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Big appetite for marathons

PUBLISHED: 15:04 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 07:45 01 August 2010

ON Saturday, Bungay Black Dog runner Ian Taylor competed in his third marathon in three weeks, the incredibly tough Beachy Head Marathon in East Sussex.

ON Saturday, Bungay Black Dog runner Ian Taylor competed in his third marathon in three weeks, the incredibly tough Beachy Head Marathon in East Sussex.

It was measured at 27 miles, and runners were told to expect to take 40 to 50 minutes longer than for a flat road marathon as the course included ascents totalling 3,500 feet. There were also gates, stiles, bridges, cattle grids and several flights of steps to negotiate, one of which contained 227 treads.

The course did not contain one flat mile, competitors were met by one steep climb after the other. Miles 20 to 22 were especially arduous as they contained seven one-in-three hills known as the Seven Sisters. Having plunged down to Birling Gap runners were then faced with a 535-feet climb to Beachy Head followed by a perilous descent to the finish.

Taylor was relieved to be wearing his new off-road running shoes. Given the demanding nature of the race a sub-four hour time is considered excellent so he was very pleased with 3-53:33 which earned him 70th place out of 867.

The next day Taylor took part in the Crawley Track Marathon held at the new K2 Leisure Centre. The race consisted of 105.5 laps of an all-weather 400m running track. The race limit was set at 40 and Taylor was pleased to finish in fifth place/second male vet in 3-20.

Further north on Saturday, in horrendous weather conditions, the Snowdonia Marathon took place. With the race limit of 1,500 reached back in September, 1,113 runners managed to finish the race, unlike the Original Mountain Marathon in the Lake District which attracted national press.

Two intrepid Black Dogs lined up on the start line and James Samkin battled through the torrential rain and wind to finish in 493rd place in a time of 4-09:50. The club's other ultra runner, Colin Whale, who has run the race several times, found the going tough but dug deep to finish in 1,113th place in a time of 5-08:27.

Sunday was the date for the Bupa Great South Run. Among the 15,000 runners was Bungay Black Dog David Punt.

For the third year running there was heavy rain throughout and a strong headwind along the seafront for the last two miles. David had a target of 1-20 and for the first five miles he was on schedule but the conditions took its toll and David finished in 1_21:50 in 2,300th place, still a very good effort.

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