Friday, 29 November 2013

What is the Parish Walk

Welcome to my Parish Walk blog which is my first concerted effort into the world of blog. I had a little go last year for the End to End Walk web site with the intention of adding news and updates however, posts were few and far between as there wasn't a great deal of race related info to pass on.
Writing a blog is easy for some and more of a challenge for others. I hope to fall somewhere in-between the two camps and will have a good go at supplying some interesting info, fact and fiction, hints and tips.
Time will tell, I suppose but I am looking forward to writing it.
And so, to the title of this first post. The Oxford dictionary doesn't list the "Parish Walk" so I broke it down and received the following:
Parish (noun) - a small administrative district typically having its own church.
Walk (verb) - move at a regular pace by lifting and setting down each foot in turn, never having both feet off the ground at once.*
Fairly straightforward, then.
In 2010, the then main sponsors, Clerical Medical, brought the British Olympian and Commonwealth Games athlete Roger Black to the island to promote the Parish Walk to a wider audience, to host motivational talks for competitors and to be the face of the Parish Walk.
Having never been to the island before, when he was originally asked if he would be willing to be involved, he imagined the Parish Walk to be "a Sunday afternoon stroll with the vicar around the parish followed by tea with scones and jam." When he came over and saw just what the Parish Walk is all about and how challenging it is, he realised how far off the mark his original impression was.
So, although the event is a walk and it goes through 17 parishes, to the uninitiated, the name conjures up just such an image.
To date, I haven't had a scone whilst going round.
Joking aside, a great many people do decide to have a go at "the Parish" without fully understanding exactly what it is they are getting into. I fell into that bracket in 2004 when I put on a pair of old trainers one sunny Saturday morning in June. Bolstered by literally tens of miles training between March and June, there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I couldn't get to the finish line. How difficult could it possibly be?
Prior to 2004, I wasn't sporty in any capacity save for watching footy on television and/or walking to the pub. That was my sole involvement in the world of sport. Since entering the Parish Walk in that year however, I have learnt a great deal about, not only myself, but about the Manx walking community in particular and I have met and regularly train and compete with a whole new circle of friends.
OK, so first post over and fairly painless (although I have spent hours messing about with the layout and so on as its a nightmare to administer as there are myriad of options!).
Don't be too traa di looar and get your entry in early!
* (part of)  IAAF Rule 30(1) which is fairly relevant.