Wimborne Athletic Club

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‘The Beast’ 2 September 2007

I entered ‘The Beast’ with some trepidation having not done a lot of off-road running and the name itself being a little off-putting to someone who had only done one race of similar length – the Sturminster Half Marathon. However, Tim Box was keen to run it too and with the sole aim of finishing and not being concerned by the clock we agreed we would run it together.
A relaxed attitude and determination to enjoy the race certainly helped us on our way as we set off across Corfe Common. Within a couple of miles we were queuing at our first stile, the friendly banter between runners made this quite an enjoyable experience and for those of us a little further down the field the loss of valuable minutes waiting in queues was not an issue.
Soon we were off and up over the hill at Kingston via a single track through the woods, then it was out towards the coast and the stunning views from the coastguard station at St Aldhem’s Head onwards.  But nothing had quite prepared me for those steps….I had heard people mention steps when chatting about ‘The Beast’ but I remember looking over the edge and thinking I was about to drop off the edge of the world.

Pete Lemon on Corfe Common

Debbie Whittle in the final few yards

Jools Maskell and Tim Box have something left for a sprint finish

How anyone manages to run them I don’t know. It was slow progress for a while down the first set and up the second. Strangely enough, the weariness in my legs that had started at the coastguard station seemed to disappear once at the top, and I started to feel more comfortable and really enjoy the run! On heading inland and passing the water station manned by the Scouts we were told we had four miles left, I felt elated! However as Tim and myself ran off I heard a shout of, ‘Only one set of steps to go!’
The final set of steps looked huge as we approached them and by then our weary legs were starting to suffer. We set about getting straight up them and getting on with the last part of the race.
The rest of the run seemed a breeze in comparison. My only memories are of gentle downhill slopes with Corfe Castle in the distance and gradually getting nearer, a final hill was a struggle but to reach the common and hear the shouts at the finish was a wonderful sound!
It proved to be one of the most enjoyable races I have done so far and despite its name seemed easier that the Stur Half on roads ….. just shows how it pays not to pressure yourself into doing a good time.

Jools Maskell

WAC times:  
  Richard Atkins (63rd)   1:45:31   
  Pete Lemon (96th)   1:49:03   
  Debbie Whittle (415th)   2:32:49   
  Jools Maskell (437th)   2:37:49   
  Tim Box (438th)   2:37:50   
  John Guy (463rd)   2:48:09   
  Julie Gosling (476th)   3:06:51


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