Author Topic: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.  (Read 510 times)

Slogger

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Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« on: 16:42:36, 21/09/17 »
I took part in the Offas Dyke Ultra race starting last Friday at 8pm. Nowhere near fit for racing but having secured a free entry due to volunteering last year I decided to start and see what happens.
It was a much smaller entry compared to it's inaugural event last year, which is unusual, perhaps word had got round regarding it's toughness.
8pm and go! I made sure of being last through the start line. Half a dozen at the back were quickly left behind and i joined and worked my through until I settled.
Running! I had not run for more than 3 miles for some time and those short runs of only about three in the previous 2 months.
I could see and recognise some of these around me and thought what the hell am I doing in their company. I must have been panicking not wanting to be left too far behind, but the truth was that this smaller field by numbers was a more elitist than last year, there were no 'fun' runners.
It turned out that one of the guys that was around me for a good many miles ended up winning the race, I had set off and maintained the first 12 miles far too fast, I had not run that distance in one stretch in over 10 years and this time with a 6kg pack on my back.
I was happy with my position until i missed a turn and several went through in front of me before i returned to the route.
This happened again after the first CP at Monmouth, which meant I did an extra 2 miles in a circle and when back again on route was now absolutely last!
Running I saw headtorches in front and regained 6 places.
Pandy CP in and out, another error and passed again by two guys who I never caught.
Hay on Wye CP at 52 miles which I reached in 17 hours, before carrying on.
The extreme undulations of this route, mostly steep in ascent and descent and my fast early pace were now playing havoc with my quad muscles, especially on descent. I knew that if i pushed on beyond Kington CP I would slow dramatically with no chance of finishing within the 90 hour limit for the 185 miles.
I retired at Kington 67 miles, which I reached 21 hours.
I had been the first over 70 years to enter this race but failed to be its same finisher.
I was eventually transported to Montgomery and repatriated with my drop bag.
Having thought that i was unlikely to finish I built in a contingency that would allow me to carry on at my own non race pace.
After a full days rest there I set off at 5.30am and reached a few miles beyond Chirk Mill after 38 miles, where I found a B&B.
Continuing on the following day at 6.30am, as I approached Frontisylte Aqueduct I switched my phone on to take a photo when i noticed a text from my wife. her brother who had been ill for some time had taken a turn for the worse and things looked bleak. That was the end of my race/walk.
I managed to arrange a taxi which took me to Prestatyn where I had left my car.
I saw the last two racers finish then I was off for the drive home.
We are going back to Montgomery tomorrow to collect my drop bag which I had left at the Dragon Hotel.

sussamb

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Re: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« Reply #1 on: 18:31:07, 21/09/17 »
Sorry to hear about your wife's brother Dave, hope his prognosis is good, but thanks for posting about the event.  Having walked Offa's Dyke last year I certainly wouldn't want to run it!!
Where there's a will ...

Slogger

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Re: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« Reply #2 on: 20:56:47, 21/09/17 »
Thanks Sussamb, I walked the OD around 20 years ago over 11 days, I had forgotten just how tough it really is.

tonyk

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Re: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« Reply #3 on: 13:38:54, 24/09/17 »
 Sounds like a good race.Just a bit surprised at the small field but perhaps its down to these kind of events springing up all over the place and people only having so much in the way of  disposable income.

 Sorry to hear about your wife's brother.I hope he pulls through.

rural roamer

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Re: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« Reply #4 on: 15:56:26, 02/10/17 »
Well done for getting as far as you did Dave. I'm surprised we managed to walk it in 12 days if you took 11, I always think of you doing walks much faster than us!
It is tougher than some people think.  On our PW last year, just about all walkers we met were well prepared for the conditions and how tough it would be.  Offas Dyke there seemed to be more shall we say "weekend walkers" about and a lot of them didn't realise there were a lot of ups and downs and quite a few got caught out on a very bad day in the Black Mountains.

Slogger

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Re: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« Reply #5 on: 18:09:27, 05/10/17 »
Rural Roamer, we took 11 days because the guy I was with didn't like setting out early and finishing late which you have to do to get the miles in. After our next walk the WHW, we haven't done any more together as it was clear we wanted different things out of our walks. Myself, further faster, he, shorter slower. He took up his pipe and slippers too early for my liking and got an allotment, absolutely not my thing.
During my walk after retiring from the race, I met up with a group of 8 Americans, along the flat area next to the river Severn before Clenymynech. The were taking a full two weeks to walk between Knighton, where they started to Prestatyn.

tonyk

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Re: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« Reply #6 on: 09:02:50, 06/10/17 »
. Myself, further faster, he, shorter slower. He took up his pipe and slippers too early for my liking and got an allotment, absolutely not my thing.


 Is that Malc who completed the Spine race?

gunwharfman

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Re: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« Reply #7 on: 12:00:14, 06/10/17 »
There seems to be so many races and other events competing with each other these days. One of my neighbours daughters spent well over a 100 recently, to crawl through mud, yep mud! Car parking, secure area for clothes, fee to be allowed into the mud, etc. If its your 'thing' I can suggest how you can do it for free, just ask and I'll guide you to the mud that I know!

I know I'm getting old but also, why do people pay out money to go to the gym, my 'gym' is in the woods in my local area, totally underused, steep hills, running on the flat, uphill, downhill, off road, on road, lifting logs, swinging on branches, climbing trees, even a couple of ropes to climb up, all for FREE!

While I'm here, why do people spend good money on pay TV, Sky, Virgin and the like? Now that one really beats me!?!  :o

Slogger

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Re: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« Reply #8 on: 20:04:03, 06/10/17 »
Mud no, not my thing, but sometimes you just can't avoid it. That event you describe sounds like one of the Tough Mudder, or Total Warrior events, follow on's from Tough Guy.
Yes just about all long distance routes have Ultra races along them now, and cost. Spine race 775.. Dragons back around 1,000 and cape Wrath 1,200.. but cheap compared to the Marathon De Sables in the Sahara Desert at around 3,500

Slogger

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Re: Offas Dyke Ultra Race.
« Reply #9 on: 20:08:30, 06/10/17 »
Is that Malc who completed the Spine race?

No Tony not Malc, he's worse than me now. He completed the Munro's inside of 3 years, would have done them in 2 but for 2 Achilles operations during that time. Now almost completed the Corbetts. He finished the Spine 2015 and this year. I think he's trying to pack them all in before he gets too old! Still a youngster at 56 years.