The Isle of Man is a hub for a number of other sporting contests and festivals attracting competitors from around the world, not just motorsport activities. Every year it attracts hundreds of people daring to test their skills against the Island's incredibly tough natural terrain.
If you’re a really keen mountain biking enthusiast, the prestigious Bikestyle Isle of Man End 2 End challenge in September each year should definitely be on your list. Running a direct, 75km route over mountains and through forests from the northern-most point of the Island, the Point of Ayre, to the southern point in Port Erin, it’s enough to test even the most accomplished rider!
Two other famous cycling endurance races are the Microgaming Lighthouses Challenge and the Isle of Man Cycle Challenge. The Lighthouses Challenge takes place in July 2018, with either solo riders or teams of three or four competing over one of three course distances - 160km, 85km or 56km. One of the toughest physical tests the Isle of Man can offer, this is an extremely popular event with locals and visitors alike.
In 2015, Manx Olympic Gold medal winning star Peter Kennaugh MBE, broke Chris Boardman's 22 year record for cycling a lap of the iconic 37.73 mile TT Mountain Course in 1 hour, 23 minutes and 48 seconds. The Mountain Challenge takes place in September and is either a solo or seven-leg time trial around the TT course, beginning at the TT Grandstand on Glencrutchery Road.
This event attracts some of the cycling world's most prolific world champions and Olympic medallists who try and take on the Mountain Course challenge - why not try it for yourself?
One of the Island's most iconic sporting challenges is the annual Manx Telecom Parish Walk. Walkers compete over an 85 mile course, which they have to complete within a 24-hour time limit and pass by every parish church on the Island. There are various cut-off points and times around the Island. A legendary event in the eyes of Manx residents and with thousands of people turning up to take part each year, this test of endurance and mental toughness is not for the faint-hearted!
Every March, world champions of the darts world descend on the Isle of Man to compete for the £20,000 top prize at the International Darts Festival. Fast becoming one of the hottest spectator sports around and a fantastic excuse for a group trip away, make sure you book your tickets in advance!
The Easter Festival of Running provides the ideal way to compete over some of the toughest courses in the British Isles, and at the same time enjoy a long weekend away taking in the Island's incredible scenery and laid-back way of life. Taking place over three days, with events including 10km road races and hill climbs for male and female competitors, this is the perfect opportunity to come away with your local athletics club or by yourself and test your skills against a different calibre of runner.
For avid walkers and those looking for more of a gentle option, the annual Walk the Isle of Man Festival is a must. Suitable for all ages and abilities thanks to the Island’s 100 mile coastline and mix of flat and mountainous terrain, it attracts visitors from across the British Isles and even further afield. Organised guides will ensure you see the best of our stunning countryside and meet some of our rare birds and wildlife during the five day event, with planned walking routes across the Island. Two of note include the gentle, eight mile track around Port Erin and Port St Mary in the South, or the famed ‘Raad Ny Foillan’ or ‘Way of the Gull’, a 95 mile route around the Island covering some of the most challenging walking we have to offer!
The two flagship events of the UK’s bowling calendar take place annually on the Island. The June and September Crown Green Bowling Festivals have been running since 1921, and spectator numbers continue to grow each year. With the highest prize winnings of any bowling competition in existence, they always attract the best players on the circuit as well as those who compete for fun. Hotel rooms are always in demand during each festival and so early booking is recommended.