There is a sort of appeal on the facebook parish walk page asking for people to help during the race. It seems that there are walkers "from over" who want to take part but hold back after reading the rule about having an escort vehicle after Peel. I have an added interest in this, if it wasn't for Pauline, my support crew chief, I wouldn't have been able to take part in the last two Parishes or End to Ends, Helen looked after me for my first two, but then caught the "taking part" bug and left me worrying for the 2009 when I'd entered and was left not knowing what was going to happen. Helen asked the other mums at the school gate and Pauline shrugged and said, okay, it's something different, might be a laugh. (I wasn't there, this is just artistic license on my script writing.) Anyway, the end result was I apprehensively met my support crew two days before the race, it could have gone any number of ways, but now we're close friends who have shared a great many experiences which have given us many things to tell our grandchildren years from now when were sat in our respective care homes during our weekly family visits.
In the end though, the race is not just about the competitors. If it was it wouldn't be a race, just a lot of people going for a long walk. The Parish is growing each year, and it has the potential to be a big international event, already viewers of Sky Sports tune in every year, and it is known about the European walking circuit as one of the biggest tests a walker can attempt. But it needs helpers, whether it is support crew, marshalls, staff at churches and feeding stations and the many number of volunteers which keep the race going and building into the Island's second biggest sporting event after the TT races, (sorry if I upset anyone organizing other big events, this is not just my opinion...) Half the people on the Island at some point get out and watch the walkers passing which makes it as well attended by spectators as a Premiership football match.
So, even if you don't want to actually walk you can still take part and do a vital job to help the island build on it's massive sporting heritage. Or if you know anyone, give them a nudge and mention it. Whatever, it'll give you something to talk about at work on the monday afterwards and help a lot of keen athletes achieve their goal. Help to make it a truly international event. If you want to help, at the moment there is the website, http://www.parishwalk.com/ and click on the organising link, and you will find links to people who can help. Also, the facebook page, www.facebook.com/parishwalk is currently building pace and can give hints. If there is interest out there for someone who wants to spend the night looking after someone going for a long walk in the dark, then I'm sure things can be organized, possibly a database. Who knows, you will meet new people, take part in something different, and might even enjoy it. Just ask my support crew chief!