The Stickler: “Great scenery, challenging hills, great company!”

In the fourth consecutive year Bridport Runners have entered The Stickler, it’s never been so cold and windy but then there has (almost) never been achieved a faster time by a Bridport Runner. Fighting his way up the three steep peaks which gave the race its by-name (“Dorset 3 Peaks Challenge”) and running along the tough but lovely 10-mile course through autumnal woods, beside streams and over lonely country lanes, Adam finished as first Bridport Runner in a time of 1:17:17 six minutes faster than his time in The Stickler last year and only 14 seconds slower than the result of Vlad in 2015.  Second Bridport Runner to finish was Chris, followed by Mike, Clive, Hagen, Kazy, Ray and Brian; see provisional results here.

The results of this race count for Bridport Runners’ Club Championship with Kazy entering for the first time, having completed her fourth race in the series. Fastest female finisher and second runner overall, by the way, was Ruth Barnes, the winner of our Bridport Jurassic Coast Run 2018 and 2017.

A week earlier, Jess and John had participated in another 10 mile race, the Great South Run in Portsmouth. Among the more than 20,000 participants both achieved personal best times in this race: Jess finished in a time of 1:28:06, John being only slightly behind her with 1:28:15. Well done to all of you!

Hear why Ray isn’t sure how many hills he completed, what Clive thinks about the proportion of age to running time said and why Adam is thinking about changing his name to Samantha in The Stickler 2019.

“Despite my misgivings after having looked at the weather forecast, I managed to convince myself I really wanted to run this race and found myself lining up at the start – shivering”, said Ray after The Stickler. “The race started on a very early climb which got very congested mainly because so many runners seem to start walking as soon as they see a hill. The run itself was great, take out the three (or was it four?) hills, and its not too demanding but run through beautiful countryside. Although the hills are very Dorsetesque in height and difficulty – virtually impossible for a runner of my capabilities to run completely – it was good having a go! Despite the cold which got more tolerable as the morning went on, I really enjoyed this run. Great scenery, challenging hills, great company and for me to do this in under 2 hours is a great time!”

For Clive The Stickler was a very tough 10 miler but “I think if you are a Dorset runner, it’s just one of those events you have to experience at least once.” Although he was beginning to wonder why he had tackled it twice and did the maths: “Three years later, I am three years older, and I was three minutes slower but it felt harder than ever! It does have really challenging climbs, some great views and is a very competitive event with more than 500 runners and a unique finish on an old railway station platform.”

Adam added: “Another hilly outing for Bridport Runners, somehow I’d erased from my memory the size of the hills and the hellish mile run on the flat into the finish. I think I walked more of the hills than last year but that meant I could run the middle section faster. I spent most of the race in the battle for 2nd and 3rd place – sadly that was the women’s overall standings as opposed to my own category – but watching them battle it out took my mind off the struggle. I’d have come third if I’d called myself Samantha. I’ll try that next year …”