Hugh Marsden and Dawn Teed continued their "run" of tough off-road races this weekend by tackling 'The Beast'. As the title suggests, this is an extremely gruelling 13 miler which starts near Corfe Castle in Dorset and takes runners on a multi-terrain route which incorporates some beastly climbs and descents.
Hugh and Dawn took it all in their stride, quite literally, and reported having had "a lovely day out" (these were Hugh's words, however, Dawn may disagree!!) and "a pretty good day weather-wise. Nice views of the Dorset coastline... for those who had time to enjoy."
Although it is a almost a half marathon in distance, runners' times do not accurately reflect their usual half marathon times due to the topography of the course. That said, Hugh finished in 1.35.28 - a time which many club runners would be happy to call a half-marathon PB! - and in 20th position overall, out of 407 finishers. Under normal circumstances this would be enough to secure Hugh a win in his vet 50 category, but on this occasion he had to settle for 4th vet 50. To have 4 over 50 finishes in the top 20 / 407 is nothing short of amazing and shows just how high current standards are in the male vet rankings.
After expressing slight disappointment at being 7 minutes down on her time from 2010 at the 'Race the Train' 14 mile off-road race two weeks ago, Dawn set off to Dorset fired up to put in a good performance. And so she did! With a time of 2.09.43 she finished in 227th place, just outside the top 50% of finishers, and taking 12th place in the female vet 45 category: again this demonstrates that age is no barrier to many competitive female runners.
Hugh, who spends the winter months working in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, felt very at home in this particular race as it happened to be a "who's who" of the South Atlantic, with the Governor of the Falkland Islands and the Chief Executive of South Georgia also running in the event, finishing in 97th and 23rd respectively... esteemed company for our two Harriers and reminding Hugh that his summer season is drawing to a close and it will soon be time for him to head southwards and join them!