Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Round the Island on Shanks’ pony

2 min read

Triumphant Steve back at the finish at Freshwater Bay Golf Club

Steve Orchard, the ‘Iron Man’ of Freshwater Bay Golf Club, completed one of his stiffest charity challenges to date by walking around the Island in 16-and-a-half hours on Saturday.

Steve, 62, regularly does ‘insane’ challenges for charity with this year’s recipients being the local FYT Bus, golf club captain Tony Hammonds’ chosen organisation.

He started his 65-mile walk from the club at 3am cheered off by Tony, Peter Bonnell and Paul Swain with the latter two following him around the Island in a support car.

Steve Orchard starts his marathon in the dark at 3am Pics: Paul Swain

Steve was walking to a schedule, designed to get him back to the clubhouse by 7.30pm. Landmarks along the way were specified, so he was aware he had to maintain an average walking speed of four miles an hour to arrive on time.

This allowed no time for breaks. Steve said: “It went really well and it was done in ideal walking conditions with a cool wind. I did a lot of training for the walk practising on walking four miles an hour, but the longest walk I did in that period was about 20 miles.

“A lot of the walk on Saturday was coastal, so I saw the Round the Island race and the views do make you realise how lucky we are to live here.

“The toughest part was around Ventnor when I reached the hills and around the halfway mark, mentally, you have to push yourself.

“But I had Peter and Paul with me and, once I got back to around Yarmouth, David Harding joined me to give me encouragement over the last few miles. I was so pleased to finish in front of lots of cheering supporters and still had energy for a party afterwards!”

Steve has, so far, raised £1,000 for the FYT Bus and donations can be dropped off at the golf club, Orchard Brothers, Freshwater Bay, and the FYT Bus charity shop in Totland.