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The Kraken on the Coast – 5 September 2010

Paul Teck reports from the Beast.

It was on what was surprisingly a dry start (considering that it was raining when I got up), that I lined up to the start of the 17th Beast which this year was called ‘The Kraken On The Coast’ along with more than 20 fellow Wacers, of which at least two had changed sex (Robin replacing Ann Marie and Julie replacing Andrew) and one who had got younger by about 20+ yrs (Steve Headley replacing Dave Wild) and 468 other runners from as far as Ipswich.

The start was the usual mad rush of getting nowhere fast as 488 runners descend down the short stretch of road which was no more than 6 metres wide before you hit the first bit of heathland. This consisted of a few short sharp climbs and two little bridge crossings before you were then greeted by the same crowds who cheered us off at the start at the top of Corfe Common.

It was at this point that I spotted Ian about a dozen places in front of me so decided I was going to try and keep him in view as a point of focus. At about 2 miles is when you hit the first of about six stiles which are great for a chance to catch your breath.

The next couple of miles are mainly fields, narrow tracks with ascents and descents before at about 5 miles you go through a farmyard and start the one and a half mile stoney track up to St Aldhelm's Head. I was feeling quite good at this point as I still had Ian in sight but was not making much progress in catching him. I reached the coastguard lookout at St Aldhelm's Head and was greeted by the most spectacular view along the coast overlooking Chapman’s Pool. For those of you that have never entered this race, the view that you get as you reach this point is worth the entrance fee alone and fortunately on this day it was as clear as I have ever seen it, and I could not help but stop to admire the view for a moment.

It was at this point that my feet were starting to hurt and I knew that blisters had developed on the bottom of both feet. This was down to my trainers which I knew were coming to the end of their life but I had hoped they were going to get me around this course for one last race. Silently cursing I continued on and reached the first of the long descents down steps that are cut into the hillside. I was joined at this point by Kevin who decided on a rather novel way of descending these steps by what I can only describe as ‘bum tobogganing’ down the grass to the side of the steps. Luckily he managed to make it to the bottom in one piece but I decided on a more sedate method of getting down and before I knew it I was on the ascent up the 60 or so steps on the other side (no I didn't count them just a guess). Reaching the top, I caught my breath and admired the view one last time before continuing on.

For me at this stage, the race was now about finishing, I had given up the idea of catching Ian or anyone else as I no longer had him in sight and had last seen him ascending the first set of steps as I was descending them. The next few miles followed the coastline before you dropped down into the valley to a water stop.


Debbie and Tim in full flight

Having reached this point I knew that I was not far from the second, and final, set of steps and as I approached them all the runners were greeted by a enthusiastic group of about 20 walkers who cheered every runner who went past and gave a welcome boost I'm sure to all concerned. Now these steps are considerably shorter than the first set but to this day the Beast remains the only race where I have to pull on the material of my shorts to actually get me up the steps and I'm sure I wasn't the only one but soon enough we were at the top knowing the hardest bit was now over.

Continuing on I was joined by Robin who kindly offered to stay with me as he could see my feet were hurting, I tried to stay with him for a while but the feet were having none of it but reached the last water stop where I knew there was only about two miles to go. It was at this point that Jerry popped up again taking photos, I tried to look fresh but failed as the picture below proves.


Paul takes a breather at the final water station

Pressing on I continued along the track and then reached the pub where you take a sharp left and then descend through the wood and then you reach the open fields and are greeted by the site of Corfe Castle sitting on top of its hill.

Great, only one to one and a half miles to go which takes you down the fields, stopping briefly to get around a horse which was not going to move and then onto the final stretch on Corfe Common. At this point I was joined by Georgie, overtaken by Georgie, and then left by Georgie, in the last half mile and finally the finish was in sight and I got over the line in 2 hours 16 minutes 41 seconds which was a slight improvement on my time from two years ago. To summarise, for me this still remains one of my favourites races to date, hard but rewarding and when blessed with good weather the views are spectacular and you get a nice T-Shirt at the end......

 Paul Teck

WACers results:

    7 – Colin Read – 1:29:57
  64 – Rich House – 1:44:08
  80 – Ian Donnelly – 1:45:47
110 – Steve Headley – 1:51:09
118 – Phil Whitehurst – 1:52:12
163 – Ian Kennedy – 1:57:50
197 – Kevin Elliott – 2:02:06
216 – Jeff Hinsley – 2:04:29
248 – Robin Hughes – 2:09:13
271 – Nick Solomon – 2:12:38
276 – Terry Simms – 2:13:10
287 – Annie Dougall – 2:14:29
293 – Georgie Hougham – 2:15:44
302 – Paul Teck – 2:16:41
342 – Paul Hougham – 2:21:11
343 – Carol Howe – 2:21:13
246 – Ruth Parker – 2:21:30
411 – Adrian Mead – 2:34:29
412 – Julie Mead – 2:34:29
425 – Debbie Whittle – 2:38:11
434 – Tim Box – 2:40:07
487 – Julie Gosling – 3:20:48

 

 
 
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