I worked at the checkpoint at the bottom of Shining Tor, checking that the lap data was recorded on the laptop when people dipped, and occasionally pouring them a hot drink. I was in a nice heated camper van, while the runners were outside in the pouring rain. I ran/walked a lap of the course in order to replace the glow sticks, which guided the runners at night.
This race is a bit of a beast. It has a fairly strong argument for being the hardest single stage event in the UK. There were fifteen entrants, all of who had previously completed multiple 100 mile events, and only one of them finished. I think that even in the Viking Way Ultra you would likely have got more than one finisher out of that field. The course was fairly technical in places, and heavy rain made it hard going underfoot. An average speed of 3mph was enough to do it, compared to 3.7 for the Viking Way. On that basis we would expect more than one person to finish it, if it were a point to point event. I attribute the high dropout rate to the repetitive nature of the course, and the heavy rainfall on the night sections, which was remorseless.
So what if you fancy having a go next year?
Before you even fill out the entry form, go to Shining Tor and run three or four laps of the course. Success in events like the Lakeland 100 or Hardmoors 110, will not ensure success in this event, because they will not replicate the repetitive element. Just looking at this years participants, it became apparent that some handled the psychological aspects of the repetitive course better than others. There is no other race in the UK much like this, but something like the Caesars Camp 100 would probably be as good preparation as any. Alternatively a 24 hour event such as the Adidas Thunder Run, would give you an idea of how you might cope with this race format. The Cat and Fiddle public house allowed their establishment to be used, for participants to store drop bags and change wet clothes. I would strongly recommend to future entrants that they make full use of this facility, to bring a lot of spare clothing shoes and food. Being able to change into a dry set of clothes might be the difference between success and failure.
Only one person has finished this race to date, but one person at least means that there is now a formula.