Following a successful comeback race in the Maverick New Forest event a couple of weeks earlier where he came in as 1st vet and finished 8th overall, Ross Smith upped the anti for his next one which was the Jurassic Express 16k.
The route set off from Swanage heading along the Jurassic Coast Trail all the way to the ruins of Corfe Castle. Then after completing the race, the runners are taken back via private stream strain. That’s not something you get in every race. And with the awe-inspiring views of the Jurassic Coast, looking out over Old Harry Rocks and Studland it’s a race that promises a truly terrific trail running experience.
Cutting his running down slightly recently and letting his body catch up so he doesn’t get injured, Ross is hoping to get back to training more regularly soon. But he certainly seems to be alright on his current workload.
The route incorporated three very tough climbs including a steep one up to the Obelisk and the fearsome Nine Barrow Down. Ross was actually in the lead at one point and going really well until he unfortunately took a wrong turn at the Obelisk. That then sent him across a grassy field and down a hill. A hill he then had to sprint back up when he realised he’d gone wrong. At that point his heart rate went through the roof.
He still had to tackle Nine Barrow Down after that but his legs were shot by that point and he was unable to recover his lead. Nevertheless, it was an excellent run from Ross and despite the mishap, he still took 2nd place, completing the course, along with an extra half mile in 1:18:02.
Profiting from Ross’s navigational slip up, Duncan Bell of Wimborne AC swooped in the pick up the victory in 1:16:32. They were both quite a way ahead of anyone else, with Daryl Smith of Maverick Run Project taking 3rd in 1:29:39.
Kelly Stocker wad 1st female and 5th overall in 1:25:17 with Maddy Pearson arriving just over five minutes later to take 7th place and 2nd female.
Although he got through close to 1,500ft of elevation, Ross came out of it with an average pace of 7:28 which is excellent on a course of that sort of profile. The following weekend, Ross was back in action in the Hampshire Cross Country League race at Popham Airfield.