ANDREW TITLEY -

DON'T ASK HIM OUT FOR DINNER

Andrew Titley pictured by Sean Hands after his third 100 miles

 

On 23 June 2001, Andrew was due to dine out in the evening with his wife Rachel and their friends.  He was sure to have an appetite as he was walking to Peel in the Parish Walk earlier in the day with his sister Jane and niece Kate.

The trouble was that he changed his plan. "The girls talked so much that I had to speed up to get away from their chat" he recalled. Once he was on his own his expectations rose and rose. The dinner appointment was cancelled and he continued around the whole 85 miles.

"The response to my finish was overwhelming" said Andrew. "I'd played football for 10 years for Colby and Rushen but never experienced anything like the recognition I received for finishing the Parish Walk.  Although I had done some jogging before, I really thought that the Parish Walk was for the serious athletes. I learnt in 2001 that anyone can do the Parish Walk if they really want to - but you've got to want to do it."

Not that he intended to do it again. "Never again" are the words spoken by most first time finishers and Andrew was no exception. But just look at the fantastic record of finishes Andrew has accumulated.

Andrew's Parish Walk record

2001

23:05:34

2002

22:07:28

2003

19:11:29

2004

19:08:19

2005

18:48:02

2006

17:12:45

2007

17:49:56

By 2005 Andrew had also clocked up four End to End Walk finishes:

Andrew's End to End record

2002

08:24:19

2003

08:06:03

2004

08:02:30

2005

08:18:32

2005 was also the year he sought a fresh challenge and completed his first 100 mile race in the Netherlands.  In 2006 he repeated this feat in the Isle of Man improving his time from 22.55 to 22.19.

Although this was not a massive improvement, training with the Ballagyr Breakfast Club, which has included many of the leading long distance walkers of recent years, his performances had moved up a gear generally and earlier that year he covered the Parish Walk at over a minute a mile faster than ever before at an average of almost 12 minutes per mile for the 85 mile course.

His regular training partner is now Eammon Harkin (I promise to look a little further for my next Parish Walk feature!) and it was when Andrew called to see Eammon in the office before Christmas that I took the opportunity to find out what made him tick.

"My wife Rachel has been my inspiration" he said. "I couldn't have done what I have without her support and motivation."  Aged 42, they have two children Emma aged 16 and Lucy aged 11.

The popular and well known Southsider joined the Royal Navy from school and trained with them as a chef. Back in the Isle of Man he worked as a chef before setting up Titley Cleaners 22 years ago with brother Paul.

In 2007, although his Parish Walk time was down a little on 2006, there was a big improvement in his time in his third 100 miler. In Battersea Park, London he was attended to by no less than Parish Walk record holder Sean Hands and he covered the course in 21.30.

His walking season is now set around the double goal of Parish Walk and the 100 miles. When I broke the news to him that there would be no centurians race in Britain this year, he immediately starting looking for an overseas version.

So if you are thinking of inviting Mr & Mrs Titley for dinner this year, avoid any weekend with a 100 mile race scheduled!

Murray Lambden - 19 January 2008

Andrew Titley picture gallery (photos by Murray Lambden except where stated)

Parish Walk 2007 with Robbie Callister and Sean Hands

Parish Walk 2007 (both Parish Walk 2007 by Mike Lambden)

Isle of Man 100 miles 2006

Battersea 100 miles 2007 (Sean Hands)

End to End Walk 2004

Parish Walk 2002

 

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