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Thread: Dragon's Back

  1. #1
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Dragon's Back

    Just thought i'd mention that the entries open at 9am tomorrow (i'm sure anybody with an interest is already well aware). But also wanted to throw in a couple of thoughts...

    I noticed that the event next year is going to be 'non vetted' with participants signing a waiver. I realise the organiser is obviously a great event organiser, and a very very good mountain runner in his own right, but I can't help thinking this policy may be a little unwise...?

    For two reasons...

    1) With the event being limited to approx. 200 runners anyway, i'm fairly sure the race would comfortably sell out amongst the established and experienced mountain and ultra running community. I'm sure any 'superstars' who intend to race will have a place saved for them, but does make me think that a lot of people who are decent runners are likely to miss out.

    2) The chance of someone inexperienced entering and coming to harm. I know the race is not heavily advertised compared to some events, but a browse through their Facebook page is quite an eye-opener, with comments such as "can you just put the checkpoints into a GPS and follow the waypoints", and (today) "how good do you have to be at finding directions"!!, from seemingly keen would-be racers.

    I'm sure the organisers have their reasons, and I wish them every success. I would imagine the (justifiably) hefty price tag will put off most who aren't completely serious, but it will certainly be interesting.

    I should mention I have no motive behind this thread. I had been mulling over this event quite seriously up until a few weeks ago, however am committed to something else next year now instead.

    Wonder if anybody has any thoughts? And good luck getting a place tomorrow if you're hoping for one...
    Last edited by Travs; 08-05-2016 at 04:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    I'd actually like to add to the above. Just had another quick look through the event website, and in the last few weeks the details have been updated.

    It now appears that the route map for each day will have a 'marked' route, which participants must stay within 200 metres of. Along with a GPS track for the entire route.

    I guess this answers a few of my above questions about the event being open to all. I wonder what people's thoughts are on this???

    Certainly would appear to dilute the challenge for me in a massive way. Really can't understand this if the entry limit has not really been expanded to cater for the masses?
    Last edited by Travs; 08-05-2016 at 04:46 PM.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Trail race
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    Member One-eyed Wonder's Avatar
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    Have you come across the Dragon's Belly race (2013) which attempted to recapitulate the 1992 race? Much more in the spirit of fell running in my opinion

    http://www.dragonsbelly.co.uk/News.htm

    I guess the challenge is there for anyone to have a go- bit like the main UK rounds- just need more logistical support! And you could probably manage it for less than 800 for the week.

  5. #5
    Master molehill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by One-eyed Wonder View Post
    Have you come across the Dragon's Belly race (2013) which attempted to recapitulate the 1992 race? Much more in the spirit of fell running in my opinion

    http://www.dragonsbelly.co.uk/News.htm

    I guess the challenge is there for anyone to have a go- bit like the main UK rounds- just need more logistical support! And you could probably manage it for less than 800 for the week.
    To be pedantic, I don't think the Dragons Belly constituted a race.
    There was also the Steambunny Dragons Back in 2007 (if memory serves me right), predating all the above which several members of this forum organised and ran.
    Any damn fool can make money, show me someone who can make time.

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    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    More Steambunny adventures needed
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    Senior Member Dave_Mole's Avatar
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    seems a bit cotradictory as the "Statement" is on the entry page, but the Information bit of the website still states what experience is required....
    I'm still surprised to see statements like
    "I accept full responsibility for my own safety and any injury sustained during the event. These are not the responsibility of the event organiser, their agents or the landowners"
    taken as some kind of indemnity, as they are totally worthless if anything does actually happen to a competitor....
    ....it's all downhill from here.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DinoF's Avatar
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    The route is an amazing one, and even with a published GPS track will be a massive challenge. I don't know, but I think the vetting last year caused the race to be slightly under subscribed, and yet still only have a 50% completion rate. I may be wrong, but if entrants are at a lower level of experience and fitness than last year, I think Shane may get an even more impressive drop out rate, perhaps even starting at Ogwen at lunchtime on the first day!

    I think the price is fair by the way; in 2015 I looked at trying to follow my wife through the event via B&B's or campsites, and it worked out almost as cheap to enter the race instead! Everything is included, although I can recommend taking a couple of quid to buy a pork pie from Llandovery bakery.
    The land at the end of our toes goes on and on and on.

  9. #9
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    I think it is a shame if route choice has been taken out of the event - it was really interesting last year to look at the various options people took to get between the Moelwyns and the Rhinogs - everything from straightlining across very rough terrain to long detours on roads and tracks.

  10. #10
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    I think its a real shame that the event format has changed, the multiple routes taken last year was fantastic to watch however for my 2 pennies worth I think the RD is just acting slightly ahead of the curve. The route is now pretty well known to any who are likely to enter so route choices would now likely be reduced to 'best lines' or potentially previous competitors gpx routes. Also we have no idea if last years race raised concerns over some of what looked like dodgy lines and potential Land Access issues from people wandering all over the joint.

    I'm signed up to give this a crack. Navigation will still be a feature unless folks are planning to follow their devices electronic line (which I wont be) and lets face it the route is a brute regardless.
    Last edited by Willowisp; 16-05-2016 at 05:33 PM.

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