By Mike Norton and Paul Parmenter


The North Dorset Marathon organised by the Dorset Doodlers is a picturesque race along mainly quiet country lanes through the villages of Hinton St Mary, Marnhull, Stalbridge, Todber, Stour Row, Margaret Marsh, West Orchard, Farrington, Child Okeford and Hammoon. Although I wouldn't call it hilly the first half is definitely undulating and the second half is much flatter the total elevation is around 300 metres. There are two events you can compete in, one is of course the Marathon distance and they also have a Marathon relay where a maximum of 4 runners can run the distance in relay. Paul and myself did the Marathon. The weather was perfect for Marathon running being on the cool side and overcast with a little bit of drizzle thrown in. There were a few large puddles in places but the course was pretty good. There were plenty of water stations along the course and one main food station and the marshals were excellent. There is not much in the way of supporters on the course and if you are at the back like I was you might get a little lonely, although I don't really mind running on my own. Having said that I shuffled the last 10 miles with Georgina Brice (she had recently done 12 marathons in 12 days and had ran a Marathon the day before!) My goal was to come in under 5 ½ hours as I had not done much training in the last few months through injury and illness so I was fairly pleased with that. Paul on the other hand was awesome coming in with a sub 4 hour marathon time!
There was a hog roast at the end and we also got a beer, yoghurt (they don't go together after a run), T/shirt and medal all for about £30. This is a run I would definitely recommend!


We arrived very early in chilly drizzly weather, it’s worth remembering that a 1.5 hour journey in the week on Google maps might only be an hour at silly o'clock on a Sunday. There was a great buzz and plenty of time to
drink coffee and eat an early cake. By the start the conditions were cool and good for running. I planned to go under 4 hours and left quickly at the start after chatting to Langport’s other runner, Mike Norton. I felt good
and completed 10k in 52 mins and half marathon in 1.52. The course is great with a few hills but everything completely runnable. The 2nd half felt slightly hillier with 1 longish ascent I wouldn't say it’s scenic, mostly
quiet lanes I don't remember much of interest. But then I had a quest a post injury sub 4. The last mile along an old railway track is really trail and seemed long but I got there in 3hrs 50, goal achieved. The finish had free beer, yogurt, biscuits, cakes drinks and more. Then I just managed to walk the 1k to race HQ, for more beer and the included, veggie burger and salad (or hog roast).The beer was supplied by the Guy Ritchie's brewery. This race really is well worth more people supporting. T shirt, medal, food, beer what's not to like at a reasonable price. There is also a relay around the course let's get a club team next year! All this not far past Yeovil, who doesn't like a local road marathon. A great day out and I went home very happy to achieved my goal.