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Woodland 5 On the day entries available.

The first race was a huge success (full results here) and we have plenty of spaces for the next two events.

The dates  are:  26th June and  31st July.

entry form here (pdf or doc)

The Wessex Relay

A Day at the Dentists

a Tale of Two Teams. The Wessex Relay Sunday 23rd May 2010

Recruiting the Team. John needed volunteers to discover whether relay running is more painful than a tooth extraction. He achieved this by the application of critical dentist timing. Wait till patients are lying down, mouth wide open and you have various implements in their mouth, then persuade your “patient” that its in their best interests to take part in the team.

Campaign HQ. Well, team recruited, now the Dentist, became the General, planning his campaign. Napoleonic by nature, good food and wine came first, followed by a large map filled room. Orders were given and detailed tactical plans of the route distributed – a la Bonaparte.


Training Casualty. Well after the meal, Matt the Hasher (another story) started to get a touch of the seconds. He could read maps and realised it wasn’t as flat as he had been told. So despite his great marathon form, he did some hills ‘Evans’ style and pulled a muscle the week before the event.

Appeal for Help. The General took another whiff of gas and thus feeling better put out a SOS for a replacement ASAP, when who to the rescue came but Anna, Queen of the North.

4am Sunday Morning. This was the point when the B team ( Anna, Paul, Steve & Andy) realised they had been done over. They had to get out of bed and drive to the start for 0730. The A Team had arranged for Nick to stay near the start, so they didn’t have to arrive at Leg 2 until 0830.... So you just knew that Anna and the Rusties were in for an eventful day.

The Start; Tollard Royal, Dorset. Anna and co arrived at 7am. Only 6 spaces and 25 cars due to arrive in this tiny hamlet with a pond. 10 mins later the village centre was packed with cars and the road blocked with runners and supporters. Through which a lost ageing Sunday motorcycle rider had to weave. - Now this is where Anna and the Rusties had the first of their mishaps. Someone forgot his shoes. A quick try on of all available shoes got him kitted out..better than running in brown brogue shoes

Leg 1 9.2 miles Tollard Royal to Shroton: THE LONGEST LEG, UNDULATING

A Team, aka “The Golden Crowns”. (John, Mike, Nick and Pete plus Mary as scout on her bike) Nick (im not fit) is off like a rabbit up the hill. B Team, “Anna and the Rusties”, Andy starts up the hill arrives at leg 2 almost last. He didn’t get lost as he had 23 people to follow all the way. He survived till the last decent on a grassy bank, where he slipped on his bum and sailed down the hill.

Leg 2 Shroton to Okeford Beacon 4.8 miles KING OF THE MOUNTAINS STUFF.

The Golden Crowns John ploughs on at serious speed, determined to beat last years time. Anna and her Rusties; Steve takes over and thankfully, as Andy thoughtfully allowed everyone else to be in front of him, didn’t have to do any of his (in) famous navigation 

Leg 3 Okeford Beacon to Breech Wood Barn 6.2 miles. MILDLY UNDULATING .

The Golden Crowns , Anna and the Rusties Anna wasn’t sure of the route, and had no idea what ‘Gorse’ is, so how could she follow it in the instructions anyway? The Rusties got lost en-route to Leg 4 in the car, abandoning map reading in favour of following someone else (must be going the same way) and ended at the half way point to cheer Anna as she got to old hill fort catching a runner up. Mr TomTom was used thereafter!

Leg 4 Breech Wood Barn to Alton Pancras 4.2 miles HARD WORK ALL THE WAY .

The Golden Crowns , Anna and her Rusties . At this point they were very hopefull of a good time. About 10th overall and well ahead of several Wimborne Teams.

Leg 5 **Description Needed** Alton Pancras to Batcombe Car Park 5.1 miles

The Golden Crowns, Nick going so fast can only remember meeting three groups of female DoE walkers out and about on leg 5, looking extremely bemused, presumably because he was so far behind the runners ahead yet appeared for all intents and purposes to be 'racing' them!


Anna and the Rusties This was the leg where they knew it was going down the pan. As they arrive at the Leg 5 Start, they see the Golden Crowns leaving, so by then were at least 1 hour behind. The team guessed something was wrong as all the other teams came in and went with no sign of Paul, and then sent search parties on foot and horse. Well fortunately he found a road and followed it. , so Steve put on his extra speedy ‘New’ Balance Shoes, and raced after the pack...and caught them

Leg 6 Batcombe Car Park to Breakheart Hill 5.5 miles. THE LAST STRETCH IS UPHILL.

