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North Dorset Village Marathon 2024 Blog

A good day for marathon running – 10º, overcast, with a promise of light rain – saw six Purbeck Runners take on the NDVM, the fourth race in the Dorset Road Race League. This represented a full ladies’ team, and three-quarters of a men’s, with Paula adding her customary pzazz to the occasion with her club colour nails. Former (and founder) PR Lorna Haines was also there, carrying a skateboard to raise money for the Swanage Skatepark. As the start was slightly chaotic, not helped by the start line being chalked in immediately before the start, most PRs felt the best approach was to form a wedge around Lorna and join the pack from the side. Full marks for theatre.

The race was, as ever, well organised, with excellent marshalling, well organised water stations, and, as it was run in conjunction with a relay, great support on passing through the handover points.

As there were only 167 finishers, with a spread of over three hours between first and last, it was a very different experience from big city marathons. There are often long stretches of road where you can see nobody in front of you, and, if you turn around, slightly concerned that you’ve taken a wrong turn, nobody behind you. Not something that happens much in London.


And then there’s the finish. A mile and a half, straight, along the old railway track into Sturminster Newton. It’s horrible. It was also raining.  The finishing line*, by a trick of the light, actually seems to recede the closer you get to it. It can take some grit to keep going, so massive credit to everyone for their strong performances on the day.

And a particular shout out to Simon and Lisa for their support, accompanied by our new mascot, the Purbeck Runners Scarecrow.

The team approach was very much repeated in the results, with Nigel (3:54:49) finishing slightly ahead of Tracy (3:59:44), Liz (4:06:37) coming in with Mark (4:06:40), and Chris (4:26:32) coming in with Paula (4:27:42). The ladies brilliantly secured a first place for PR in their DRRL division: outstanding! The men were third in theirs. This leaves, after four races, the ladies second (of five) in their Division 2, and the men fourth (also of five) in their Division 2.

Nigel Haywood