THE record for running the Isle of Wight Coastal Path was beaten in spectacular style in the week before Christmas.

The 71-mile course, from Cowes anti-clockwise to East Cowes, was completed by Island-raised athlete Russ Tannen in 11 hours, 11 minutes and 47 seconds.

Tannen, 34, shaved an hour and 13 minutes off the previous record, set in June 2018 by Daniel Williams.

Despite competing with mist, rain, heavy mud and darkness at both ends of his run, Tannen averaged six miles an hour for the route — the equivalent of almost three marathons.

He said: “I've wanted to have a crack at this for a long time, but probably didn’t make the smartest choice in terms of timing – the second shortest day of the year, following a week or so of rain.

“Conditions underfoot were exhaustingly slippy, sometimes just complete bog going well over my ankles.

Isle of Wight County Press: Tannen during his epic 71-mile runTannen during his epic 71-mile run

“But that didn't detract too much from how epic it was to follow this route around the whole Island in one go.”

Tannen, who grew up on the Island, attending Binstead Primary School, Mayfield Middle School and Ryde High School, credited his family for their support of his record-breaking run.

His father, Island businessman Norman Arnold, provided back-up, and his uncle, Barton Primary School teacher Andy Fessey, paced him at different stages.

He was also encouraged along the route by his mother, Helen Bradstock, grandmother, Revd Annis Fessey, sister, Kathryn Arnold and niece and nephew, Ella and Toby Afonso.

Tannen — the professional name he adopted when entering the music industry — also credits his late grandfather, Island headmaster and Anglican priest Canon Brian Fessey, with inspiring him to run.

He has said he would love to have another go when it's dry, but won’t have it all his own way, with previous record holder Dan Williams pledging to tackle the course again in the future.