Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Problem accessing files resolved

I noticed recently that the navigation files (the little icons on the bottom of each page on which you click to move to another page) were not working and I couldn't understand why. I tried reloading them without success.

I discovered yesterday that the same problem existed with all the files stored on the web server below the top level, ie files contained in different folders. For anyone completely non technical, this means that website pages, photos and even the entry forms were not available.

I contacted the host of the site at and within a few minutes received a reply. Whilst at first they said that the files were not there and I could not have loaded them (I have a few hundred witnesses who could testify that I did!), I eventually discovered that the attributes of the folders have been changed. So they were there it was just that nobody had the correct access to see them.

I have now corrected this problem so that the whole website should be visible again.

Whilst I swear that I did not change the settings and the host says that they did not change anything, the main thing was that I was able to resolve the problem fairly quickly. are a pleasure to deal with and I would recommend them to anyone thinking of setting up a website. They are 100 times more efficient (and cheaper) than where I host most of my other sites.

The other services I use for the complete service are provided by: (forum and polls) (blogs - owned by Google) (also owned by Google)

I have a subscription for the forum and for the photos but the other services are free. Its quite amazing the value we get from the internet.

5 short for 100 before the end of the year

The latest two entrants are:

Alex Wijsman
Martin Hall

Alex,from the Netherlands, was the early leader last year and he finished at the first attempt.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

A watched pot never boils

I've been checking out and reviewing the list of entries less frequently over the past week and so its good to see a decent number of additional entries. The most recent 10 entries are:

Carolyn Girvan
Clare Teare
George Kincla
Karen Warburton
Ken Goodwin
Matthew Gregson
Nicky Davison
Peter Gelling
Stephen Fox
Sue Tilston

Of the 93 entries to date, 57 are from men and 36 from women. Keep them coming!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Entries reach 83

3 more entrants yesterday.

Alexandra Gardner
Dave Mackey
Kelly Creamer

At least one of the new entrants is a regular reader of the website so if there are any regulars readng this who have not yet entered, do so today! Please.

Additions to the archives

I've found a further six old Parish Walk stories on the internet which I have added to the arhive page at

The new oldies are:

Peter Kaneen's 2002 win
Robbie Callister's fourth win
Dermot O'Toole's fundraising
Dermot O'Toole on
Clerical Medical raise £85,000 for charity
Centurian's Parish Walk of 1998

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

84 a day

The average number of people visiting the website since it was launched on 1 December has been almost the same as the number of miles in the event, although the number has gradually dropped off. The average is now 84 (NB this is different people not page counts).

22nd December 2008
21st December 2008
20th December 2008
19th December 2008
18th December 2008
17th December 2008
16th December 2008
15th December 2008
14th December 2008
13th December 2008
12th December 2008
11th December 2008
10th December 2008
9th December 2008
8th December 2008
7th December 2008
6th December 2008
5th December 2008
4th December 2008
3rd December 2008
2nd December 2008
1st December 2008

Entries reach 80

It was good to see a few more entries yesterday and the nu,ber has reached 80 with the addition of:

Karen Thomson
Richard Gerrard
Sarah Joanna Callow

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Another entry

Pam Dunn has entered today bringing the total to 77.

She appears to be a first time entrant.

Saturday, 20 December 2008


Tony Anderson
Ian Scott

The above are the latest entries. 50 men and 26 women.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

6 months to go on Saturday

Or looked at another way, it will be 6 months since that infamous rain fell!

Good day today

Three more entries taking the total to 74:

Chris Duff
Chris Moore
Katy Poole

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

London buses

Jimmy Harvey was the youngest ever finisher of the Parish Walk at 16 in 1960 and he completed the course again the following. year.

It was another 35 years before he finished again but after waiting all that time he did it again the following year! Here is his record.

1960 21:30:56
1961 20:29:45
1996 19:27:44
1997 19:09:30

Jimmy's brother Henry won the event three times in 1961, 1962 and 1964.

