Event: The Jurassic Coast Challenge 2016

A three day adventure along the Dorset Jurassic Coastline. VO2 events have created a stunning route with a challenging marathon-a-day for three days. Tacking a variety of terrain from coastal foot path to beaches and tracks. Starting from just outside Charmouth, the course runs from west to east finishing on Day 3 at the National Trust Shell Bay car park, Studland.

Date: 18th - 20th March 2016
Day One - Charmouth - Portland Ferry Road (HQ)
Day Two - Portland Ferry Road - Lulworth Cove
Day Three - Lulworth Cove - Shell Bay
Pre-Event

I must say that I was looking forward to 4 days off work on Friday 18th March. Hmmm what shall I do? I remember now! A few months ago I entered a race... The Jurassic Coast Challenge; 3 marathons in 3 days! Not one of my brightest of ideas! However it seemed to be a good idea at the time. So I am going to give it my best shot and try not to fall off the cliff. Below is my daily reports on how many times I fell over, went the wrong way, the weather, how much coffee I drank and any other rubbish I can think of.

Day 1

Knackered, legs ache but nearly 28 miles covered today, so quite close to marathon distance! The start of day 1 way quite late with all the registration, kit checks etc. At roughly midday we were off. On my calculations due to the later start time I was planning to finish by 18:00 (before it got dark).  Made good progress over the first half of day one’s route, had to stop at the mile 14 ‘Check Point’ for a cheese and pickle sandwich but unfortunately no time for my coffee.  By 14.5 miles I had a stitch (blinking sandwich!). Head down and onto the finish. First day's time was 5 hours 37 minutes.

What shall I do tomorrow for a recovery run? I know! Let's run another marathon! Day 2 will start with a 07:00. So feed and bed.

Day 2

We were underway a littler later than planned at 09:00, Really enjoyed the run today and on the plus side I didn't fall over - yes! Nice start but a bit blustery around Portland, but not the 50 mile gusts or mud that I was expecting so it felt like a much easier to run than day one. I am glad that I did some training runs over the route because it was hard going, and the training sessions made it mentally a bit easier and the conditions helped.

Against my previous thoughts I’m actually really looking forward to tomorrow Day 3 (The end anyway) Day 2’s time was 05 hours 37 minutes and Position 53.

As a treat and reward, my prize for finishing day 2 was a 15 minute massage, which however nearly finished my legs off for good!

Day 3

Fun run race report Day 3! Another 28 mile marathon today and was I pleased we again were blessed with perfect conditions to run it in. Although it was more like hiking than running the first 10k! I won’t be doing hill reps anywhere near Kimmeridge that’s for certain. Someone kindly decided to put a barbwire fence up on the route which slowed me down a bit, but  apart from that it was another really good run. I even started my sprint finish a bit too early at the top of Ballard Down into Studland, I say early as I realised I still had another 2 and a half miles across the beach to the finish! It was perfect and great fun running near the sea but no so much running in the sea. Day three’s time 6 hours.

To summarise, really good running and I enjoyed all of it! It helped that I knew the course and the training on the route definitely is something I recommend to anyone thinking of taking on the Jurassic Coast Challenge. Big thanks to XMiles for helping with my nutrition from apart from the cheese and pickle sandwich. 

And apart from the barbwire fence no real mishaps.

Total Time:     17:13:47     OFFICIAL RESULTS
Position overall:     52 of 232
Position male:     48 of 153
Position MV:     14 of 57

By Andrew Olden

Photo credits and thanks to Kevin Wotton on Facebook