Thursday, June 21, 2007


It is nearly time for the madness to start again, this will be the third New"Ten" 10k.We hope we will see as many as possible back to run again this year, with the help of JOHN STARK & CRICKMAY PARTNERSHIP ARCHITECTS of Dorchester 01305 262636 who are sponsoring the event we hope it will be an enjoyable for all,so it's not to late to get your trainers out and have a go.
All profits from the event go to local groups & charities.
You can find an entry form of sort's below, if you can't manage to print it off you will also find the form on or Email for a form or for any question about the event
I have kept this as brief as possible to give you more time to read some of the marathon race reports posted on the blog (when you start reading you will see the marathon refers to the report not the distance)

(Approx 10K Multi-terrain Race)

Start 7.00pm at Maiden Newton Youth Centre
Held under UK Athletics Rules - SEAA Permit no 1408 - Entry limit 250
Race Sponsored By
Princes St Dorchester Dorset DT1 1TW
01305 262636 Email

The run will follow the same figure of eight multi-terrain route, on quiet country lanes, tracks and footpaths (not traffic free), taking you through some of Dorset’s beautiful undulating countryside. It is unfortunately not suitable for wheelchairs.

Memento for all finishers + Prizes for various categories

AFFILIATED CLUB RUNNERS £5.00 (£6.00 on day)
NON–AFFILIATED £7.00 (£8.00 on day)
Numbers to be collected on the day - No refunds will be given
For more information Email

First Name _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Surname _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Address _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Postcode _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Phone no _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Email _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Male/Female _ _ _ _ _ _ _ DOB _ _ /_ _ / _ _ Age on day of event _ _ _ (min 15)

Affiliated Club _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I enclose Cheque for £ _ _ _ _ _ Payable to Maiden Newton runners

(Entries on day restricted if limit reached)

Disclaimer: I agree to abide by the rules of the race laid down by UK Athletics and by the organisers. I will only compete if in good health and I understand that I enter at my own risk and that the organisers will not be liable for any injury, illness or loss of property as a result of my taking part in this event.

Signature _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Date _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
(Parent or Guardian if under 18)
Please send completed form, fee & SAE to:-
Phil England, West View, Cattistock, nr Dorchester, Dorset DT2 0JB

Monday, June 04, 2007

Dartmoor Discovery 2007

This is a long post, and it could have been a lot longer, because this was a long race. We were expecting the Dartmoor Discovery to be hard, and had heard lots of wise words from previous entrants, but even so I think we didn’t quite understand how just an extra 10k on top of a hilly marathon would make it qualitatively different experience from anything we had tried before.

As usual, the plan was to run it together, with me restraining Lin from going too fast too soon. In the end it was me who pushed the pace too early, but we started as slowly as we could stand, at least a minute a mile slower than our marathon pace, and the first 8 or 9 miles seemed really easy. Lin was second lady in the race after we overtook a trio of ladies at about 1 mile, including the formidable Sharon Daw, winner or many local and not so local marathon races. We thought that it might mean we were going off too fast, but we both felt fine, and that we could keep this sort of pace up all day – funny how that feeling can suddenly evaporate when you encounter a steep hill!

But meanwhile, things were going according to plan., and we had a nice chat for a couple of miles with the only 9-time runner of the race, Graham Baker, who, at nearly 60 had run 80 miles of the Grand Union canal race the previous weekend. We pulled away from him on the fast downhill into Dartmeet, but he ended up finishing only just behind at the end.

Despite being run over a scenic course, it was not a quiet one, at least at first, because of the many cars, most of which were supporters of runners. This was made worse by the actions of a couple of other runners who insisted on running 2 abreast in the middle of the road, forcing a long line of cars to idle behind them, and the line of runners behind to dodge around the cars, and breathe in their exhaust fumes and brake linings on the windy downhill section towards New Bridge. We (I) put a spurt on at this point to get past these runners, and paid for it later, but it was a relief when we passed through Ashburton, and we were now ahead of most of the supporters as we toiled up the relentless hill out of the town.