Numbers reach 71

It was good to see a couple more entries this morning:

David Walker
Geoffrey Watterson

There are now 46 men and 25 women.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

There are now 69 entries

Hi there,

Since I last updated the list from the SportIdent report, there have been three more entries. A bit slow really after the promising start - please don't think about entering with a piece of paper.

Here are the three new names:

Adrian Gell
Mark Williams
Susan Cannell

I'll have a few facts and figures throughout the week.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Team finishers

Only 35 of the 121 finishers were members of teams.

14 of these were among the first 22 to finish.

I wonder how many people walk further because they are in a team?

This will ruffle a few feathers but I suggest that the team event is only open to people who have never finished the walk.

2 more men

John Michael Killey
Russell Smith

66 in total now.

44 men and 2 women

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

2008 times about average

I've previously reported that the average time for all finishers is 20:46:30.

Perhaps some people will be surprised that, despite the weather, the finishers averaged 20:57:23 - pretty close to average.

Here are all the times:

Jock Waddington
Robbie Callister
Maurice Bellando
Michael George
Sue Biggart
Michael Shipsides
Terry Moffat
Alan Cowin
Andrew Titley
Janice Quirk
Alan McCulloch
Martijn Biesmans
Dave Mackey
Tony Okell
Gordon Corran
Marie Jackson
John Shimmin
David Cain
Julian Thomas
Chris Cale
Rosemarie Crellin
David (Lon) Chambers
Phil Marshall
Maureen Moffatt
Darren Mealin
Mike Gellion
John C Ryder
Jane Ryder
Ernie Radcliffe
Kate Cain
Shirley Gage
Andy Green
Jim Davidson
Juan Readshaw
Chris Murphy
Terri Salmon
Martin Malone
Paul Malone
John Callow
Marie Gilbertson
Jane Crowe
Alan Kinvig
Alex Wijsman
Jo Revill
Michael Bonney
Richard Spenceley
Julie Cretney
Alan Brew
Stephen Brew
Eleanor Gawne
David Churcher
Steve Taggart
Selwyn Callister
Ian Allan Dunbar
Bethany Clague
Anne Oates
Antony Atkinson
Kath Kelly
Malcolm Newton
Richard Gerrard
Perry Downward
Irene Taggart
John Robinson
David Comish
Ian Comish
John M Watterson
Jeff Black
Ray Hughes
Karen Lawrie
Chris Swales
Nikki Boyde
Katy Craig
David Collister
Dermot O'Toole
Gary Deuchar
Adam Russell
Chris Burn
Patrick Crowe
Patrick Hartley
Alan Teare
Kingsley Lambert
Brian Connolly
Michael Crook
Keith Wilkinson
Chris Reynolds
Greg Nation
Paul Phillips
Robbie Breadner
Tony Dugdale
Stella Corlett
Patrick Reid
Paul Kennish
Ben Harris
Stephanie Gray
Michael Gray
Chris Moon
Andy Harrison
Michael Teare
Peter Bradley
Stefan Dunajewski
Stephen O'Hare
Gordon Wynne-Smythe
David Whorrall
Frank Feeney
Gillian Manley
Wendy Ross
Illona Leadley
Martyn Quayle
Neil Towers
Margy Killey
Gillian Cunningham
Donald Strathie
Anita Costain
Michelle Stevens
Chris Walker
Lesley Christian
Julie Owen
Jane Birchall
Peter Lewis
Pauline Ringham
David Whittam

When I'm 64...

Two more entries to add to the list - its now 64:

Dawn Taylor
Stephen Berry

Dawn's record is as follows:

Rushen 2001 05:05:00
German 2002 09:06:04
German 2006 09:11:32

Stephen seems to be a newcomer.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

1974 - only 3 finishers

A lot has been written over the years about 1977, the year when there was only one finisher.

But on two other occasions there were only three. One of them was 1974 when the finishers were:

John Dowling 16:40:07
Ian Turnbull 17:06:52
Ron Ronan 20:40:34

John Dowling, known to many as Paddy, walked for Sheffield.

Ian Turnbull had three finishes and they were all 6 years apart, 1968, 1974 and 1980.

Surprisingly given his record in the End to End and Peel to Douglas walks, this was the only year that Ron Ronan finished.

