Dragon's Back Race Day 4 - Gap Grows!
Day four of the Welsh mountain running epic was shortened slightly to help 'beaten-up' runners to keep going.
Posted: 7 September 2012
At the end of a truncated day four of the Dragon's Back Race, Berghaus athlete Steve Birkinshaw was the fastest runner. That meant he extended his overall lead anyway, but it was a bit of a double whammy as his closest challenger, Rob Baker dropped a lot of time and could only manage tenth on the stage overall.
The result is that going into today's fifth and final stage, Birkinshaw has an emphatic leat of just under two hours over Baker who's still in second place and three hours clear of Patrick Devine Wright in third. Meanwhile OM blog contribiutor Matt Davis is lying in a creditable 8th position after a sterling fourth place finish yesterday.
Helene Whitaker - winner of the original race 20 years ago - was the first woman home in seventh just seconds ahead of Liz Barker and is still fourth overall with a slim two-minute cushion over Jim Mann in fifth place.
According to Rob Howard's race report, organiser Shane Ohly decided to shorten the day to general approval: “It’s a pity,” said Shane, “but everyone is so beaten up and we do want to get as many of them as we can to the finish, so it’s the practical choice.”
It was apparently on the second part of the day, a 10-mile road run where second place overall Rob Baker dropped a lot of time, around 50 minutes or so. "I was beasted today, there is no doubt about it. I think today was where my lack of preparation and experience started to show and I lost it a bit mentally as well."
So Birkinshaw looks like the firm favourite to take the win today, with a slightly shorter route leading to the finish at Carreg Cennen Castle.
You can read Rob's full report at www.dragonsbackrace.com. Images as ever at www.sleepmonsters.com.
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