New for 2020. The Maverick Adidas Terrex X & Ultra Race Jurassic Coast is planned to take place on the 17th October.
As with all the X & Ultra races, there are four distances to choose (Short 14km, Middle 21km, Long 44km & Ultra 53km) but you are advised, in maverick race own words to select your distance carefully as the X & Ultra Series is not for the faint hearted.
However, with a little bit of planning and race preparation and choosing the right distance to fit your own trail running ability, all distances are achievable.
So for this weekend. I decided to hit the dirt as part of my race day preparation and cover the ultra route, all 53km of it in one go.
Be it, at a more leisurely pace than I would normally run. This was due to being self sufficient for the entire duration of the run. There would be no outposts to stock up with food and drink on this run. So it all had to be carried, along with all the usual kit one would expect to have with them, when running this distance on their own.
Arriving at the start point at the park and ride next to Corfe Castle. I paid my £3.50 for all day parking and I was ready to start my adventure.
I set off, turning right out of the car park and for the first 1200 or so metres it was very tempting to run at my normal 10k pace, due to the route following a straight and relatively flat tarmac road. So a little self discipline was needed and I needed to drop down a gear and use it to my advantage to get into a rhythm and my ultra running pace.
Turning off the road and heading out into a mixture of forest track, open grass fields and heath land. I even found myself at one point weaving around the edge of a golf course.
The vast openness and low lying shrub offered outstanding views over Poole Harbour and BrownSea Island.
Underfoot, the ground conditions were a mixture of gravel and sand with the odd soggy patch here and there.
This continued for around 10km before being greeted with the first steady climb of the day.
For those who have run the maverick original series events in the past, you will find yourself on familiar territory at this point, as you make your way off the first hill.
Crossing a main road, two climbs were then ahead of me, before dropping down into the small village of Worth Matravers (22km) with its quaint little duck pond at its centre.
It was time for a coffee and slice of cake from the little café.
I then had just 2kms to cover, before I hit the coastal path.
I then followed the coastal path in the direction of Lulworth for a further 18 kms.
Up, down, up, down. Oh and those infamous steps from the original series event. Don’t worry for those that choose the marathon or ultra distance to run, these are included in this event also.
At no extra cost.
However where there’s pain, there’s gain and the views that are on offer for this part of the course are pretty awesome and hard to beat.
Working my way around into Lulworth ranges, I eventually hit marathon distance and it was time to conquer the steepest climb on the route.
Note to those that are undertaking this in October. If you have got thighs like a cart horse you will be fine. Otherwise I strongly advise the use of poles on this section. If not for anything else, to aid in keeping your balance whilst you climb the very nearly vertical slope that lays ahead of you.
No steps on this one!
Reaching the top, I took breath and paused to look back. Greeted with a breath taking view of the whole 18kms coastline that I had just covered.
It was now time to head home on the final leg. 10 kms along the top of the hill I had just climbed up. With hard chalk tracks, grass land and views across the whole coast line. I made my way home. With some small ups and downs to tackle. I eventually made my way around the back of Corfe Castle. Before making my way over the railway line and back into the car park were my adventure started some seven hours previously.
For more information on this upcoming event and other races with the maverick race family, then head over to http://www.maverick-race.com