Dorset Doddle – 19 August 2012
Iain Donnelly discovers the delights of Long Distance Walkers
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
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!
Jon Braund – 6hrs 36
Pete Lemon – 6hrs 58
Iain Donnelly – 8hrs 07
Ian Kennedy – 4 hrs 15 (retired at Kimmeridge)