ^ Parish Walk Archives
  6. ^ BBC Report on 2015 Race
  7. ^ "Parish Walk Organising Committee". Archived from the original on 2010-12-18.
  8. ^ a b "Parish Walk: Liam Parker claims 'surreal' win as Karen Chiarello breaks women's record". BBC Sport Athletics. 2017-06-20.
  9. ^ "Parish Walk Junior Race Results 2016" (PDF).
  10. ^ Team Results

External links[edit]