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Thread: Dragon's Back Race 2021

  1. #51
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
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    So in summary, the first 2 days were WARM and getting water on board and easing off were the name of the game. Day 3 was still warm, but with a nice breeze and more cloud cover at times to improve matters. Day 4 was a bit misty and murky - until the bits you really didn't want it to be when the sun came out! Days 5 and 6 were better, but by this point my body had hit the wall and on each of these days I managed ~3h of OK running before a long walk to the finish, putting on layers to keep warm. I didn't use any GPS, electronic device or poles whilst racing, completing the route in the manner I wanted to.

    I never quite felt quite right from the start. I developed some sinus issues later in the week and am not sure if this was due to putting my body through immense stress, or a cold picked up (OH developed a cold earlier in the week). I was very nervous beforehand and didn't sleep very well. I also wonder if being quite busy beforehand (starting new job, 'planning' a wedding) took more out of me than I expected. Training was OK but I struggle to train well during summer and whilst I managed the big specific weeks I wanted, I did lack a bit of consistency (the consistency that saw me piss out a 17h40 BG last summer). I'm disappointed with the final third fade and might return in the future but the main itch has been scratched and I'm looking forward to plenty of marshalling before christmas before getting back to racing the fells proper in 2022.

    As for the event itself, it both is and isn't fell running. It's a logistical feat but I already knew this after volunteering 2 years ago. The route is what I'm there for. A lot of the other bits I don't care for, but for the event to run it has to be commercial (you can't get a bunch of scouts or an MR team to run this!), and for this to happen Shane and co need to attach bells and whistles (and GPS traces) that I'd prefer weren't there but can accept. Once on the hill you can ignore most of these. Shane says that he's not in the business to make money, he's in it to deliver excellent exciting outdoors events, and he doesn't half deliver. I'm not entirely sure how he gets away with the no vetting of entrants without more issues - there are a fair amount of people who enter this having absolutely no clue (I overhead one person saying he started running in January; Hannah's dad strava stalked some of the early drop-outs and noted one bloke never got above 20km a week in the last year, but had at least been on a poles course!). There are people who can't look after themselves in camp and really impinge upon others' enjoyment of the event. But there are idiots everywhere so by dint some will end up here. The event rules are well written and granular in their detail (and I assume backed up legally) to ensure people of all ability can take part. Shane's RO report is worth a read around the 'come one come all' aspect and how they deal with this.
    Last edited by ba-ba; 15-09-2021 at 06:29 PM.
    Nic Barber. Downhill Dandy

  2. #52
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    I read the RO report this afternoon (i'm on their mailing list) and i agree it made interesting reading.

    ba-ba out of interest i wonder which gives you most satisfaction looking back....

    Winning the LDMT
    Winning the Marsden-Edale Trigger
    Completing and finishing very high up last week

    ???

    All monster races/events for differing reasons. Interesting to know your point of view from someone really at the sharp end...

    ps... again, well done!

  3. #53
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
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    Pretty much in the order you listed, though 2h10 and 10th at Langdale English champs in 2016 is probably my peak performance so far. I don't feel I performed to my optimum last week.
    Nic Barber. Downhill Dandy

  4. #54
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
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    Also - if anyone wants a laugh at real ultra trail excess and hilarity, may I suggest 'Highland Kings' to you? Sounds ideal if you want to spend 15k and spend time amongst a load of bell ends who think they are in the special services.
    Nic Barber. Downhill Dandy

  5. #55
    Master bigfella's Avatar
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    That's well over 100 per mile, what is the world coming to?
    Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ba-ba View Post
    Also - if anyone wants a laugh at real ultra trail excess and hilarity, may I suggest 'Highland Kings' to you? Sounds ideal if you want to spend 15k and spend time amongst a load of bell ends who think they are in the special services.
    There's a Michelin chef on the support team. I'm signing up.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  7. #57
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    It's not even 10,000m of climb like the blurb suggests either... actually about 13,000ft

    Also another event not requiring any proof of competence... suggests you can enter if you can "jog for 30mins, complete a parkrun, or cycle for an hour..."

  8. #58
    Moderator noel's Avatar
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    It looks about right in terms of distance, and the only steep day is day 4. I'm sure they'll get people signing up.

    Well done whoever thought they could make a lot of money - I think they're on to something.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by ba-ba View Post
    So in summary, the first 2 days were WARM and getting water on board and easing off were the name of the game. Day 3 was still warm, but with a nice breeze and more cloud cover at times to improve matters. Day 4 was a bit misty and murky - until the bits you really didn't want it to be when the sun came out! Days 5 and 6 were better, but by this point my body had hit the wall and on each of these days I managed ~3h of OK running before a long walk to the finish, putting on layers to keep warm. I didn't use any GPS, electronic device or poles whilst racing, completing the route in the manner I wanted to.

    I never quite felt quite right from the start. I developed some sinus issues later in the week and am not sure if this was due to putting my body through immense stress, or a cold picked up (OH developed a cold earlier in the week). I was very nervous beforehand and didn't sleep very well. I also wonder if being quite busy beforehand (starting new job, 'planning' a wedding) took more out of me than I expected. Training was OK but I struggle to train well during summer and whilst I managed the big specific weeks I wanted, I did lack a bit of consistency (the consistency that saw me piss out a 17h40 BG last summer). I'm disappointed with the final third fade and might return in the future but the main itch has been scratched and I'm looking forward to plenty of marshalling before christmas before getting back to racing the fells proper in 2022.

    As for the event itself, it both is and isn't fell running. It's a logistical feat but I already knew this after volunteering 2 years ago. The route is what I'm there for. A lot of the other bits I don't care for, but for the event to run it has to be commercial (you can't get a bunch of scouts or an MR team to run this!), and for this to happen Shane and co need to attach bells and whistles (and GPS traces) that I'd prefer weren't there but can accept. Once on the hill you can ignore most of these. Shane says that he's not in the business to make money, he's in it to deliver excellent exciting outdoors events, and he doesn't half deliver. I'm not entirely sure how he gets away with the no vetting of entrants without more issues - there are a fair amount of people who enter this having absolutely no clue (I overhead one person saying he started running in January; Hannah's dad strava stalked some of the early drop-outs and noted one bloke never got above 20km a week in the last year, but had at least been on a poles course!). There are people who can't look after themselves in camp and really impinge upon others' enjoyment of the event. But there are idiots everywhere so by dint some will end up here. The event rules are well written and granular in their detail (and I assume backed up legally) to ensure people of all ability can take part. Shane's RO report is worth a read around the 'come one come all' aspect and how they deal with this.
    Interesting, and well done. Shane is good value to read or listen to, as is Heather for that matter.

    I have my own feelings about the use of poles - could you clarify why you chose not to use them?

  10. #60
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
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    I'm a fell runner so have never used poles. Simple as that. I have no underlying issues where their use might be required, and feel they're an unnecessary expense that would just get in the way (nearly had my eyes taken out a couple of times by people not knowing where the end of them was). Also mean you can't hold the map. And you look like a trail wonk
    Nic Barber. Downhill Dandy

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