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Thread: Dragon's Back Race 2021

  1. #71
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    It's great reading about this from the fell runner's perspective after seeing a bunch of wanky social media posts from people who dropped on day 1!

    Some thoughts from me (Matt O'Keefe, finished 3rd, captain of MDC in South Wales):
    - Very few people at the front were using poles. Coming through the field each day I saw some extremely comical pole "usage" particularly on the rock hopping descents in the Rhinogs! The leading woman was extremely good with them though
    - Day 1 and 2 were a very different race to the rest of the days. You can really see the separatation between fell/mountain runners and ultra runners if you look at the day 1 and 2 results vs days 4 and 6
    - It's very expensive, but you can see where the money goes. The organisation is superb, the camp is excellent, the food is great and there's loads of it and they get the basic things right like a Harvey map of the entire route
    - Half of the field underestimated the race or over estimated themselves. That said, I think a lot would have passed a vetting process that focused on experience in ultra events, again it was the technicality and heat in the first two days that caused the massive drop out rates
    - The atmosphere in the whole race was really great, I met a lot of like minded people, not just runners but volunteers too. Nic's Dragon Mail was a highlight
    - I might be biased because I live in Cardiff but the finish was excellent. I've heard many stories of the school at the end of the traditional route and it sounds rubbish in comparison.
    - My club mate Simon Roberts has turned in to a monster and I'm looking forward to him racing some longs next year!

    Also, it looks like this is my first post here after lurking for 4 years. Seems like a good pace to start.

  2. #72
    Master Travs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    NE Lakes/Coventry
    Well done Matt on your podium.

    I'm the guy who was chatting to you on the way up the first climb at the Four Fans earlier this year, and then you came whizzing past me a week later at the Welsh 1000m

    It is also equally interesting to read the perspectives from the likes of yourself and ba-ba, right at the sharp end of races.

  3. #73
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Special K-Town
    Hi Matt! Maybe I should have bullet-pointed my thoughts as you basically sum up what I think but much more succinctly!
    Hope you're easing back into the running and see you at the relays/OMM.
    Nic Barber. Downhill Dandy

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Over Haddon
    I've just watched an hours programme on this years Dragons Race on catch up, it having been aired on BBC Wales on Sunday.
    Well worth a watch if only for the drone footage.
    Visibility good except in Hill Fog

  5. #75
    Master molehill's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Watched it last night and enjoyed it, much as anything picking out the bits we know and thinking "been there, been there". Some good footage of the countryside.
    Good to see the legend that is Caz the Hat (and his Welsh dragon) having a starring role on his checkpoint, we kept well out of shot with those damn wigs!!
    The event needs a good competitive race at the sharp end now with several runners (both sexes) fighting for position and close - need some top foreigners back, it will come I hope.
    Don't roll with a pig in poo. You get covered in poo and the pig likes it.

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