DAVID COLLISTER - SILVER ANNIVERSARY YEAR BUT STILL NOT STARTED TRAINING!

David Collister pictured at Marown Church six days before the 2008 Clerical Medical Parish Walk.

 

One of the objectives of the www.parishwalk.com website is to provide information for potential walkers and to provide an opportunity to seek advice via the forum and the blogs.

David Collister is the most experienced Parish Walker of all time with 24 consecutive finishes to his name so surely he is the man to ask about his training. Don't because he doesn't!

Throughout his 24 years of completing the course he has hardly ever done any walking between one finish and another. The only exception was when his wife to be, Triana (daughter of former Boundary Harriers secretary and top race walker Frank Huntley), entered and he walked over the Sloc with her to assist with her preparations.

It would be deceptive, however, to suggest that his amazing successes have come about without planning. He is a self employed landscape and maintenance gardener and he uses his work to keep himself fit. The summer months are the peak of his working year and he deliberately works the longest hours in the weeks leading up to the Parish Walk. He clocks up to 12 hours a day to build up his stamina. He then eases up his work in the week before the walk and even takes the day off on the Friday!

David first entered the Parish Walk in 1975 reaching Peel as a 19 year old. He walked again two years later arriving at he same destination 8 minutes faster in 7.52. The following year he was determined to get as far as possible and reached Bride. He also recalls reaching Jurby in 1980, a performance that is missing from my database but he vividly recalls the wettest ever Parish Walk.

After living in Ireland for a few years he returned in time for the 1983 Parish Walk calling it a day at Lezayre - the last time that he stopped anywhere other than the finish line.

1984 was not only his first finish but also his most painful. The normally strictly controlled deadline was extended by race secretary Arthur Jones on the understanding that he would only finish a few minutes past the 24 hour limit. But after taking about an hour just to get along Douglas Promenade his final time was 25:08:26.

I wonder if he said "never again" that time as the two words have rarely been heard from David. He thought about quitting after the round numbers of 15 and 20 years. On one occasion the pre-race publicity stated that he had not entered but that was only because he was missed from the seeded previous finishers with the low numbers.

When talking to him today I got the impression that it will hard for him to stop. I left him with a joke that he would have to retire when he gets to 50 finishes. He thinks that the only way that he could not do it would be to go on holiday. You've got to remember that at the age of 52 he has finished the Parish Walk in nearly half of his living years.

He has rarely done any other sport although he did walk the Manx Mountain Marathon a few times in the last 70s. He was a member of Marown Football Club as a youngster, but he did not make any appearances. I remember David at school and in true Isle of Man fashion his sister Sue married my cousin Graham Crowe in 1981.

His early years in the Parish Walk were still a bit of a struggle to beat the 24 hour time limit but 1987 (his fourth finish) saw a big improvement to 21:48:58 and (excluding his first finish) his average finishing time is 21 hours 30 minutes. His best finishing time was 19:56:25 in 2001. Last year was his slowest since 1998 but that was because he was feeling sick and could hardly take on any food.

His good health has been crucial to his finishing streak. Although generally in very good health he has often had illnesses either side of the event which, had they fallen on the Parish Walk weekend, would have prevented him from taking part.

He has been married to Triana since 1999 (they have been a couple since 1991). She has supported him in his walks along with his mother and father.  He is grateful for the long term support of his family during the walks but admits that he can be unbearable during the walk - just as well then that they don't have to suffer the moods brought on from the tiredness of training that most athlete's families suffer from.

David Collister's Parish Walk record

German

1975

08:00:20

German

1977

07:52:00

Bride

1978

14:57:00

Lezayre

1983

15:31:00

Finish

1984

25:08:26

Finish

1985

23:20:28

Finish

1986

23:27:25

Finish

1987

21:48:58

Finish

1988

22:42:25

Finish

1989

22:43:13

Finish

1990

21:53:11

Finish

1991

21:07:21

Finish

1992

20:22:38

Finish

1993

20:39:40

Finish

1994

21:44:44

Finish

1995

21:04:32

Finish

1996

21:29:35

Finish

1997

21:25:34

Finish

1998

21:51:17

Finish

1999

21:09:49

Finish

2000

20:42:54

Finish

2001

19:56:25

Finish

2002

20:58:25

Finish

2003

21:34:34

Finish

2004

20:21:14

Finish

2005

20:31:46

Finish

2006

21:05:43

Finish

2007

21:24:10

 

Murray Lambden - 15 June 2008

The David Collister 2002-2007 Parish Walk picture gallery (photos by Murray Lambden)

2002 - with Mick Holgate at  Ballasalla

2003 - at the Round Table

2004 - at Union Mills

2005 - just beyond Jurby

2006 - with Dermot O'Toole at Braddan Bridge

2007 - about to check in at Kirk Michael with Robert Wright

 

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