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Training Diary: Amazing 10 Miles on Clifftops & Forest

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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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With no races for  a few weeks, came the chance to do a long Sunday run. I’d originally planned to do a fairly fast tempo 12-13 today but fortune took me to Swanage, on the Jurrasic Coast side of the Isle of Purbeck. Chalk cliffs, rolling hills, heathland and forest made for a pretty breathtaking run.

Starting from the South side of Swanage I ran down through the main town and up towards the bungalowed Ballard Estate, nestled in the foothills of the mountainous Ballard Down…

Ballard Down

Stopping to take about 100 photos, the path went up 300 metres to the top of Ballard Down.

Looking up ‘The Steps’ of Ballard

Then came the nice bit – a 2km downhill run skirting the edge of the cliffs towards the village of Studland.

Once in Studland I tried a new route, through a forest and out into very wet and boggy heathland. not knowing where I was going I trudged rather than ran, through ever thicker gorse and mud, eventually climbing through a barbed wire fence and out on to a golf course. God knows what the smartly dressed chaps about to tee off from hole 13 thought of this mud-caked, maniac, dripping with sweat and crawling out of the bushes.

Old Harry Rocks

A very muddy field!

Then… out on to the road which took me back down into Swanage and the climb back up to my folks house for a nice Sunday lunch.


Distance: 10 miles
Time: 90 minutes

Author: Rob Murray

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