Endurance Life – Dorset Trail Marathon. (29Miles)

It was a cold wet morning with the sun peaking through the clouds. We had travelled to Dorset with a crew of friends ready for the Endurance Life Dorset Race series. I had tried to convince Fabien, Westo and Tim to do the Marathon (29Mile / 47km) course but none of them were up for it. They were booked in for the half and looking at the course map and hill gradients, I actually started to reconsider my choice of race! I could be done in half the time and be relaxing on the couch with a glass of vino in front of the fireplace. Very tempting. Pride got the better of me and I prepped my gear for the marathon start.

Richard Bray before the start of the Endurance Life Dorset Marathon

It was a fresh start with temps hovering around the zero deg mark. Still, the sun was out and I was up for a good run. This was perfect prep for the Atacama and I needed to test the legs. Little did I know, the flat road training in London was not what was needed to prepare for the hilly beasts I was about to set foot on.

Richard Bray Dorset Endurance Race Start

The race started up an incline and I paced myself as I knew the course was marked “extreme” and I could crash and burn if I did not manage my energy well. With my ipod in, I settled in for what I thought was to be a 5hr run along the beautiful Jurassic coast line. The pictures do not do this race justice. You can’t see the gradient of the hills but boy did you feel it. If you look closely at the below photo, you can see runners on the other side of the slope making their way down into the gully ready for another climb. The second shot attempts to give you a “from the bottom” perspective!

Endurance Life Dorset Race

Hills at the Endurance Life Dorset Marathon

The race was gruelling. Up and down all day. My legs were not used to the hills and it was a real eye opener for me. Time to get some strength back into my muscles. I battled through the day admiring the scenery the whole way. The Jurassic coast is now my favourite place in the UK. It’s absolutely beautiful. As with all these races, I met some lovely people along the way which helped make the race go faster and smoother. It was muddy, hilly but an amazing race nonetheless.  Little things on this adventure made a big difference. At one of the checkpoints, one of the volunteers brought some christmas cake and carved it up to the hungry runners. After a morning of Gu, christmas cake was heaven and it chirped me up for another 10km stretch.

Richard Bray - Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series 2013 - Dorset

Rolling into the finish line some 6hrs after starting, I was pleased it was over. One hell of a day at the office but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it almost as much as the glass of vino in front of the fire place back at the cottage with the wife and friends.

Next stop – Endurance life South Devon Race.

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