This weekend we took on another Endurance Life event – The Coastal Trail Series, Dorset. We couldn’t have wished for better weather; there were blue skies and sunshine…
The last Endurance race we took part in was back in February in South Devon; this one was a massive improvement weather wise! The Dorset CTS is ranked as level 5 – extreme. Boy, they were not kidding.
We set off from home as the sun was rising, fuelled by rice pudding and feeling a little nervous about the terrain for the course! The sun was up just after we arrived at the car park and the Ultra runners (45 miles) were getting ready for their briefing.
Dan was running the Marathon, which was a total of 27 miles and I signed up to the 10k, which was 6.1 miles. The distances for these races are never accurate to the distances listed so it is always worth checking out what the mileage is listed as on the website before committing to a race.
The start of the race was tough. All the routes take on the same initial route, up 3 hills. I wasn’t quite prepared for the incline and so there wasn’t a lot of running initially. Thankfully, most other people felt exactly the same so most were power walking up the hill!
Once you get over the first incline, the views are instantly amazing. After taking in the scenery, you quickly spot the next hill! There is enough time to start warming up to a run and building up a bit of momentum before you hit the next hill.
The second hill is a killer! It is too steep to run up and it doesn’t take long until the burning feeling kicks in on the calf muscles. It is important to just keep powering through until you reach the top.
As soon as you reach the turning point for the 10k it then gets much easier and you can start to push it.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t having a great race. At this turning point I had cramp in my left foot and it didn’t go until I finished the race. This made me really cautious on the downhills, which was a bit irritating as it is a hill down to the finish and I was hoping to pick up a bit of time following all the walking before the checkpoint.
If you don’t have cramp, the final section can be a lot of fun – a steep downhill all the way to the end. Once through the finishing funnel, you had over your chip in return for your time, a medal and some protein bars. The t-shirts this year are much better than last time. Pink for the girls and green for the boys!
I finished with a time of 1:21. The average time for this race was a predicted 1:20 for females but I was feeling a bit deflated with my result, I had hoped for a 1:15 finish.
Overall, I was glad I did it. I found it tough and realised I should have done more trail hills training beforehand.
I couldn’t imagine doing the marathon on a course like this so I have a lot of respect for those who went that distance (and beyond!).
The staff and marshals were great, very friendly and supportive. The base is good for those who are watching or waiting for others as there are cafes, pubs and gorgeous views to explore.
Next year I have agreed to do the half marathon with Dan. Looks like we might need to do a bit more hill training.
For more information on Endurance Life events head over to their website.