The Golden Crowns , Pete took a deviation and Wimborne grassed him up to rusties. Anna and the Rusties The start of Leg 6 is a quiet backwater county road. However today at least 10 of our vehicles clogged this road. Frighteningly, at one point two of those massive Massey Fergerson Tractors with tyres 6 foot tall and about a meter wide roard round the corner, up on the bank and just passed our cars. Anna built on Steves great Sprint, and by now the team was feeling OK as they were pacing the Wimborne All Girl Team, running as a pair. Anna sprinted to the end of her leg at the highest point of the entire course, bathed in sunshine, not the horizontal rain and wind of 2009.

Leg 7 Breakheart Hill to Rampisham Masts 4.8 miles. MORE CLIMB THAN FALL

The Golden Crowns , John Anna and the Rusties Paul decided the marshals chair looked too inviting, so without a ‘buy your leave’ he is in it, sunbathing, leaving the marshal talking to Andy about gout injuries standing up. This set the tone for the rest of the teams around us, and afterwards all the support cars brought out their loungers at each stop. Andys age then started to show with leg pains but managed to start running. The Team decided that wisdom was the better part of valour, and that if he didn’t arrive on time, they would start off early with the other runners, so no one got lost, even though this would be disqualification. As it was he ran OK.

Leg 8 Rampishham Masts to Minterns Hill 5.7 miles CLIMBS SIGNIFICANTLY .

The Golden Crowns , Nick 4) Seeing John after leg 7 practically incinerated he was so hot! Recovered manfully for leg 11 - his nemesis!

Anna and the Rusties Paul fresh from his rest in the lounger put a spurt on for this leg and came in well ahead of his Wimborne Lady, with a sprint finish complete in his floppy hat.

Leg 9 Minterns Hill to Sheepwash Lane 5.8 miles 'KING OF THE MOUNTAINS' .

The Golden Crowns , Nick During leg 9 having to hop a fence after finding myself in a field with cows, teenage calves and the odd bull. 6) Running up Gerrards Hill rather than walking it - quite chuffed with myself for that. I also overtook a rather bemused mountain biker up the next hill! The last part of leg 9 takes you through a woodland across a beautiful bluebell carpet. Absolute magic!

Anna and her Rusties Steve did the last of his 3 legs little knowing that he was to be the only one of the team to complete 3 legs this year. Well done Steve!


Leg 10 Sheepwash Lane to Venn Chapel 4.1 miles DEMANDING CLIMB UP TO PILSDON PEN .

The Golden Crowns , Anna and the Rusties Here the deckchairs come out and sunbathing begins in earnest. Paul falls asleep and Anna gets lost. Anna did take a phone with her, and after a while had to phone the team explaining “ive found a monument” am I lost? Clearly with the pedigree in navigating that the rusties have, it was like the blind leading the blind, until one asked if she was facing the sun (as she should be). “No” was the reply. Ooops! -eventually she found a road and the rusties as they gallantly came to rescue her. They were by now well LAST, and had no one to follow. A council of the lost quickly established that as The Golden Crowns were at the finish, at least some 2 hours away and it was now nearly 6pm, with a 2 ½ hr drive home, home they would go. This meant they missed out on the shower and pub meal that everyone else had and got home at about 8.30pm

Leg 11 Venn Chapel to Coneys Castle 6.2 miles STING IN THE TAIL.

The Golden Crowns ,

Anna and her Rusties Did not start 

Leg 12. Coneys Castle to Uplyme 6 miles. A HARD CLIMB TO THE A35.

The Golden Crowns , Mike did this leg like last year. Anna and her Rusties Did not start 

The Conclusion

The Golden Crowns , Spent time celebrating their success with a pint of Otter after a tough day on the hills, and Mike reminded us all that romance isn’t dead in his household as it was his and Mary anniversary..... He made her cycle all the way round the route!


Anna and her Rusties

They were left to nurse their excuses and plan for next year. They all agreed it would make an excellent event for a club camping weekend next year, but will re visit the route very soon to learn it!

Last Updated on Sunday, 09 January 2011 23:19

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