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Race Review: Blackmore Vale Half Marathon 2015

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Rob Murray

Rob is a self confessed running geek, obsessed with all things related to the sport, whether road, track or triathlon.
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Blackmore Vale Half Marathon 2015

On a very cold winter’s day, 424 people arrived at a field in the middle of a small village in the heart of Dorset. A wind sliced its way across the field bringing a chill to even the most well wrapped up person. Gradually, in this freezing setting people began to strip down to shorts, t-shirts and club vests, with first two, then ten, then perhaps a hundred people all jogging, skipping and sidestepping together around the circumference of the field to warm up. Like a very calm circle-pit

THIS is a circle pit if you aren’t familiar!

A circle pit!

A circle pit!


Blackmore Vale Half – The Race

This was a very good example of bad race preparation not always leading to a bad performance. Due to various happenings, and incidents involving National Rail I had two nights of very little sleep, also not eating much the day before this race. So it was with copious amounts of yawning and second thoughts, that I sidled up to the start-line.

The race starts in a field, but after 50 metres or so, it narrows down into a small gate so I knew from previous experience that it was best to start at the front and go fast, just avoid the bottleneck. Except I realised after 5 minutes of going faster than usual that I felt GOOD! So I kept it up for another 10 minutes… then a bit more…. and then I finished the race knocking six minutes off my personal best!

Blackmore vale route and profile

Blackmore vale route and profile

Me at the top of the final hill

Me at the top of the final hill


It’s certainly not a flat race (the word ‘vale’ gives a hint), with a full portfolio of different hills. Long and slight hills, short and steep, medium and winding – they’re all present in this race. You start on a nice downhill and ‘undulate’ for around 4.5 miles. Then, you hit the killer hill that goes on for one mile and takes you up 170ft! After this, what goes up must come down, so it’s a welcome 3 miles of downhill, undulating again until 12 miles. Right at the end is a bloody steep hill, taking you back through the gate and towards the finish line.

In Summary

A great race that was almost cancelled, until being taken on by another club at the last minute (Gillingham Trotters?) The registration was friendly (and warm!) Parking is very close to the start/finish and there were some great cakes afterwards. We can even say we raced against Commonwealth Games hero Steve Way, who won the race in an amazing 1:12:54!

2015 Blackmore Vale Race Results here


Distance: 13.1 miles
Time: 1:27:19
Average pace: 6:40 m/mi



Author: Rob Murray

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