More about them all another day. More about the other year when there were only three finishers too as there are lots of statistics for the small number of finishers.

3 today - 62 in total

Daryl Richards
Dawn Barlow
Rachel Perkins

Daryl got to Peel in 2008 whilst the two ladies appear to be first time finishers.

Website viewing declining....until yesterday

The number of people visiting the website fell every day after its launch until yesterday. Here are the number of visitors (not pageloads) per day:

Monday 1st December - 232
Tuesday 2nd December - 190
Wednesday 3rd December - 153
Thursday 4th December - 105
Friday 5th December - 85
Saturday 6th December - 65
Sunday 7th December - 68
Monday 8th December - 95
Tuesday 9th December - 40

Today's number is up to 1.30 pm.

Based on the evidence of my other site,, I would expect Monday to be the busiest day and Saturday the quietest.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Two ladies

Tking the number up to 59 are:

Amanda Dougherty
Samantha Moolman

My records show that they reached Peel and Rushen respectively at their first attempts in 2008.

I can't check everyone individually but the smaller number of entries allows me to do so.

Have you told your mates to enter yet?

1000th lap by a man in 2009

964 of the 1213 laps to date have been completed by men and so it is almost certain that the 1000th lap by a man will be completed next year.

It took 19 years for the first 100 but the gaps between each century have become smaller and smaller.

These were the years when each target was reached:

1979 100
1990 200
1998 300
2001 400
2003 500
2004 600
2006 700
2007 800
2008 900

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Odd one out

I've had a quick look at the top 10 from the Peel to Douglas to compare the profile with the Parish Walk.

Three of the top ten were visitors (the first time ever) with no link with the PW.

Six of the other seven are Parish Walk finishers.

The odd one out is Vinny Lynch in 10th place.

His Parish Walk record is:

German 2005 06:49:15
Rushen 2006 03:33:00
Ballaugh 2007 08:31:20
Bride 2008 11:06:56

I've considerably overrun my time allocation on the website this weekend so there is no time for any other blogs or group sites.

Blogger enters race

Last year, one of the three bloggers didn't actually enter the race after she fell pregnant so its good to see that one of this year's crew has signed up.

Here are the thre names since I last updated:

Abbie Corkish
Martijn Biesmans
Trudi Telling

There are now 38 men and 19 women.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Nobody can be bothered

Only one person has bothered to enter today so I'm afraid I can't be bothered to compare the new list with the old one!

I will provide an update tomorrow after I have completed my coverage of the Peel to Douglas Walk.

I've just spent the last half hour getting myself organised for that. I'm charging up batteries for three different camera although my favourite "trick" is to forget to reinsert either the battery or the memory card.

I've also got six software applications ready for use as soon as I come (web editing, video editing, photo editing x 2, spreadsheet with all historical times and a browser link to the photo publishing site). I am not always this well organised but I've even got the new folders for full size photos and reduced size ready.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Jock's the fastest on the last leg

Dipping into the split times supplied by SPORTident from the past two years (via my spreadsheets), it is interesting to see that Jock Waddington has the fastest last leg split.

However, it wasn't for the winning year (which just creeps into the top 10) but it was from the previous year. He was 2 minutes and 20 seconds faster in 2007.

Ray Pitts was also had an impressive time in 2007 while David Lon Chambers was the surprise fastest in 2008.

Jock Waddington 00:22:59 2007
Ray Pitts 00:23:21 2007
Alan McCulloch 00:24:19 2007
David Chambers 00:24:20 2008
Robbie Callister 00:24:25 2007
Mark Hempsall 00:24:34 2007
Eammon Harkin 00:24:45 2007
Andrew Titley 00:24:54 2008
Marie Jackson 00:24:54 2008
Peter Bettridge 00:24:59 2007
Jock Waddington 00:25:19 2008

Some of the slower times also tell stories but they are for another day - I've got 196 days left to get them in somewhere!

Women's entries arrive

For the first time today, there were more women than men who entered:

Alan Johnston
Eleanor Chapman
Jane Lyall
Kathryn Prince

They are still a long way behind though with only 17 entries from women and 37 from men.

