Grafted up the tough Snowden ‘slope’

PUBLISHED: 13:49 04 November 2010

Woodbury Runners at the Christian Aid 10k fun run.

Woodbury Runners at the Christian Aid 10k fun run.


Rewarded for sticking out the Stickler

The Stickler, also known as the Dorset 3 Peaks Challenge, is a 10.1 mile multi terrain running race with over 1500ft of gruelling climbing, beginning with the infamous ’Stickle Path’.

Starting from the village of Shillingstone, near Blandford, the runners ascend three locally renowned peaks along the beautiful Stour Valley: Okeford Beacon, Hod Hill and Hambledon Hill.

Last Sunday, Ceri Oak and John Burgess were the only two Honiton runners brave enough or insane enough to take on the challenge.

But this is popular event and over 400 runners lined up at the start. Ceri rarely runs road races but muddy tracks and hills are right up her street, so to speak. She has been putting in some hard training recently and her efforts were well rewarded on The Stickler.

She romped round the course in the excellent time of 1:24:14, coming in 68th and fifth lady. She was very pleased with her run but reckons she needs more hill training.

For John it was not quite so good. He had a good run round the course last year but he knew he wasn’t going very well this time when he was overtaken at seven miles by a runner with a small dog on a lead. The dog’s legs were so short that it had to leap over tufts of grass.

After slogging his way up a steep hill a friendly marshal told him that there were 27 young female runners in front of him. 40 years ago this might have made him up his speed, but he simply replied that he would wait for the next one to catch him up. John finished over six minutes slower this year in a time of 1:39:31.

●Steve Boyes and Paul Davey ran the Snowdon Marathon last Saturday although they didn’t see each other. There were over 2,000 runners after all. It was very wet and slippery underfoot and they even had hail!

Paul finished in 3:34:39 and 169th place overall and 37th in +40 category.

Steve was 10 minutes behind in 3:44:55 making him 261st overall and 18th in +50 category.

Steve reported that he found it a great event, but it felt like five marathons in five days wrapped, into one day.

Definitely one to run again but certainly not a personal best time course!

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