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Dartmoor in a Day Ultra Trail run


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This was my third attempt at an ultra this year after a 88km/ 1900 vert race in June and an attempt at a 100k/1400 vert race in July (which DNFd after 55km).  After my DNF I was short of the UTMB points I was after, so I entered the Dartmoor in a Day 52km/ 1300 vert course.  The main difference in the race was the time of year and the terrain was much much rockier and muddier than I had experienced before. Here's my report I wrote for a UK site:

The weather was good  but mixed, and started chilly but after 30 mins I swapped my long sleeve for a t-shirt, light breeze and overcast but about 1pm that had changed to very humid and a strong wind, making me thirstier than usual.

The course itself I found difficult, extremely so. I’m not an experienced trail runner and most of stuff so far has been on SDW, Mendips or Cannock Chase. I know these trails are ‘soft’ in terms of terrain but I think I was expecting Dartmoor to be more gorseland rather than crazy rocky.

After that first bridge crossing and up the steep bit picking your way through the jagged rocks, I could see what we were in for. I am getting better at walking fast uphill but I found myself having to go really slowly, picking one foothold at a time. A lot of the course was like that.

It took me 2.5hrs to reach CP1 at 20km! Shoes and socks very wet by now as even though the the weather was dry, the recent rain had made the grassy bits like marshland. I hung on until CP2 and then changed my socks.
By this time I had rolled my right ankle about three times and was hobbling a bit which made my claves very tight. I left CP2 with fresh socks and walked up that massive hill, there was a volunteer there guiding us the right way.
That climb took me nearly 40mins, then at the top, there is a very flat looking section where you think you could run but it was absolutely sodden and ankle deep with horrible holes and tufts. My fresh socks were soaking, I was hurting all over, on my own and this is where I lost my sense of humor and the course really broke me.

I trudged on and reached the river where after crossing, you go up the very very steep but short hill and make your way to the tram lines. This was meant to be 11km of runnable gravel but there was very little run in this body. A few mins, then walk, repeat

Finally got to the finish in 7hrs56mins!! realized I’m a rubbish trail runner on proper hard trails, vowing never to do it again.

For perspective, I did Cannock Chase trail marathon with 900mtrs vert in 4:11 in May. Yesterday at the 42km mark, I’d been going for 6hrs20!

Here's a clip from a previous race. We didn't have rain but the grounds underfoot was very similar.

 

 

 

Edited by FatPom
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4 minutes ago, ComfortablyNumb said:

Looks like a Murray Cod fishing day....but less fun!

How does your back cope with that Ian?  I find my knees really hurt after a few hours of stumbling over rocky ground.

Yeah it doesn't do my back many favours but I recover ok. The fact that your feet are never level doesn't help.

Anyway, results are in, I came 30/105, which I was quite shocked at.

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1 minute ago, FatPom said:

Yeah it doesn't do my back many favours but I recover ok. The fact that your feet are never level doesn't help.

Anyway, results are in, I came 30/105, which I was quite shocked at.

Damn that's a good result.

Were you able to overcome that bone density issue you had a few years back?

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Just now, ComfortablyNumb said:

Damn that's a good result.

Were you able to overcome that bone density issue you had a few years back?

Don't know, once the disc replacement wasn't an option, I've not had it measured since. I don't wallow in this medical stuff, I just get on with life and be thankful for what I can do.

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On 10/09/2019 at 7:02 AM, FatPom said:

Yeah it doesn't do my back many favours but I recover ok. The fact that your feet are never level doesn't help.

Anyway, results are in, I came 30/105, which I was quite shocked at.

Bloody hell FP , youre really hard on yourself.  Youre not rubbish at trail running, youre a newbie !!!!!  And one that's not too bad looking at that result!   Your skills will develop as you experience different terrain & of course youll have crap days but youll have tons of good ones too. Honest ☺

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