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Walk Rules for Competitors and Support Vehicles

The Parish Walk marshals are there to ensure, so far as is reasonably possible, the safety of all competitors and their support vehicles/attendants (support crew). It is therefore completely unacceptable for these marshals to receive verbal abuse when they request either the walker or their support crew to comply with safety instruction. Rule 2 (below) is deemed to be a road safety regulation. This means that penalties can be applied to a walker as a result of their support crews not complying with instructions from officials or marshals. This can result in the walker being disqualified without a warning. All marshals are fully aware that both walkers and their support crews can be fatigued but this cannot be used as an excuse for non-compliance with a safety instruction.

1.     Failure to comply with road safety regulations, or walking in a manner that could pose a danger to yourself or others, may lead to disqualification without warning. For the purposes of the Parish Walk, rules 2, 4,14 & 17 are deemed to be road safety regulations.

2.     If a competitor or their support crew fails to comply with a marshal’s instruction or verbally abuses a marshal, they may be subject to one of the penalties outlined in Rule 18 below.

3.     Entries are not transferrable and refunds will not be given.

Competitors Rules

4.     Important Rule. Due to the rules governing road races, the wearing of headphones or similar devices is prohibited, anyone who is seen to be wearing any form of headphones during the race will be disqualified. Headphones worn for medical reasons will be permitted if the competitor is able to provide a medical certificate to confirm their requirement.

5.     The race referees have the absolute power to withdraw any competitor deemed to be physically unfit to continue. A certificate of medical fitness may be requested by the race referees prior to the event. Competitors must fill in medical details where indicated on your race number.

6.     Competitors must wear a hi-viz bib/vest and bright coloured clothing for the whole race. Race numbers must be worn at all times; these numbers must be unaltered, displayed above waist height front and back and must not be obscured by waterproofs or backpacks, in any form. Beyond Ballaugh, your number must be attached to a hi-viz bib/vest that displays significant reflective material when worn with the number. For walkers' safety, backpacks in any form (including CamelBaks®), cannot be carried beyond Ballaugh.

Walkers should also be aware that altering or cutting their number in any way may damage the timing strips which would prevent their times being recorded.

7.     The route must be followed as laid down by the organisers and all officials' and marshals' instructions must be obeyed.

8.     No running or jogging is allowed. The race is organised under the World Athletics rules of race walking. This event will be judged as a Category B Race with Rule 54 interpreted accordingly.  The use of poles and any artificial aids are prohibited without the authorisation of the Race Director.

9.    Pacing (i.e. an attendant driving, walking or cycling with a competitor) is not allowed. Pacing will result in time penalties or disqualification. Attendants must walk behind competitors when supplying drinks etc.

10.   If the time limit for arrival at a checkpoint is exceeded, the competitor may be asked to retire by a race referee. All retirees must report to officials at a checkpoint (Parish Church). If a competitor stops between checkpoints, they must inform race control of their retirement via text to 07624 316385 and cut through the timing chip on their front number. Failure to report your retirement may mean omission from the final results.

11.   Competitors must use footpaths wherever possible. If there is no footpath, you must walk on the righthand side of the road facing oncoming traffic, except where indicated by Parish Walk signs or when directed by marshals. You should try and cross at well-lit junctions.

12.    With the exception of guide dogs, competitors are not permitted to be accompanied by any animal.

13.    Competitors continuing beyond Ballaugh must be individually accompanied by an attendant in a car. Any competitor found to be in breach of this rule will be immediately disqualified. The sharing of a support vehicle is not permitted. Attendants must wear hi-viz reflective clothing. 

14.     After 21:30 hours, walkers must wear an illuminated light source/s that is/are visible simultaneously from the front and rear. Competitors must ensure that they have sufficient batteries to illuminate their light sources throughout the night.

Support Vehicles/Attendants Rules

15.     Only one support vehicle per entrant is permitted on restricted roads. Vehicles over 5.5m in length will not be permitted on restricted roads.

To help minimise traffic congestion, competitors are encouraged to share a support vehicle as far as, but not beyond, Ballaugh (see Rule 13). Support vehicles must display the race numbers of the competitor/s they are supporting.

16.     Parking and giving assistance to walkers is prohibited along the No Stopping Zones as designated on the route description. All forms of support vehicles must obey road traffic orders; drivers must ensure they do not stop on corners or in locations that could cause an accident.

17.     Support crew must wear hi-visibility reflective clothing.

Penalties that can be awarded if competitors or their support crew/attendants infringe the above rules

18.     Infringement of rule 4 will result in immediate disqualification. Time penalties will be imposed on a competitor for any infringements of all other rules:

1st Infringement -15 minutes

2nd Infringement - 45 minutes

3rd Infringement - Disqualification

These time penalties are cumulative and will be added to the race time at the conclusion of the race. In the event that the penalties added take the total time over the 24-hour limit, then that competitor will not be classified as a finisher. Competitors and their support crews/attendants are deemed to be a single entity when imposing penalties.



1.  The open walk is over the 85 mile course and competitors must be aged 21 years and over on the day of the walk. There will be an additional Ladies prize list. To be classified as a finisher, the walk must be completed in a time of not more than 24 hours.

2.  The race for those aged a minimum of 18 and under 21 years on the day of the walk is to Peel, a distance of 32.5 miles. There will be separate prizes for Ladies and Men.

3.  The overall team race is for teams of a minimum of 2 walkers and a maximum of 4 walkers and cannot include more than 2 walkers who have previously completed the full 85 miles. The distance covered by each team member is combined to find the team's total distance and the team with the most miles will be deemed the winner. In the event of a tie on mileage then the fastest aggregate time for the 4 walkers will determine the winner. There will be a separate prize list for teams of up to 4 ladies.

4.  No competitor may be in more than one team.


Race walking rules

In September 2019, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) rebranded and became "World Athletics".
The IAAF Technical Rule book was also updated at that time and a new Rule numbering system was adopted.

The Manx Telecom Parish Walk was held under IAAF rule 230 but is now held under World Athletics Technical Rule 54 (TR54) and the relevant part of that Rule (for our event) is reproduced below:


54. (Rule 230) Race Walking


54.2 - Definition of Race Walking

Race Walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker makes contact with the ground, so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e. not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until the vertical upright position.


The Parish Walk is held with a Race Walking Association (RWA) Category B permit which allows the judging rules to be relaxed with only the contact part of TR54 being applied.

Judges will where ever possible issue a caution by way of showing an athlete a yellow paddle / card if it is felt that the athlete is breaking this rule of race walking. Athletes who receive multiple yellow cards may be subject to disqualification. Given the nature / logistics of the event, i.e. point to point, judges can disqualify an athlete without a prior warning having been issued where it is felt that the athlete is obviously not complying with the rules.

Time limits

There are generous time limits by which competitors must reach each church checkpoint. If a walker arrives at a checkpoint after these cut off times, they will be retired from the race. This may seem unfair, however everyone slows down as time progresses and if a walker is late at one checkpoint, they will not be able to complete the course in the allocated time of 24 hours.
A full list of cut-off times can be seen on the "Time ranges at churches" page here.