Dalby Dash 2015 Remembrance Sunday (Kelvin Westerman)
This is a race that should be on all calendars and is not a race for the faint hearted, it’s what I would call a race of two halves. Firstly Darren Bilton is in charge of this race which is now in its 5th outing and is aimed at raising money for the Help for Heroes and some local charities. Up to now Darren has handed over £12000 from the participants wanting to put themselves through a gruelling challenge.
Organised by Darren using Runbritain for entries, the course is run in the Dalby Forest on a multi terrain course. Free entry is given for cars into the forest and although parking is limited, there are plenty of small side roads.
I ran this race last year and really enjoyed the atmosphere, especially as it is a special occasion designed for Remembrance Sunday.
Waiting at the start at 10.50 and wondering why I was going to put myself through this again, Darren stood up and started the usual announcement along with his customary poem before the 2 minutes silence. This calmed me and all I could think about was “it’s all for a good cause”.
This years poem went like this……….
Welcome all to the Dalby dash
So far you’ve raised £12k in cash
For Help for Heroes, plus causes local
And that’s why I today am vocal
In welcoming you all to Dash no.5
For, in the forest you’ll feel alive
So at the end let’s raise a toast
Not to me, or the race, but our heroes that matter most
Then at 11.02 just has the rain stopped we were off on a journey and a race of 2 halves. The first 300 metres are slightly downhill and then the treat starts. If you’ve ever run up Spout Hill at Brantingham, which is just under a mile long with a climb of 300 foot, Dalby is two Spouts in one. It’s 1.9 miles long with a climb of 580 feet. After reaching the top, the run goes off road along an undulating track where the cloud meets the land and everything goes quiet except for the heavy breathing and slap of trainers on the ground. My times for the first 3 miles were 8.59, 9.42, 9.18. Which may seem relatively slow to most runners, but for me that was pretty good.
The second half goes through a muddy section of about 40 yards then onto a hard packed chalky section, all downhill approx 2 miles. I never realized I could cover the ground so quickly, it’s a pity I can’t back it up on the flat, then I’d be an elite. What I’m referring to is the next two miles, which I covered in 6.36 and 6.49.
After the last two miles downhill my legs seemed to have gone numb, this only lasted about a minute or so before I recovered. Then we were on to the last section of undulating forest track, finishing nearly back where we started. I covered the last mile in around 7.23, giving me a 6 mile total of 48.50. It’s a couple of tenths short of a 10k but as Darren says before the race, “don’t get hung up on distance just enjoy the run”.
It was a memorable run and a nice T shirt to go with my mug from last year. As for the other Harriers, of which there were only 5 in total. There were 393 finishers:-
Sadly only a few Harriers, but nevertheless compliments to Darren and his team for a very well organized and memorable run. The course is one of the best I have ran on.