Killer stat

In 2005 Edward Marshall completed the Clerical Medical Parish Walk for the third time.

His time was 21:35:29. You would never know that there was anything special about that unless you had done as much work on a database of 80,000 odd fields as I have done recently.

Here it is:

He was the 737th person to complete the course.

The time is currently ranked 737th out of the 1413 finishes.

He is the only person to currently match this search although after this year the time will drop further down the ranking list but someone else may be shuffled into position.

There is only 1 entry today so rather than search through to see who it is, I will leave it until this evening. Do keep telling everyone to enter.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Today's statistic

The average time of the 1213 people to have been included in the official results since 1960 is 20:46:30.

Are you Mr or Mrs Average?

The nearest to the average time were Jim Davidson and Kenny Valerga in 2006 in 20:46:29.

Just three today

Brian Byers
Gill Senogles
John Callow

The scores on the door at 36 men and 14 women.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Pace hot between Malew & Santon in 2008

Having the electronic timing for the past two years will allow me to draw out loads of stats from the split times. It appears that despite the rain, the pace was much hotter in the southern sections. Here are the top 10 times:

David Griffiths 00:35:35 2008
Sean Hands 00:36:57 2008
Jock Waddington 00:37:15 2008
Michael George 00:38:01 2008
Mark Hempsall 00:38:20 2008
Michael George 00:38:39 2007
Sean Hands 00:39:16 2007
Robbie Callister 00:39:19 2007
Maurice Bellando 00:39:23 2008
Ray Pitts 00:40:06 2007

Three possible suggestions:
  1. The first few stages were slower so this was catching up.
  2. There was a tailwind.
  3. They were drawn along by the hare (David Griffiths who retired at Rushen).

Other suggestions, serious or otherwise, welcome.

Where are all the women this year?

There are 34 men now and only 13 women.

Here are the five latest.

Jo Sykes
Debbie Kelly
Jo Sykes
Michael Bonney
Paul Sykes
Steve Bassil

Bloggers are the youngsters

I wanted to try and bring the age of the bloggers down a little this year or at least have one with youth on their side.

For that reason I asked 19 year old Adam Killip who is a friend of my son Ben. I thought that he would bring something different to the readers as there is no doubt his student friends will think that he is mad.

Is was more by chance that 21 year old Julia Furner was signed up. I had asked one or two older (I had better say slightly older in case they read this) women who had declined. It was Mark Hempsall who put me in touch with Julia - thanks Mark. Looking at the age profile of last year's finishers she will have some story to tell if she makes it to the finish.

Martijn was chosen for different reasons. He has made lots of friends on the Isle of Man and again he brings an outside perspective to our event. But I hadn't realised that, in twelfth place and aged 36, he was the highest finisher under the age of 40.

In fact there were only two under 40s in the top 20, Chris Cale in 20th being the other. I campaigned for several years against continuing a separate veterans category (and women's class) to Peel when most of the veterans wanted to go further and they made up the majority of the finishers. This fact reinforced that view although , to the credit of the organising committee, the change has long been made.

4 entries this morning

Adrian Beale
Ian Donaldson
Maria Coldwell
Michael Crook

31 men + 11 women = 42

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Men are quicker off the mark

Of the 38 entries to date there have been 28 by men and only 10 by women.

5 more entries this afternoon & evening

Davied Rowe
John Staines
Keith Green
Richard Weir
Robbie Breadner

Statistic 2

Michael Gray has been well documented for finishing the Parish Walk at the age of 73 but, despite his prediction that an 80 year old will eventually get around, there was only one other walker aged 60 or more last year. That was the early leader, Dutchman Alex Wijsman

Only three entries this morning

The total is up to 33 as a result of the following entering:

Alan Isaac
Andrew Oram
Richard Corlett

Monday, 1 December 2008

Statistic 1

Nearly half of the laps (48%) of all laps completed by women have been walked in the last three years.

Between 1960 and 2005 there were 130 laps by women.

There have been 119 laps by women since then.

