This new LDWA route starts in Cerne Abbas, heads east through villages like Plush and Cross Lanes before reaching Bingham's Melcombe. This is a beautiful 16th century manor with immaculate gardens. We tried not to make too much noise on the gravel paths. From here the route turned west to follow the Wessex Ridgeway north of Cerne Abbas to Sydling St Nicolas. The climb up Shearplace Hill, the final hill, returns to Cerne Abbas.
Walkers started at 8 and runners before 9. We set off just after 8 to allow the field to spread but to gives us enough time to get round and enjoy refuelling at the checkpoints. It was a beautiful day with great views over the Dorset hills.
At the half way point we were passed by a couple of runners who had obviously started long after us and were still full of running. I was pleased to find out afterwards that one of them was Jez Bragg, who went on to finish first.
As always the Dorset LDWA put on a wonderfully friendly and well organised event. At the main checkpoint in Buckland Newton, Simon and I were talking to another runner who said "you don't want to eat too much as it can sit heavily on your stomach". As we watched them leave the checkpoint we shock our heads sadly. They seemed to have missed the point. Now fruit cake or lemon drizzle or both, silly question - both. Our advise if you are concerned about eating too much is slow down, have another sandwich or sausage roll or cake and walk for a bit.
I have not run since and have been working too much, so plans for the next big run have been delayed. Luckily there are some great plans for canoe and biking trips on the horizon.