Sunday the 1st of November witnessed another impressive line-up of athletes and supporters for the running of 2020 Around the Island Relay. With 80 competitors registered this year, it was a large field that gathered at Gallows Gate for the sunrise start.

            The ‘blue ribbon’ category of individual runners was contested by five gutsy athletes who put in enormous effort with inspirational performances. Douglas Donaldson took the win in great family tradition, with a clinically calculated run. Second place was ably awarded to Dayne O’Hara who ran with a showing of athletic experience to take an impressive silver. Third place was handed to ‘The Legend’ of the Around Island Relay, Richard Cribb who was battling calf cramps early in the race that resulted in him nursing the ailment for the majority of the 25k’s. Eric Hutchinson was next across the line in 4th place with a quality, individual 25k run through the difficult hilly terrain, less than 40 minutes behind the winner who ran a time of 2 hrs 21 minutes on 28yr old legs.

Ricky Andrews was the 5th individual runner who unfortunately registered a DNF due to a disrupted training schedule in the lead up to the event.

This year’s field of athletes consisted of 5 individual runners – 6 running teams (six athletes in each team) – 17 Individual walkers and 5 walking teams.

The individual walk category was again dominated by Ben Hayes who blitzed any competition for first place by over 30 minutes. Second place was won by Mel Wilson who walked a fast, consistent pace to beat the huge performance of Debbie Anderson who placed third by only 25 seconds after the age graded calculation was applied. It must also be mentioned that another ‘Legend’ of the event, our much-revered Jenny Donaldson narrowly missed the podium by only 10 seconds to take out 4th spot in the individual walk category. It was also great to see Graham Donaldson and our other regular athletes from ‘Up ah stik’ attacking the full 25k course with impressive ease.

The running team category was won by ‘THE BOYS’ (TK Morgan, Nathanial Kalsrap, BB Morgan, Jonny Sheridan, Jesse Schmitz, Brandon Borg) with a 7-minute lead over second placed ‘KOSTA & RILEYS TEAM’ (T’Sharn Evans, Kosta Deszezsar, Riley Quintal, Douglas Snell, Wilkes Creek, Cameron Xtian) who are definitely the young athletes to watch for a win next year. Third place was awarded to ‘SE MOOSA HADDET’ (Emily Rives, Candice Nobbs, Kym Buffett, Katie Walden, Thea Thurgood, Aaron Graham) with a fast finish by Candice, running a great last leg to narrowly take the podium over ‘CHUBBYS CHUNKS’ (Ally Millar, Charlie Umlauft, Kenzie Davies, Bailey Millar, Wendal Fell, Nate Xtian Bailey) who ran a gutsy relay right through every stage to narrowly miss the prize pool.

The walking team’s category was won by ‘WE NEVER GIVE UP’ (Sue Buffett, Tania Anderson, Amanda Cribb, Nikita-La’A Al, Suzanna O’Brien) who were well ahead of any competition – a solid performance from these experienced athletes. Second place was the ‘EASY BEATS’ (Allan Tavener, Maria McKann, Michelle Green and Jane Trotter) who were not so easy to beat with a dedicated team, some of which walked 2 legs each – great effort. Third on the podium was the small team of ‘MARD COWS’ (Bex Watkin, Lucy Stewart, Paige Adams) who walked a blistering pace, showing good endurance with limited subs to clock a great time.

Thanks again to all the athletes, supporters and officials who contributed to another great event.