Ok, it's getting pretty real now. Last Sunday I was out in Snowdonia with six other 2015 Dragon Race competitors, and it suddenly feels like the race is just around the corner. Whilst I'm busy prepping myself for the race it was good to spend some time with other DBRacers.
This was a special edition of our 'Mountain Running Skills' course, but based in Wales and aimed solely at Dragon's Back racers.
Choosing to meet at Pen-y-Pass YHA, we enjoyed one or two 'brews' in the warmth of The Snug as the weather did it's best to discourage us from going outside at all. After a very wide ranging and interesting discussion on all things 'DBR', mountains, food, trails, compasses maps, amd drybags it was time to get outside.
The plan was to run around to Tryfan and back over the Glyders. The run out was Ok, but we suffered quite a battering on Tryfan with gusts requiring us to get low down and hold on tight on the scramble up and down the South Ridge.
Back at Bwlch Tryfan, it was obvious that conditions would be very challenging on Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach, and it was getting colder. Overall, it was a good test of differing shoes and clothing, as well as a reminder that good 'hill-skills', navigation and 'SMJ' is just as important as physical fitness for this or any mountain running event.
Suffice to say we retraced our steps in thick 'clag' and retreated back to The Snug for some more brews, and more race banter.
It was an interesting day. I'd like to thank all six on this recce / skills course for their input. We aired many an issue for the DBR race, talked about kit, strategy and tactics, and a lot about us, the runner and how we control our race and emotions.
Remember; 'Day Two is the Toughest' and then it gets harder.
I'd also like to thank Steve at Pen-y-Pass YHA for his hospitality as well as Berghaus and Shane for staging the Dragon's Back Race for a third time.
NAV4 Adventure offer a number of tuition and coaching sessions. 'MRS' is our one day course, and we have a weekend 'Mountain Running Essentials running twice a year, with the next one on 9-11th October. Alternatively much of my work is delivered on a 'One-One' or small group basis by arrangement, and includes a full range of running and mountaineering activities. Further details can be found on the NAV4 Adventure website.