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Thread: Dragon's Back Race 2021

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  1. #16
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Captain Cook's Great Ayton
    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

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