Dragon's Back Day One - Brutal Stuff...
'The hardest thing I've ever done' says second-placed athlete after ten hours of mountain running.
Posted: 4 September 2012
The first and toughest day of the epic Dragon's Back Race turned out to be every bit as hard as expected and a bit more besides according to Rob Howard's daily race report as the competitors crossed Snowdonia taking in the Carneddau, Glyders and Snowdon itself via the intimidating knife-edge ridge of Crib Goch.
The first runner home - Berghaus-supported Steve Birkinshaw - took around two hours longer than expected to complete the course in a time of almost ten hours and by 7.30 in the evening, Rob reports that just a dozen finishers had made the first overnight stop and according to the race twitter feed - twitter.com/TheDragonsBack - the last three runners arrived at 23.30 with three retirements and 17 runners who didn't complete the course.
It sounds brutally hard. Even the leader, Birkinshaw, had a tough time of it and was particularly struck by Crib Goch commenting that he'd 'had an awful time up there' having never been on the notorious knife-edged ridge before.
First woman home was Nicky Spinks in 11 hours and 27 minutes, suffering from dehydration thanks to warm conditions and a general lack of readily available water in the mountains. Other issues included cloud making navigation tricky on the Glyders and the general toughness of the terrain with Crib Goch the stand-out difficulty.
Veteran winner of the original 1992 event Helene Whitaker is still well in contention finishing just 11 minutes behind Spinks despite having a torrid day of it with Crib Goch again proving to be a serious ordeal for the Berghaus-supported runner,
Right now the competitors are out on day two, this time with 'just' 32 miles of mountainous terrain to be covered apparently with a rainy start - it's darkly amusingly that those who finish last the day before start first the next morning while the leaders get a lie-in, which seems harsh... You can see today's course at www.facebook.com/berghaus.
To read Rob Howard's full race report from yesterday check out: www.dragonsbackrace.com/news/
In addition, there's a gallery of photos from the event so far at www.sleepmonsters.com.
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