2006 - 45
2007 - 40
2008 - 34

Mind you, they say that you can prove anything with statistics and those figures show a sharp decline in the number of women finishing!

And then there were 30

In the last five and a half hours there have been another 14 entries. Even as I was comparing them number 30 arrived from Jon Mercer.

Here are the latest 14:

Alan GosschalkAndrew JonesAndrew MastermanAngela BrayDi Cummins Gustav Rober Janet Hutson John Currie Jon Mercer Julie Masterman Liz Hunter Mo Horisk Simon Starkey
Susan Moore 

Another 9 this afternoon

We're up to 16 entries by 5.15 on 1 December:

The 9 to have entered this afternoon are:

Andrew Bridson
Angela Martin
Bethany Clague
Brian Hewett
Carl Watson
Cem Nergiz
Chris Swales
Dave Capelen
Jade Maddrell

Tell your friends to get their name on the next list!

7 entrants by lunchtime on the first day

For the record they were:

Carl Senogles
Fred Baker
Mark Hempsall
Neil Stoutt
Pauline Clague
Roger Hammond Cave
Tony Dugdale

First entrant

Carl Senogles has the honour of being the first entrant. He was the only person to enter between midnighht and 6.30 when I checked the list.

I reckon that there about another 1749 to go. Do other people think that there will again be a record entry?

Sunday, 30 November 2008

The 2009 website launch

I'm writing this at lunchtime on 30 November with sub zero temperatures and the Isle of Man is covered in frost. So although it is a few degrees cooler than during the 2008 Clerical Medical Parish Walk at least its dry! So first things first, let's all keep our fingers crossed for better weather in 2009!

I've been spending most of my spare time during the past couple of weeks preparing for the launch of the 2009 website. Its five months since I drew a line under the 2008 coverage but where have those months gone to?

I'm excited about 2009 and really believe it will be better than ever.

The entries are due to open at midnight tonight so don't delay. The organisers considered making the entry system online only this time but there was still a view that not everyone could access a computer of their own, at their work or at a friends house. So if you are one of those people you won't be reading this!

Otherwise you will be quite convinced of the benefits that the online system brings to you (£5 less to pay) and to the organisers (no cheques to bank, entry fees to reconcile and data to enter and verify). What's more, the online system is instant and therefore the entries are visible for everyone to see whereas there is an understandable delay in processing the old system (people do have lives away from the Parish Walk).

I'm delighted with the lineup of the bloggers this year. The success of the Parish Walk to date has relied too much on older people. This year, two of the bloggers are youngsters and it is hoped that this will encourage more young people to take an interest and that you old hands (and feet) will provide feedback to them.

Two of the bloggers will be preparing off the Isle of Man this year so that will bring a new dimension to the stories. Finally, two of the bloggers have lived in the Netherlands at some stage in their lives.

In case you are confused, there are only three bloggers not six its just that there is such a neat overlap between them.

The internet has grown exponentially during the last few years and when I was compiling the Archive page the other night, I trawled through Google and was amazed at the Parish Walk content that is available now. I've added most of the Isle of Man Today, Manx Radio and BBC coverage to the Archive page as well linking to their videos and photo galleries alongside my own on the Video and Photos pages.

This year I have also added an Information page to help you find those rules or course directions. Again, I think the internet is the way to to disperse such information and I hope that during the next few years a searchable database will replace the need for printed documentation. I must stress, however, that although the Information page is based upon the official documents, the details should not be relied upon as the ultimate guide as I have applied my own interpretation and indeed added a lot of extra comment. The official documents are available (earlier than ever) for you to download.

Another new feature is the Organising page where I hope to ensure that everyone who plays a part in making the Parish Walk a success gets a a mention from sponsors, through the organising committtee to the people on the feeding stations.

Last year I introduced a Feature page and I am continuing with this. I visited Michael Gray, the oldest ever finisher at 73, yesterday and told him that the interview would take less than 30 minutes. He was fascinating and I left a hour and a half later! Much of yesterday was taken up compiling what was a sensitive story about Michael and his family. I hope to add a new feature about every 4 to 5 weeks as last year.

So that leaves me with the statistics. That is my project for tonight!