With time on my hands and a little bit bored I did a quick search on racecheck.com (other sites are available!) and found a race on a Friday (quite unusual). This was Votwo’s Jurassic Coast Challenge,3 marathons in 3 days, but you could enter individual days also.
I spoke to my wife, who gave me that look of, just go and don’t hurt yourself! So with that I threw some clothes in a bag, grabbed my rucksack and set off at 5:30 in the morning for Weymouth! I was ridiculously relaxed and hadn’t really give it much thought.
A couple of days before I’d done a lovely 20k run with some friends to the new forest and had some bad food and a few beers during the week.
(Where the hell has that grey bit come from in my beard!!!)
Anyway, got to Weymouth Sailing Academy in Portland (HQ) nice and early, sorted myself out, went through the mandatory kit list, picked up my T-shirt (WHICH ACTUALLY FITTED ME) and grabbed a coffee whilst waiting for the race briefing. The race briefing was quite serious but OK. I’ve also just realised one guy was sat there with his shirt off!
Anyway, we then jumped onto some mini-buses to the start near Charmouth so we could run back to HQ in Portland.
All in all, going well and I was still quite chilled really. Race started and we had to put our dibber in the dibdob station!!! I love these and can’t resist a flamboyant zorro style dibbing!!!
Within the first 5k of the race I realised you should never underestimate a race and was suddenly in a mental battle to get my sh1t together, whilst regretting doing a long run a few days before on a diet of beer and pizza. This was the first, of many, hills in the first segment:
Once conquered, there were more and more until I hit checkpoint 1 near Bridport. I’d done a bit of running on the downhills and flats but was quite worried about the last 20k as I knew I’d used up a lot of energy in the first 10k. Little did I know, left checkpoint 1 with my belly full, straight up a hill and into mud and shingle. Yep shingle, that stuff that big lads love to gracefully float over the top of! My swearing levels hit new heights as I dug through god knows how many km’s of shingle.
Having exhausted myself by checkpoint 2, I was in death march mode with the occasional trot when the ground was OK (not very often). I regret not taking more photos as the views were sensational but I was in head down, get this done mode.
After the last few K that took me to about 43k we entered the spit that takes you to Portland. Relieved wasn’t the word as it was bloomin tough and by that point very wet. I can’t really describe it but hopefully this picture will do it justice. Please note I have very odd friends who called this my sultry look!!! No no, this is my thank f%ck that’s finished look!
I met 3 people during the race who on reflection made me very pleased to have goen to Weymouth for the race. I’ve definitely got the names wrong, but lets go with Mike, who shared some personal stuff and why he’s fundraising and doing crazy events. He also introduced me to the term “race friends” (obviously said in the voice of the inbetweeners). His definition:
“Race friends – people you meet on a long race who you share the most intimate of details with who you never see again. Should you meet that person again, you avoid them and avert your gaze”
Then, lets go with Simon, who I did the last bit of the race with. Gave me loads of cycling chat and gave me an awesome death stare when I suggested running the last couple of km’s to home.
Finally, the Dad and daughter. They were on the minibus with me and we kept leap frogging each other all day. It was just lovely seeing them about to spend 3 days together doing very hard races but working together, catching up, have some quite moments and only a couple of disagreements. My daughters better watch out as I now have a reason to carry on doing silly races!!!
Finally finally, a massive well done to everyone who woke up on Saturday and went out again, and the same on Sunday. Unbelievably awesome! I instead, went to see my daughters in their ballet performances and then played rugby. Much more civilised…