Dawlish Dash, 9 Jun 2011


A keen team of Musketeers left work on time in order to tackle the Dawlish Dash - one of the club's favourites.

It might be a rush to reach on a Thursday night after work, but the race is well worth it, especially this year when the weather was dry, sunny and perfectly clear to show off the dramatic coastal scenery at its best.

The race is about four miles long and very interesting - taking in beach pebbles and sand, groynes, steep bridges, uneven ground, promenade and narrow trails.

In order to get a good start on the beach section you need to think ahead and see where the tide is and therefore, where the wettest firmest sand is underfoot and plan your route.

While running on the firmest beach (preferably pebbles rather than loose sand on the upperbeach) you should keep your eyes open ahead for the best way to get over the groynes . On the upper beach the groynes are lower and can be hurdled to give you an advantage, ie less running on sand or pebbles.

On the runback to the promenade along the lower beach the sand is wetter and firmer, but the groynes are higher and you need to duck through the broken sections. It all requires good co-ordination to avoid tripping or banging heads.

Once you haveleft the beach via a slip way, the easier section lies ahead on the flatpromenade with plenty of supporters cheering you on. The promenade leads to an off-road gentlehilly and flat section alongside the railway line with large smooth stoneswaiting to trip you up.

Never letting you fall into any rhythm, the provocative Dash then takes you up and over a stepped bridge over the railway and then a small steep hill onto a path which passes through a small grassed area and along a narrow hedged path where overtaking is impossible except for the later stage.

Then we run over another stepped railway bridge and onto the promenade where there is just timefor a sprint finish back to Dawlish Warren.

Results: Out of 158 finishers, Team Musketeers finishers were Neil 50th in 26min 45sec, Graham 57th in 27.17,Maggie, 79th in 29.06, Dave, 82nd in 29.38, Michael 99th in 31.15 (last year 32.26), Sarah 123rd in 35.16 and Caroline 124th in 35.16. The winner finished in 20.17.

Having accepted our finishers' slate coaster souvenirs from organisers Dawlish CoasterRunning Club, we rushed to the chippy for a well-deserved evening meal on the move.

By Guy