NORTHERN CHAMBERS

Photo by Murray Lambden

Left to right: Maureen Moffatt, David Chambers and June Melvin pictured in Andreas on 9 April

No matter how many statistics I produce someone always wants more. So here is a question to which I don't know the answer. Have a brother and two sisters ever finished the Parish Walk?  I think it is unlikely but it is hard to be certain as female names are not always identifiable with their siblings.

If not, the Chambers clan from Ramsey must stand a chance of being the first if June Melvin, the winner of the HSBC Securities Services Winter League Walks, can join her two time finisher sister Maureen Moffatt and her six times finishing brother David "Lon" Chambers.

But first June has another challenge to contemplate - and its only three days and a night away as I write this. The 47 year old Business Development Officer will be among the 36,000 runners tackling the Flora London Marathon raising funds for the Leonard Cheshire Disability - and she is already pledging to do it again next year. She and her training partner Tara Slinger fly to Gatwick on Friday morning.

And when Lon, who has a particularly varied sporting CV, learnt that he could qualify for next year's London Marathon by running a sub 3.15 marathon he was immediately "up" for the challenge. The 50 year old Department of Transport worker decided in a flash that he would be running in the Salclear Isle of Man Marathon - the course goes very close to his current residence in Ramsey.

They were all born and brought up in Ramsey and it is only Maureen who has ventured away from the town - as far as Andreas!  She works as an assistant cook at Andreas School and the youngest of the three at 41 has plans to add a few more finishes to her collection.

She made it to Jurby at her first attempt in 2004 but didn't progress the next year. Helped by big brother David, she walked the whole course in 2006 when they crossed the line together 21 seconds inside 20 hours. A big improvement followed in 2007 when she knocked more than 45 minutes off her time.

Lon is very determined and he had no doubt that he would compete the course when he first entered in 1997. In fact it took him four attempts but by the time he completed his hat-trick in 2002 he had lowered his time to 18:13:33. He still hopes to get down to 17 hours but his competitive streak is tempered by a desire to help other people.  Not only did he finish with Maureen in 2006 but he walked the whole course with Terry Moffat in 2004 and, although he ultimately finished a few minutes ahead of him, helped James Broughton around the following year.

Lon shares a sporting background with James as they are both former motor cycle racers. He finished 4th in the 1992 Manx Grand Prix Newcomers race and rode again the following year as well as racing regularly on the Jurby circuit. He played football for Ramsey Youth Centre and played darts for many years.

Not every year in the Parish Walk has been straightforward for Lon and he has failed to finish twice since he first succeeded. He was particularly disappointed to drop out at Jurby in 2007 after suffering with cramp and sicknesss through much of the race.  He put this down to mistakes with his isotonic drinks and admits that he still has a lot to learn about the effective use of drinks during the walk.  It didn't stop him in the 100 Miles in 2006, however, where he finished strongly with one of the best split times over the final 20 miles.

Despite her success in the winter league walks, June has only entered the Parish Walk once so far stopping at Rushen in 2002. When I asked them who was the most determined there was resounding agreement that they all share the same personal characteristics and so, if its not already been done, I would bet on the Chambers clan getting there first - provided that the marathon bug does not take over.

Lon Chamber's Parish Walk record

Andreas

1997

13:55:00

Lezayre

1998

14:57:00

Lezayre

1999

14:55:00

Finish

2000

20:20:02

Finish

2001

19:54:49

Finish

2002

18:13:33

Andreas

2003

12:09:00

Finish

2004

19:46:12

Finish

2005

18:39:54

Finish

2006

19:59:39

Jurby

2007

09:47:37

 

Maureen Moffatt's Parish Walk record

Jurby

2004

11:03:00

Jurby

2005

11:00:00

Finish

2006

19:59:39

Finish

2007

19:14:14

 

Murray Lambden - 9 April 2008

The Chambers picture gallery (photos by Murray Lambden unless stated otherwise)

Lon on his way to joining the Centurians in 2006

Lon (13) with Terry Moffat (no relation)

Maureen (43) at Glen Vine in 2007 (Mike Lambden)

Later that same year at Kirk Michael on her way to another finish

June (171) at the NSC in the winter league (with Dot Watterson)

And in an earlier round at St Johns

 

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