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The Chilly Hilly race on Sunday 8 December lived up to its name, as gales, mud and Tennyson Down provided a winter cross-country experience for 217 runners.

First and second home were first-timers, Joe Driscoll, 29, and Ross Wilkes, 27, while third overall and first woman was Charlie Metcalfe, 43.

The 10-mile circular course starts at West Wight Sports and Community Centre, Freshwater, climbs Tennyson Down from Freshwater Bay and returns via Headon Warren, Totland and Colwell.

Former Cowes High student Driscoll, who now lives in Winchester, said he enjoyed the run and was surprised to win. “It was my first Chilly Hilly and I entered because it seemed a good time of year to do an event.

“It was very windy, but the mud wasn’t too bad. The marshalls were very good. I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Wilkes, a former Carisbrooke High student, said the leading runners formed “a good little group, supporting each other until Headon Warren”.

“I didn’t expect it to be quite as muddy as it was,” he said.

“I had been meaning to do the Chilly Hilly for a while, because I really enjoy the events put on by the West Wight Sports and Community Centre.”

Metcalfe, who has had a tremendously successful year, including a stellar performance at the Island Games, had been fastest woman in the 2018 race and was pleased to finish third overall this year.

Clare Griffin, of the sports centre, thanked the marshalls and back markers, co-ordinated by Jo and Simon Randall of Love Running, who once again braved the bitter conditions to ensure all athletes completed the challenge safely.

Text/Sue Lupton 

Images/Michael Dangerfield of Wight Productions