Today was the annual Dorset Coast Path Relay laid on ostensibly to raise funds for the South-West Junior Squad. The idea is to run the length of the South-West Coast Path within the county of Dorset (so Lyme Regis to Sandbanks) in as quick as time as possible using as many people as you can muster. This year numbers were down both in the SOC team and overall with only 5 teams entering. It was an early start and our car only arrived in Lyme Regis just in time for me to jump out and run up the hill to ensure that Ian Moran was in place. We then dashed over to the other side of the town to give the Morans a hand up the hill on the other side.
That was pretty much the theme for the rest of the day: jumping in and out of the car to dash up short bits of hill in the rain. I had two longer sections to run: from West Bay to Burton Bradstock and, much later in the day, the 7 miles from above Chapman’s Pool to Durlston Head. These proved to be well suited to me with only a few short steep climbs and otherwise lots of fast undulating running.
I’m slightly concerned by the knee pain that seemed to dog me every time I got out of the car. It’s over 10 years since I had runner’s knee and I’m wondering what might have brought it back. I haven’t been doing much in the way of running but perhaps I need to take a look at the setup of my bike having been cycling in to work every day since moving house (albeit only 2 miles).
The day wasn’t without incident. Peter Smith managed to get stopped (briefly) by a helicopter perched on the cliff top, Neil managed to run a 7.5 mile leg rather than the 2.5 miles he was supposed to be doing having somehow missed a changeover with Peter, and the drivers were held up en-route to Sandbanks due to an overturned car.
Wessex had a massive lead of over an hour and a half at the finish taking about 7.5 hours. This was not particularly surprising as they were already starting to pull away before we’d got out of Lyme Regis, largely due to the large numbers in their team. There was some good competition between the other teams though with places being swapped regularly along the route. We finished in second place about 15 minutes ahead of Wimborne and half an hour ahead of the Junior Squad and BKO.