In short: Once you have been bitten by the Dartmoor Discovery you'll keep coming back for more! In full: Firstly, my thanks to the Teignbridge Trotter for taking on the race from Phil Hampton, and having organised a superb event this year. They have retained the integrity and spirit of the race but with an increased but manageable numbers of competitors.
It was revealing that there were over 90 debutants that finished this gruelling run, although there were the usual high proportion of returnees (like myself) turning up for more pain (we had obviously suppressed the memory from previous years!).
If in doubt, then I say give the DD a crack. Don't go into it half-heartedly though as it will batter you into submission. However, with a few marathons under your belt, and a generous helping of hill work (descents as well as ascents) will make the undertaking less torturous and more rewarding.
This is an epic event, the sole surviving road ultra race in the UK, and it is important that it remains on the racing calendar. The four major hills are majestic as well as intimidating - I love hills but had to walk the Dartmeet and post-Ashburton ones just to reserve some energy for the many tough miles still awaiting to wage war against me and my fellow runners. However, the glorious (if warm) weather, the breath-taking scenery, the wildlife (the mini-stampede of donkeys (unless my eyes were deceiving me) was a magical sight and took my mind off the pain)), and all the enthusiastic people from organisers, marshals, supporters and competitors added key ingredients to an unfortgettable day.
A very happy though sore runner. Thanks to all. Date of review: June 8, 2011
In short: Well done Trotters In full: This is the sixth time I have completed this race, with the Teignbridge Trotters taking over the organisation for the first time this year.
Clearly doing it six times means I am either stupid or a fan. Actually I am both.
A race that should be considered by anyone who can run a marathon in about 4 1/2 hours or quicker.
This year was very tough because of the weather, and with a race this hard this will be a key factor. Others have mentioned the terrain and weather and I wont repeat their comments
I really wanted to post a comment about the new organisers. I think they have managed the neat trick of bringing a fresh feel to the race but also preserving all the strenghts of the original one - thats a difficult feat.
I must say that the medal and the tee shirt are really first class - one of the best I have seen, which is fitting because you earn them!!
I did think that there semed to be more issues with the traffic this year - whether that was due to the heat and more tourists or, around the bridges, the possible inexperience of the new stewards I am not sure. It certainly was not a problem, and I know just how tough a job the stewards do. Managing traffic is a tough and unrewarding job; its not a criticism just a note.
That aside everything was first class - well stocked drinks stations, fanatastic stewards, good support, lots of support cars and a good finish (and a great start).
Even though I love this race, as its so hard, every year I say its my last. Not this time; I am already planning for next year. That tells you everything. Date of review: June 6, 2011
In short: Very, very hilly and very hot. In full: Wonderfully organised race. Great place to run, although the last 6 miles along the main road were a bit unpleasant with cars coming past when you are feeling exhausted. I had done loads of training in the previous 7 months since I entered, but the hills of the first half caught up with me and I hit the wall at 20 miles (Widecombe) and then got steadily worse! I was very envious of those who were still running steadily around the 30 mile mark, my legs were cramping after 50 yards of running. Date of review: June 6, 2011
In short: Expect to hurt, but the pain is worth it! In full: Superbly organised, friendly yet very challenging race. This was my first ultra and with the non-stop hills and blazing hot sun, I found it hard going from about mile 17 onwards (only just past half way, terrific!) but the support on route and friendly and encouraging marshalls got me through to the end. The magazine warns of 4 hills but in reality the whole course is either a climb or a descent - pretty relentless. But the scenery does help to distract you from the pain! Lots of information prior to race day and great after-care at race HQ (massage, lovely food, kind ladies offering you a chair to sit on!) My only one tiny comment that might help to improve the personal drinks stations is to maybe have the drinks arranged in runner's numerical order. Two of the stations could not find my drinks and so I had to run on without them. This is only a very minor issue though and the water stations were so plentiful and well stocked, it didn't make a difference. Thank you Trotters, I'll be back next year... by when I will hopefully be able walk again! Date of review: June 6, 2011
In short: Epic In full: Stunning race. Could write a book on this so will keep it short. Time didn't matter on this one, Getting round is an achievement in itself. Stunning scenery. Open moorland, wooded valleys, Ponies, cows, sheep, babbling brooks....Hills !!!! Ample water stations. Supporters fantastic, granted few and far between but mainly due to location. Some may find my beginner friendliness rating high but you know what is coming up so if you do the training you'll love it - It will also make other events seem a lot easier Date of review: June 6, 2011