The Dragon's back race starts from Conwy tomorrow morning.
A 6th day has been added to finish at Cardiff Castle on Saturday. This adds a big day 5 over the main Brecon Peaks, before a final day above the Valleys and in to Cardiff.
Tracking is here: https://live.opentracking.co.uk/dragonsbackrace2021/
I'm number 418 if you're at all interested. Weather forecast looks good for views if maybe a bit warm lower down.
Good luck Nic. I’m on holiday this week, but will be thinking of you (and the others I know) taking part. That extra day, and the knock-on to day five, should make it ‘interesting’.
Hope you have fun throughout.
Best of luck - I'll keep an eye on your dot.
That big day 5 over the Beacons! - the ascents of Fan Foel, the diretissimo up Fan Gyhirych, the lovely side of Fan Fawr give you a killer day even before the central escarpment (which'll be a doddle after that lot!!)
Good luck! Few dots to watch this year and that seems more than enough effort
And they're off!
The faster people appear to be approaching (relatively speaking) the Day 1 finish already.
Kudos to the runners. I cant even contemplate running something like that, let alone the training needed to get you even remotely fit.
On what's turned out to be a hot afternoon in North Wales. Moelwynion and Rhinogydd tomorrow on what's forecast to be the hottest day of the week. Well done all.
ps. good luck Nic.
Good first day Nick!
Both Marcus Scotney and Kim Collison have already DNFd. Russ Bentley and Simon Roberts coming in well over an hour clear of anyone else with a very quick 7:25 for the opening day. With the heat it may well have been that 'fast is best' and enhances recovery time more with less time spend out in the heat.. But as they say '5 days to go is a long time in the Dragons Back!'
Well done Nic. Day one done. Might see you in the Rhinogydd tomorrow.
Nic had a storming first day. There's already a long list of timeouts and DNFs from a stiff first day. Today's dots mostly ranged along the Moelwyns.
The lad's done ok today as well on a blisteringly hot day. Saw him take some cunning routes in the Rhinogydd and is currently 4th overall. Super run. Party atmosphere at Llyn Du on Rhinog Fawr.
I've just done a rough count, but it looks to me like out of 350odd starters, there are already 200+ DNF or T/O. Is that normal, or has the quality of the field gone down as the profile has increased? Conditions haven't been tough, bit warm, but nothing exceptional.
PS. Well done Nic, looks like it's going well. I see you have Ron Burgundy as one of your supporters posting messages to you. Kudos.
I think the weather, especially yesterday was particularly tough. However myself and some friends were commenting that on day1 there were clearly entrants just way out of their depth. The amount of time some took to reach Ogwen was very slow over what was fairly easy ground from Conwy. Surely you do your research and know what is involved before entering something like this?
My mate Russ Bentley had a good tussle with Simon Roberts on day1, Simon had a much stronger day2 to go into the lead overall, but all to play for! Russ is an ex middle distance 800/1500m specialist turned fell runner turned ultra distance runner!
Quite an attrition rate so far - down to 125 finishing day 2 intact, plus a 'non-competitive' runners. Nic continues to bother the leader board
> I've just done a rough count, but it looks to me like out of 350odd starters, there are already 200+ DNF or T/O. Is that normal, or has the quality of the field gone down as the profile has increased? Conditions haven't been tough, bit warm, but nothing exceptional.
I thought that, admittedly its a tough event but its a bit embarassing really, both for the competitors and organisers to lose 119 on day one and 171 on day two, not sure what the vetting process is but looks like they need to look at it again.
It says on their website in the How To Enter section "Entries are not vetted for this event, however please provide a brief outline of your previous relevant experience". That surprises me TBH! But maybe not so much seeing the attrition rate.
A mate of my sister decided to do it because it was "the hardest race" before hand he had run 1 trail marathon before (in 6 hours!). He got a place but didn't go on the day because of injury and due to realising he was being mental.
Its a pretty inspiring race and there's a doc on Amazon showing some "normal" people smashing it so I can see why it attracts a lot. They might not realise those normal people are absolute wads.
I dare say most experienced fell runners wouldn't dream of rocking up.
I certainly wouldn't!
At the end of the day, I imagine being able to tout such a heavy attrition rate actually helps the appeal of the race to some.
That is surprisingly and somewhat worrying that they will set people off on a race without any sort of track record of long or multi day races
> That is surprisingly and somewhat worrying that they will set people off on a race without any sort of track record of long or multi day races
They know what they're doing. Exceptionally well organised events
Yes I know, I have done a few, however letting people embark on a multi day event with nav involved across hard terrain with no previous seems to be slightly odd
I'm struggling to make sense of the tracker and eventual leaderboard...do the leaders set off at different times to each other? I'm sure Russ B arrived at the finish first but he seems to be in second place for day 3.
I think the better your time so far the later you start, apart from on the last day when there is a “chasing start” for the leaders if their times are close enough for it to be worth it. So it’s quite possible for someone to be first over the line but not have the fastest time due to an earlier start.
For the first 5 days you can start whenever you like within a set time window. Russ elected to go early which seems sensible considering the heat but Roberts seems to enjoy the chase more! Final day the first 10 (or something) set off at pre determined intervals
Pleasant and very breezy start on Cadair Idris yesterday but became increasingly warm as the day progressed.
> For the first 5 days you can start whenever you like within a set time window. Russ elected to go early which seems sensible considering the heat but Roberts seems to enjoy the chase more! Final day the first 10 (or something) set off at pre determined intervals
Ah thanks, that makes sense now!
In reply to steveriley:
Looks like Nic has dnf on day 4. Hope all is ok Nic.
> Looks like Nic has dnf on day 4. Hope all is ok Nic.
I hope it's a tracking error and he's still in the race as I've been enjoying reading his dragon mail, he's got quite a following from Blackadder to David Dickinson to one of the dragons from Dragon's Den keeping him motivated 😉
His dot is still showing as blue just now, which I thought meant he was still in?
Yes, fingers crossed. It's the results site which shows DNF...one of the icons on the tracking site takes you there.
Ah I see - I don’t find it the most intuitive site to navigate!
I’m not fully understanding the results TBH, yesterday was positions up to 125th, today up to 144th ? Not sure what’s going on with that, or am I missing something obvious?
> I’m not fully understanding the results TBH, yesterday was positions up to 125th, today up to 144th ? Not sure what’s going on with that, or am I missing something obvious?
I think people who have timed out or DNFd on previous days can carry on, so might feature in the day's results but not the overall results?
Yay! Looks like Nic has been reinstated in a solid fourth overall and is no longer showing as a DNF for today.
Great stuff Nic!
Ah ok, didn’t realise that, that would be the very reason then.
Final day bump!
Good luck to all the competitors, I hope nobody DNFs or times out on the last day!