Race Report – Maverick Adidas Terrex X Series Jurassic Coast Ultra

17/10/2020 – Corfe Castle, Dorset. UK


Entry price including fees: £63.56


Let’s start with the course, it is a combination of terrains starting with rolling forest with lovely undulating ups and downs, it then progresses down to the coast where it joins the famous South West Coast Path until returning along a ridge line back… but before you get to the end it chucks a small section of sandy ground which is a real test on tired legs.

If you have never raced on a coast path race before DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE it!!! The elevation gain is not the issue on these routes but the steepness of the gradients and the fact they often go up / down cut in steps means you can’t take small steps which drags your quads in to the equation more than you would normally.

Important note: The course map below is a little “rough” GPS wise and my recorded version of this with a Garmin Fenix 6 Pro was around 55Km but most importantly 1,440m of climbing not the 985m listed below.

On specific areas there are a few along the coast path that require special attention but the main one is the very end of the coast path before returning along the ridge line at approx 36Km. This climb is brutal as you can see from the image below, energy management is key to this course.

Couldn’t get the embed to work but credit to Phil Hill Photography

If you have a chance to recce the whole course it is a good idea but if you only have a couple of hours I would recommend taking a look at the section that runs along the South West Coast Path as it is the most challenging and will require managing your pace / energy levels.

This is a well sign posted style race and no navigation skills are required during the event (as you long as you follow the signs for the correct race).

Pre race / Training

It is best to make sure you are well prepared for a long race, fell running legend Nicky Spinks says that tapering properly is very important should start around 2 weeks before an event.

I happened to be down in Dorset with friends on a brief in between lock downs weekend away, saw there was a race on, saw it was sold out but pinged them an email, managed to get me a slot in the ultra – that was 5 days before the race!

In the 12 weeks running up to the event I had been doing a lot of running with an average of 70-100Km a week taking in good amounts of elevation gain which would be important for this route. However as I was unaware of this race I had also squeezed in 3 of my 2020 bucket list items in the 5 weeks before the race with a 19:56 – 5Km, 03:36 – Marathon and my first 100Km run 2 weeks before. So I was not coming in to this race fresh but wanted to really get in to the top 20-25%.

This race was under the ever watchful eye of Covid and it was remarkable it happened with so many 2020 races being cancelled. Masks were required at all time in the race village right through until you set off on the course

To make the risks lower the race started in staggered rolling starts with the final times becoming the ultimate race positions, so more like a sportive or time trial but with lots of people around!


On the question of safety and handling of the issue in my opinion the race organisers handled it very well and at no point did I feel uncomfortable or at risk – Kudos to the team!

October along the coast can be a wild time but the weather was very warm, in to the 10’s of degrees with little wind so sweat loss would be an issue. The race had a lot of mandatory kit including head torches, waterproofs etc. I personally carried all this (even though it was clearly not needed on the day) out of principle despite it weighing a decent amount – however there were no kit checks and noticed a fair few people without their kit. Did it make a big difference, probably not but I felt good knowing I was playing by the rules.

My race started at 09:12 and must have been within the first 50-100 people out on the course. In the first part of the course you wind through lovely woods then on to mildly technical trails, whilst you do go up and down quite a bit you don’t really notice it too much. This was an issue for me as I was running much faster than I should have done to allow me to eat properly.

There are water stops with Precision Hydration and some snacks every 8Km ish so a 1L pack will be fine for anyone on this race. I didn’t need any on the first stop… But then through some slightly ambiguous signage I missed the second water stop and this was a big problem as I then didn’t get any more until 24Km mark. In the unusual heat this meant I was definitely dehydrated and pushing a 06:26Min/Km pace fore the first 30Km meant I was bonking pretty bad.

Completely my fault but this is where my well tried nutrition plan went out the window and struggled to eat without stomach cramps so basically had to pound a few gels and just hold on. Km’s 30-45 were just unpleasant, hard work, no energy in the legs and had to walk small sections.

I have only done one other coast path run and it went badly because I underestimated the types of terrain – I would say I did not learn my lessons and the relative ease of the first section pulled me in to going too fast and I suffered when it came to the steep stuff in the middle.

I never regained my composure in the race which was a shame but when I hit the 50Km mark (and the end was no where in sight despite supposedly being within a couple of Km) my “right screw this race, I am totally done” kicked in and I just decide to rip the last 5Km up regardless of energy levels.

This was a good boost passing people that had sauntered past earlier when I was in my little world of lows much to their surprise. One area in particular seemed to be causing a lot of angst and it was a shallow, and I mean shallow hill of sand near the forests at the end which was just too much for their weary legs that had been beaten by the coast path running.

Crossing the line in 06:27:58hrs – whilst it was about the time I was expecting, it was not done with the ease I would have hoped for and didn’t yield the result I wanted either. Coming in around top 35% was outside my goal by a way I would say the level of competition was very high. This could have been because it was many peoples only race or the proximity to London bought out some real talent either way it was good race against genuinely good people.

Did I go in to this race well prepared? No.

Did I deserve the place I came? Yes – I messed up my pace, that impacted my nutrition and my ability to run my best.

Post Race

Like every race of this type I have done I got the chance to meet some really nice people on the course, shared some stories, took our minds off the pain and came up with a new mantra:

“Team DNF always sets off too fast”

No idea how that came up, got devised or stuck but amused me greatly and became more appropriate as you past the keen beans who cooked it too fast in the early stages!

I didn’t stick around much post event but a lovely medal, selection of beer and coffee treats as part of the post race pack were a nice addition.

Would I do it again – probably not, BUT not because it was a great race but because I want to move to longer races where I think my type of running would do a bit better.

Do I recommend it to seasoned ultra runners – Yes, if you have only done flatter (even longer) ultras this is a good challenge. If you are UTMB veteran it might be a little short.

Do I recommend for a new ultra runner – Yes, but it is a tough one, you might be better doing things like the Race to the stones or Green man Ultra which are slightly easier in terms of terrain before doing this.

Are the views good – Oh yeah, this is where this race excels – the views along the coast, the castles, ruins, woods etc are just stunning!

Website for future entries

That was a long article, best get off and run now…

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