Morning four of the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race was a busy one as camp was broken down and the runners set off – in a variety of directions.
The majority left to run day 4, into the Elan Valley and across some of the most remote country in Wales. It is another 71km and the forecast is for it to be very hot again.
One of the top women runner’s Carol Morgan, set off at a really fast pace, but some time later she came back into the start area! It looked like she had set off the wrong way and come back for directions.
Others too were wandering as the trackers showed a large group of runners on the first hills descending into a very remote valley, well off the route. It looked like a classic ‘follow my leader’ case, where the leader does not really know where they are going! (With more runners in this race that has happened a lot.)
Keep up with the live GPS tracking to spot runners' route choices/errors/tactical wins
After his bad day yesterday defending champion Jim Mann was raring to go. He seemed to have recovered well and was jumping up and down in the start tent saying, “I want to go, I just want to go!”
He was being held at the start for a while because it was clear he was ‘on a mission’ and out for a fast time, and the race had to be sure their logistics were in place. He was clearly very focussed on what he needed to do today, and my questions about his recovery while he waited were answered with ‘Yeah good.” ...
He had other things on his mind, specifically running fast enough to regain the lead off Marcus Scotney who is now 26 minutes ahead of him. It is going to be some race to the finish now between these two.
Other competitors were gathering in the mess tent at 07.30 for the race to arrange transport and around 50 people were split into three groups; those going to the nearest train station to get back home, those going to the next camp, and those going to support point to run a shorter day. It is a complex logistical exercise and took some sorting out. There were hugs and tears as friends who had arrived together, and those who had become friends over the past few days, separated and went their separate ways.
It isn’t easy to assemble exact figures as to who is doing what, but as of last night 138 runners from the 230 starters were still on the full course. Will 50% finish ... we have 2 more days and then we will know.