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Coastal Trail Series (CTS) half marathon – 5 December 2015

Steve Guy reports

Although I’m not seen as often as I used to be in a Wimborne vest, I still run the odd race or two flying the flag.  Last Saturday was one of those outings, namely the Coastal Trail Series (CTS) half marathon.  Originally I entered the marathon but switched due to a mild bout of shingles 4-6 weeks ago.  As it turns out a very wise decision, the terrain is enough of a challenge, all 3000 ft of it; however the mother of west winds made it without doubt the most difficult conditions I have ever tried to run in.  In fact at times I could barely walk and was blown off my feet twice.  Buffeted by 40-50 mph gusts is definitely character building.  Anyone who completed the marathon, ultra or the ultra plus has my absolute respect.

Steve Guy toughing it out on the coastal path

The 16.3 mile half marathon is pretty much a figure of eight route.  Starting from Lulworth car park; then up and over westwards to Durdle Door.  Run along the coast for three miles encountering a couple of largish hills before turning in land and heading back on the best stretch to Lulworth.  Not so bad, so far so good.

However the second loop is the tester.  Running around the pebbled beach at Lulworth eastward waves lapping at my feet and the wind speed increasing brought on a certain sense of trepidation.  Moving up off the beach on the far side and through the MOD land, the view across Mupe Bay to Worbarrow Bay eventually appears.  This is where the enormity of the task ahead hits home because between here and the destination turning point, Tyneham village, the coast profile is revealed in its full glory.  The hills are larger than large but there’s no turning back, committed and fully exposed to the elements.  Wind now at gale force, swirling in all directions, arrival at Tyneham is a welcome sight, it provides some respite.  However the return journey to Lulworth is up and over the same hills, plus one other, but now into the teeth of the storm.  Mentally and physically the most brutal race I have ever done.  At last I pass the one mile to go sign, descend steeply to the beach, around the pebbles up the slipway and I can’t wait to finish.  And I do with a great sense of achievement.  Never again …………….. until next year!


96th out of 416 in a time of 3:04:31

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