The quietest part of the course was the bit around halfway, and we were still feeling good enough to enjoy it, although the hills were starting take their toll, and especially the downhill parts which I would normally enjoy, were too steep to relax on. We passed half way and were running up towards the highest point on the course when I spotted a diminutive form a hundred yards or so down the hill, and gave Lin a bit of a nasty shock by saying that it looked as if it was a woman, probably Sharon Daw who was dressed in a black running vest. Lin didn’t think she could go any faster, and was very relieved when it turned out that the “woman in black” was actually Vet 55 prize-winning David Beattie who ended up running either just behind or just in front of us for the rest of the race.

After this, we continued down the steep lane into Widecombe, we were briefly distracted and unsettled by at one point passing the disturbingly unexpected sight of a large motor caravan precariously perched on the side of the road with 2 wheels off the ground, I have no idea why it didn’t tip over, it looked like it was frozen in the process of crashing to its side and certainly gave the impression that it could at any moment as we nervously made our way past it.

Leaving Widecombe the race was nearly two thirds over, but we still had 20k to run, and just as in a marathon the last 10k is when the race (and the pain) really starts, we were feeling about as tired as we would in a marathon at that point, but we still had twice as far to go, and it felt to me to take almost twice as long to run lat last 20k as the first 32. The worst hills were past, but there were still a few nasty little ones to come. It was tough! At various times we each wondered if we could keep going, but somehow we did, and taking it one hill at a time we reached the main road at Postbridge just past the Marathon point, and for a while we both felt that we were on the home stretch, and could relax and enjoy it. That feeling lasted about a mile until the hill out of Postbridge which is not steep, but goes on for a lot longer than you remember when you drive through it the previous day at 40mph.

At the top of this hill there was a drink station, and sign saying 5 miles to go, and we were now counting down the weary miles to the finish. Each mile seemed to take longer than the previous one; no actually it did take longer because we were slowing down. That is we were slowing down until I spotted a figure in a yellow vest rapidly gaining on us. Don’t worry; I told Lin, it is a man, I think. Actually that was partly wishful thinking, and partly logical because there were no other women in the race capable of gaining on us apart from Sharon Daw, and she had been wearing a black vest. Well, logical thinking does not always work at the best of times, let alone at the 29 mile mark. It turned out that it was the dreaded Sharon Daw, and after running 28 miles of the race as second lady, Lin had really been counting on finishing that way. But it seemed that it was not to be, and although she would still be first female newcomer, she was going to have to settle for 3rd place, because at the speed Sharon had caught us up, she was clearly in good shape, and we were almost literally on out last legs. At least I was, and from the whinging from Lin over the past few miles, about whether she could carry on at all, I was sure she was at least as shattered. I tried to remain positive, but I only half believed myself when I told Lin that she still had a chance. By the time Sharon caught me up Lin had pulled away a bit , and I thought she was being very brave to make one last effort to make Sharon work a bit to catch her, but I had not realised just how gutsy and determined Lin could be, not to mention competitive.

As I briefly chatted with Sharon I discovered that she had run a marathon 4 weeks ago, and had been doing a lot of cycling training. This made me wonder if she would have the legs to beat Lin, but even so, knowing how tired Lin was, I didn’t at this point expect that Lin would do anything more than briefly up the pace, and make Sharon work for a mile or so to pass her, and we were still well over 3 miles from home. By the time Sharon pulled away from me, with 3 miles to go, I had completely had it, and was struggling to maintain any pace at all. But Lin had opened up a lead of about 30 yards, and I was even more impressed when she gradually increased this to 50 then more as we went up the hill after two Bridges, and passed a couple of other runners. The last I saw of her was as ran over the brow of the hill, with Sharon walking, at least 100 yards behind.

Blimey I am going on a bit, but it was an amazing thing to see, and I was incredibly proud of Lin. I struggled on walking up every hill until the end finally finishing 4 minutes behind her, in 4:42: and 32nd place. Lin was 2nd Lady in 28th place overall, 4:38:50.

Those last 3 miles were probably, no definitely, physically the hardest I have ever run. I don’t know how Lin managed to run them so much faster, but that will teach me to underestimate her ability and tenacity. It was a tough, humbling experience, but we are gluttons for punishment (as well as beer), and next year, the plan is to return, and hopefully with a bit better preparation, get under four and a half hours. If anybody is thinking of trying an ultra-marathon, this is definitely the one. It was brilliantly organised, a fantastic venue, full of friendly people, and if I could only run one race a year from now on, this is the one I would choose.