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Film  ·  Events  ·  Culture  ·  People  ·  14-17 Nov 2019

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Wendy Dodds

Wendy commenced her lifelong sporting activities well before the age of 10 (!) by swimming, hill-walking and skiing.

She diversified from being a junior international swimmer and an orienteer as a student, taking up mountain running in 1972 when she did her first Mountain Marathon, continuing with these to the present day, entering 4 this year.

These were complemented by LDWA events and, inevitably, fell running in the late 1970s. She enjoyed ski-orienteering at international level during the period 1980 to 1988. She competed in triathlons in the early 1980’s and, although cycling let her down, she reached ‘No.3 Woman’ status in the UK.

Over the years she has run regularly over the fells with numerous age-group English and British championship wins, though favouring long races.

She won her age group category in the first 5 years of the Runfurther Trail race series and in 2006 was third FV50 in the UTMB.

The Munros and Corbetts were completed and the Skye ridge in a single outing when she was aged 50. Among her other achievements are two Dragon’s Backs (1992 and 2012), first person to complete the Paddy Buckley Round (1982), fourth woman to complete the Bob Graham Round (1979), a 25 hour Ramsey Round in 2001, and an extension of her BG to ‘50@50’ in 2002.

Last year was her first ‘alpine’ season, cut short by injury after one 4000m peak but returned for a second season in 2018 to achieve three more 4000ers.

In parallel with her running she was a Sports Physician for over 30 years working with many sports, being a Team GB doctor at Olympic, Commonwealth and World University Games as well as working at local and national events.

In retirement she has been able to be a full time athlete (!) allowing her to reproduce times from 20 years ago when training was limited by professional commitments.

She has written two books, The Active Woman’s Health Guide (1986) and Trail and Mountain Running (2013), the latter in co-authorship with Sarah Rowell. Sarah and Wendy first ‘teamed up’ in 1991 to break the women’s record at the Haworth Hobble, previously held by 2 Olympic marathon runners (Angie Payne and Veronique Marot), with their time still being very respectable 20 years later. More recently they have formed a consistently successful Mountain Marathon partnership.

Wendy Dodds

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