Wimborne Athletic Club

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Dorset Doddle – 19 August 2012

Iain Donnelly discovers the delights of Long Distance Walkers Association (LDWA).

Time Check .... 14 hours and one sleep after finishing the Dorset Doddle, l can confirm the pain in my legs and the pleasure of completing the challenge are still as great as when l reached the finish in Swanage.


Weymouth is left far behind as reds, Jon and Iain, head for the serious climbs.

I was under no illusion as to the effort it would take to run the 32 miles from Weymouth to Swanage in 27º temperatures. Since l started running six years ago l think l have been leading up to this kind of challenge, the fact that to date my three marathon attempts had been disastrous just added to the intrigue!

Having now discovered an electrolyte drink with salt replacement ingredients l was optimistic that l would not ‘crash and burn’. Setting off from Weymouth at 9am a few hundreds runners/walkers aimed for the summit above Osmington, an incentive being the cloud cover that would take us out of the humidity at sea level. As if the mist knew we were coming it burnt off before we could reach it, this was no time for negative thoughts as l reached for my water bottle.

In the first 10 miles l ran with some familiar faces including Jon Braund. l knew this company was only temporary as Jon is an exceptional long distance runner who gets better the longer the run goes on.

With this kind of endurance run it is important to have contact with fellow runners for one to help keep you going in the right direction and also to share the views and experience of the great coastline. I spent the second half of the run with a great guy, Steve Ironman Scally from the Littledown Harriers, we proved to be great allies for each other as we coached each other over the hills.

On the subject of hills, the only way to tackle the likes of Lulworth Cove and Chapman’s Pool is by treating them as a kind of rollercoaster otherwise the challenge becomes very daunting.

This wonderful event is not classed as a race, in fact, like good wine it should be taken in a little bit slower to appreciate the scenery and unique experience that comes with the territory. I am no long distance runner but the Dorset Doddle is on my list to do again!


WACers times:

Jon Braund – 6hrs 36
Pete Lemon – 6hrs 58
Iain Donnelly – 8hrs 07

Ian Kennedy – 4 hrs 15 (retired at Kimmeridge)


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