Last weekend Alistair and I ventured to Dorchester to run the first Casterbridge Half Marathon, the awesome team from White Star Running had teamed up with the Dorchester Rotary to deliver a proper road marathon and half marathon starting and finishing in Dorch.
Now I have to admit, after a few slow trail halves last year I was feeling that a road race in Dorset was going to be PB potential..but being a WSR event meant that maybe things wouldn’t be that simple.
Alistair and I met up before the start, in the ‘athletes’ village and headed around on mass to the start line, we were up in the front quarter and looking back on the group following was pretty impressive, used to only a couple of hundred trail runners, the 800 odd crowd looked massive.
After the ramblings of a mad man… or the race director as some call him, the Dorchester town crier oh yeah’ed us a poem and we set off, with a busy start, Alistair and I found some space and tried to settle into a groove, running the first 5km together in a fairly respectable 28 ish minutes… high fives to locals and cheered on all the way, Alistair’s youth and training started to show somewhere between 5 and 10k and he started to pull away. I tried to settle down a little and as always chatted with other runners and enjoyed the scenery, support and event… convinced that the ‘not far now’ supporters at 7 km were telling fibs!!!
10k came and went, without any major problems, although in typical WSR fashion it wasn’t quite as flat as had been suggested, and even after a week in Saudi it was feeling hot…10 to 15k was a little slower, but the views through Puddletown forest made it all worthwhile. Hitting 15k in 1hr 37 I was feeling like a 2hr 15 run was well within my grasp…. yeah forget that, 15k to 20k was hell… hills were bigger, heat was hotter, and my legs just didn’t want to play. But it was all good, little groupings of supporters gave me cheers and kept me from walking to much and after a little while extra I crossed the line at 1:24.. Alistair got home over 20 minutes before me but by then I didn’t care.
As always a huge White Star Medal, Casterbridge Technical T Shirt and a hug from Julie Tyler made the race complete. Despite my lack of fitness, Andy, Kev, Gemma and the Rotary club put on a brilliant event, gorgeous Dorset Country, money for charity and bling….
Sign up for next year.., honestly you’ll love it !