Ahh, the moment I was waiting for, to tackle The Beast! Jerry’s sister, Christine came to watch [In the interest of tact and diplomacy, I should point out that the Beast is a 12ish mile trail race, not my sister! MB] I was very excited to arrive at the village of Corfe Castle. It is a very quaint village with beautiful stone buildings of which some had thatched rooftops. The remnants of Corfe Castle [The castle was a Royalist stronghold in the English civil war of 1642. It was besieged by Parliamentary forces and was blown up when the Royalists surrendered. MB] stood high on a mound within the ridge and provided an amazing landmark for the finish. As you know, being a runner, the next bit of business is to find the bathroom. To our horror, there were no porto-johns since they had run out of them due to the many different public events going on at the same time in the region! There were over 400 + runners and a single building with 3 toilets each. Yikes! We got in our lines and waited……and waited……and waited. Once we got that done with, we headed to the start [A point of technicality here. While the majority of runners amassed at the start, a certain American tourist was seen retuning from the bushes! MB] The race started downhill on a narrow road so we had to run fast to get in good position. As we ran across rolling hills and dales, it began to rain. Jerry managed to pull away, I started to slip and slide over the muddy rocky sections so I fell back. It became a matter of staying upright. We would go across these open fields then come to a sudden halt to climb over these structures called stiles. It is basically two wooden steps set at right angles on either side of the fence. This is another reason for getting in good position. Everyone that I passed greeted me with a “well done!” I was admiring the views when just a little more than half way, I came to the famous 200 steps! It was so steep, I almost panicked. The steps went straight down till you couldn’t see them anymore. So off I go trying to run down alongside the steps but found little traction so I ended up walking down as quick as I could, as my left glute and ITB started to seize up about halfway. It took me about 7 mins to get down! [Falling produced much quicker results, but it is a more painful method. MB] As soon as you reach bottom you run about 5 steps and then start climbing up the other side. Once you reach the top, you are greeted with spectacular views of the cliffs and the sea below. Some parts of the footpath came very close to the edge which was slightly unnerving. Most of the way was nice grassy footpath [Give or take the odd rabbit hole. MB] which provided me enough traction to start running hard. I passed one woman and a few guys in the last couple of miles. I was trying to race down Jerry but to no avail [I would like to say I was finished and showered by this time, but alas no – there weren’t any showers! MB]. The last mile turned out to be the most muddy at each stile. One more climb and finally you can see Corfe Castle and you know you are close to the finish. I sped in as Jerry and Christine cheered me in [I would like to suggest I had time to complete the Times crossword while waiting, but alas I didn’t! MB] A little girl handed me water and I was told to get my shirt. Here, you receive your tech shirt after you run not before. It was such an amazing race I would recommend it! It was very low key, no chip timing, nor food at the finish. Just conquering The Beast was enough!