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Thread: Dragon's Back 2015

  1. #11
    I'm in too, terrified and excited in equal measure.

    I'm up in Aviemore so recces would be a bit of a mission, hoping to substitute days in hills I don't know a little closer to home to hone the navigation skills then get down for a week or so sometime in May.

    How're you training GeeeM? I'm trying to get loads of overall volume in now and for the next few months then start on the really long runs and big back to backs come spring.

    See you in Conwy!

  2. #12
    Master molehill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    I would also put serious effort into improving your overall walking strength and speed, you will be doing a lot of walking (unless elite), especially over rough terrain not just uphill, so prepare for it. I have found I can walk near 1mph faster than most fell runners walk ( I did train for walking fast), this adds up to a lot of hours over 5 days.
    Any damn fool can make money, show me someone who can make time.

  3. #13
    Hi Ally - great to hear from another entrant!

    Training really starts this week but I have a decent base, it's rare I don't do 30-50 miles on a weekend. A mixture of walking / hiking and running over mixed terrain! I'm a veteran of a couple of Fellsmen, have done all the MCN events several times, the Welsh 3000's and a few 100-milers including The Bear 100 in the USA.

    I plan to walk a lot of it to be honest, am very happy being out for 12+ hours walking these days - in fact maybe a little too comfortable in that my running has deteriorated badly so I need to work on that, just speedwork, hill reps and getting back to being used to running for extended periods without talking a walk break.

    My navigation sucks as well - so really need to head out with a map & compass and get comfortable with that, especially in low visibility!

  4. #14
    What's the story with wild camping in Wales? I'm thinking of going over to do some recceing after GL3D, seeing as I'll be that far south anyway. Plan is to camp out of the car, is this likely to get me a slap on the wrist in the national park/anywhere else?

  5. #15
    Senior Member philbrynmaen's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Ally - you shouldn't have any problems wild camping if you pick your spots carefully and stay only overnight.
    I'm in the GL3D (not Dragon's Back!) so hopefully see you there.

  6. #16
    Doe anyone have the checkpoint grid refs/co-ordinates for the 2012 race? The website has scans of the maps but the resolution is too low to make them out and the CP descriptions are not always explicit, (e.g. "Hill") - the below is Day 5

    Planning to do some reccying and navigation practice using parts of the 2012 route, it would be useful... cheers!

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by GeeeM View Post
    . . .and the CP descriptions are not always explicit, (e.g. "Hill")
    That's hilarious.

    If you have the Slackjaw film from last time there's a pretty detailed flyover of the course in the bonus section. That said, I'd appreciate the checkpoints too, because I'm a lazy git.

  8. #18
    I found a website detailing the "Dragons Belly" which was an informal running of the 1992 route the other day... It has a page detailing the grid refs for all the CPs.

    Probably about as good as it gets for now - there's lots of info, race reports etc.. on there which make for good reading!

  9. #19
    Senior Member Don't fear the sweeper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    A view from the other side of the Dragon's Back that I wrote for my club newsletter...

    The Dragon’s Back Race 2012

    I was feeling good, hardly out of breath, as I was first to reach checkpoint 19 – the summit of Snowdon – on day 1 of the Dragon’s Back 5-day race along the mountainous spine of Wales.

    Day-dream over. I was first to the checkpoint as I was the marshal. I’d volunteered to help with the race as I knew the organizer, Shane Ohly, from us both being involved with climbing guidebooks. The day before the race started I’d had a good run putting out checkpoints in the mist on the Glyders: Elider Fawr, Y Garn, Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach and Tryfan. Tryfan was the most trouble – I didn’t realize it had 3 summits. Naturally, the last one I reached was the highest and where the control point was to go. Later, at our marshals meeting, we were dished out free gear from Berghaus, the race sponsors. The running T-shirts, walking trousers, waterproof & insulating jackets, overtrousers, hat and gloves were all great but while the Octans rucksack was light and had a useful clip-on front pouch for food on long runs, it rolled around too much while I was running.

    Our meeting was followed by the competitors’ briefing. There were 82 runners including some from the US, France, Belgium and a large group from Spain. They were a mixed bunch: some fell runners, some with ultra experience, one with a 7-day treadmill record. People who’d done the Canadian Death Race, the White Mountains 100 (where you can compete on a bike, on skis or on foot pulling a sled) & the Ultra Trail Southwest. Winners of the Old County Tops & the previous Dragon's Back race. And the holder of the Ladies Lake District 24-hour record.

    Whereas most of the checkpoints consisted of an orienteering flag, an electronic dibber and no marshal, it was thought that the one on Snowdon would disappear if it wasn’t looked after! So I spent my second day ascending Snowdon’s south ridge (a way up I’d never tried before and now my favourite) and marshaling from 1 until 10.30pm. Rather than being boring I found it fun and interesting. On previous occasions I’d been up Snowdon I’d moved quickly away from the summit and its crowds, but marshaling gave me the opportunity for plenty of people-watching, which at times was hilarious, especially the way people’s knees turned to jelly as they puffed their way up the steps of the 15-foot-high summit cairn. Because I had a marshal’s yellow jacket I kept being asked which way was the way down, as if I was some sort of park warden.
    I had a long wait for the runners to start coming through, with the leader, Steve Birkinshaw, taking 9 hours to reach Snowdon. Not surprising as the day 1 route included all of the Welsh 3000-footers!

    I spent the rest of the week either placing or retrieving controls in the Moelwyns, Rhinogs and Brecon Beacons before the finish at Carreg Cennan castle on the west side of the Brecon Beacons. Steve Birkenshaw retained his early lead to win. Helen Whitaker, part of the winning pair in the only previous Dragon’s Back race, held 20 years earlier, was first lady in fourth position overall.

    I can recommend marshaling for an event like this as the camaraderie of the event team and inspirational performances of the competitors together with the checkpoint-servicing runs through superb scenery made it an experience to remember. And you get free entry next time it’s run!

  10. #20
    A good read, cheers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don't fear the sweeper View Post
    And you get free entry next time it’s run!
    Are you using it?

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