31 Aug 2010

Dorset Doddle 2010

This years event had a limit on the number of entries so the start seemed a bit calmer.  As Nigel and I set off we were soon left in the no-mans land between runners and walkers ambling along Weymouth seafront.

The first section to Lulworth went well and the weather was perfect for running, cool and grey.  The first checkpoint is in the massive car park at Lulworth before you head up Bindon Hill.

The weather started to deteriorate with a few spells of heavy rain.  When we got to the climb up Rings Hill most things were covered in mist.  Navigating the route is never too difficult as you just keep the sea on your right.  I was glad I had done the route before because any delays wondering which path to take are very frustrating after 20 miles.

You can just make out our rivals disappearing in the mist

The coastal path was very slippery, covered in a thin layer of mud and a number of times I was on my backside sliding down hill.  Nigel did not want to be outdone so as we neared Swanage he slipped down a section of path and performed a mid air forward roll.  During his flight he had to make a decision whether to land on the rocks or the gorse.  The gorse was fewer points from the judges but a safer option so he went for that.

Finish time was 9:04, half an hour quicker than last year. This has messed up my technique for calculating finish time as I came 55th out of 146 finishers.

Thanks again to the Dorset LDWA and all the people at the checkpoints for another great event.

21 Aug 2010

Probably Higher Tor and Belstone Tor

It was a long promised trip, so when the weather turned all autumnal on us we decided to go anyway and shorten the trip if necessary.

We left the car in Belstone and set off into the mist on Friday evening.  At the edge of the village you join the track to Taw Marsh, we were greeted with a heavy downpour so it was coats on and heads down.

As I had left work late it was soon getting dark. After a couple of miles we started looking for somewhere to camp and found a bit of shelter off the track in the bracken.

The night was blustery but fairly dry.  Next morning we were still surrounded by mist, so rather than walking further up the valley we headed up to Higher Tor and then Belstone Tor.

A shorter walk than planned due to the weather but still a fun trip. As you can tell.

17 Aug 2010

Not too long now

Just under 3 weeks to go until Across Wales Walk. At the moment I am feeling a mixture of nervousness and  "well there is nothing I can do now".  A sluggish 5 mile run at lunchtime did not help my feeling of preparedness.  I have got a trip to Dartmoor to organise and the Dorset Doddle to run. They will help keep my mind of it for a while.

As I have mentioned before here, I have 3 ways of estimating finish time.

Option 1 - minutes per mile
Last long run/walk was at 17 minutes per mile so this gives 13.5 hours

Option 2 - Double last year's winners time
Last year the winning time was 8.5 hours so that is 17 hours

Option 3 - 80th percentile
Looking at the results that is about 16 hours

None of them look very good. I guess Option 2 gives the best indication of the terrain and distance, but hopefully I will nearer Option 3, 16 hours..

5 Aug 2010

Steps up and down

In a few weeks we are going to have a go at the Dorset Doodle.  32 miles between Weymouth and Swanage.  This will be my last long run before Across Wales, which is two weeks later.  As a bit of training we decided to run from Swanage to Kimmeridge Bay and back again, the last section of the Dorset Doodle.

We started from Durlston Head car park and for the first mile we were followed by a friendly dog, who hopefully found its owner after we chased hm off. After some fairly flat sections the steps start beyond St Aldhems Head.

Chapman's Pool

As the skies cleared the views west towards Weymouth imporved.  As we were running out of time Andy was the only one of us to make it to Kimmeridge.

Kimmeridge Ledges

We turned and headed back up the steps we had come down and down the steps we had come up.  You get the idea, there were a lot of steps.

When we to back to the car park, three of us were glad it over as it was getting very hot and we were beginning to flag.  Andy, on the other hand, who has completed the Grand Union Canal 145 mile run was only just warming up.  He kindly put up with our "its up hill therefore we walk" policy.

Route statistics

Number of miles : 22
Number of hours: 5
Number of steps : lots
Number of ladies asking if anyone in our group was called Bernard : 1