Dartmoor Discovery

Got an email through to say entries are open, anyone else running this in June? Really good event.




  • It is not lost on me that this event sells out quickly. 

    Presumably it is well regarded by those who have participated. 

  • ChimneyChimney ✭✭✭

    Debating on doing this as my first ' Ultra '.

    Did the Picnic (26.2m 6000 foot of ascent this year on Saturday, followed by 11m in the Ridgeway relay on the Sunday so think I'm capable.

    How long am I likely to have to think about it?

    If reality matched intention I'd know I was dreaming
  • Ben - I did it for the first time this year after being recommended it by a club mate. I normally don't enter road races but I did enjoy this one. There are a lot of the local clubs that have a fair few entrants and looking at previous entry lists and the "Hall of Fame" in the magazine you get sent there are many people who return to do it year after year. I think last year was about 50/50 split between returnees and new comers.

    Chimney - It wont be an exact science but last year they updated the entry list quite regularly on the site so you will be able to tell when it is getting close to the 225 maximum if you want to delay your decision a little.

  • 108 have entered already!

    Amazing as I thought most of this years runners were first timers. I struggled through myself this year, vowed I would never do it again in June and July, then got my entry in straight away for next year!

    Until I did it this year I thought I could run it, now I know just completing it without being completely shattered will be an acheivement. Great challenge.

  • Yep, looks to be popular early on. I recognise a few names from this years race. How did you get on this year Richie?
  • Hi WiB. I thought that 5 hours was possible if not probable and it was until Widicombe. But from the marathon distance I felt I walked most of the way and finished in 5:30 ish.

     The hills of the first 20 miles really take it out of you. Next year I cannot rely on being fit for a flat marathon and then just gitting my teeth. The trouble is how to train for a race like this? Most marathons are not difficult enough. I am hoping to run the 33 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge a few weeks before as it is local to me and not too hilly. That, on top of more marathons I hope will do the job!

  • Richie, I basically followed my usual training plan but got out onto the south downs a fair bit. I was also lucky enough to do a few weekends running in the Lake District, which has no lack of hills. I didn't do much racing before hand really, London Marathon was all and that is completely flat!

    Try and find some hilly long runs that you can do, also look at incorporating some hills into your speedwork and the strength gained there will help a lot.

    I found the killer was the final drag up towards Princetown... looking forward to the next one. Hopefully just going into it a little more clued up will help!

  • So... 6 weeks away (or is it 5 now?)... Anyone else is in for this one?

  • If they ran it off road I would be in. Running around a national park just on the roads  would trash my feet and knees. If you enter and see an old bloke with two dogs running across the open moor then that will be me!

  • I'm entered for this one, will be my first ultra, starting to cack it a bit, just did a road marathon on fairly flat roads and live in the fens. Been encouraged by the positive comments on here about previous races and trying to do some hill work on the best undulations I can find. Not sure how long my long runs should be though, was thinking of forgetting the distance and doing a 4 hr run this week then maybe doing a couple more adding 30 mins on each time, any opinions on this would be appreciated.

  • I entered last year, but was unable to run.....entered again this year and like Karen (above) 'starting to cack it a bit!'......already ran Brighton this year and will be running Windermere Marathon in two weeks (treating this as a hilly training run and aiming to run steady 10mm as my intended DD pace!)...this will then give me time to taper (and worry more!)

    Karen - I think the most important thing is getting some hills in (although difficult for you I guess! - I live in York - equally hill less!)....the rest will be all in the mind! The 4 hour run should be enough, allthough that depends upon the intended mm pace you plan on.

  • Good news! More people image

    I prepared for last year with more road running than normal and a marathon about 8 weeks out. I did specific hill repeat sessions and also short intervals on the track, although you are not climbing I still found the short fast repetitions helped my leg strength for the hills. I wouldn't say any of the hills are real monsters at DD, it was actually the descents that hurt me most last year!

    My trainign or this year has been a bit different, loads of trail running image and a few weeks of injury image Will see how it goes on the day.

  • Downhill on tired / cramping legs is not good! I'll watch out for that!

  • I'm in, picked up a place via the reserve list image 
    My training has been pretty awful this year, with every obstacle placed in my way from injury to illness, work to family issues - so I'm just coming a long for a nice potter in the countryside. I will probably be the last soul home, so keep a bar stool warm for me at the Feathers image  

  • Dave - my marathon was Brighton too, had a great day.

    Feeling better tonight, did a 4 hr run this morning and made it to just short of 26 miles but that includes changing my t shirt, much to the horror of early commuters and a couple of walk breaks to get a decent drink and eat my energy bar. Was mostly concerned about finishing in time but think it might be ok especially as Wetter is Better says there are no real monster hills.

    I am on the edge of the fens so its not pancake flat and I do do hill repeats and some speedwork in a typical week. I am liking the change of mindset I have adopted, run for time not miles, not so het up about pace or stopping to walk. Would like to get close to a 5hr run beforehand but will have to see, I have shedloads of miles in the bank this year so its not vital but would help physcologically I think.

    Frodo I will never be the fastest runner so we may have to have a drink together when we finish! I never know what pace to aim for anyway, just figure 8mm is too fast, 12mm is too slow and whatever my legs will do in between that will have to do.

  • Entered this last September. I am pleased to say I am still looking forward to it! I have the 33 mile Marlborough Downs Challenge this Saturday as a training run. It will be really muddy, so when I get down to Dartmoor I must beware starting off too fast.

  • I'll be doing this.  I haven't done much hill training in the build up but I did run two marathons in April.  It can't be as hilly as the Beachy Head Marathon, which was a hell of a struggle in October and I'm just hoping to get round before the cutoff time.

    10 minute miles is going to be the plan, possibly walking up some of the steeper hills.  I really can't wait for this one.

  • I think the course record at Beachy Head is about 2:45... the course record for Dartmoor Discovery is about 3:35, 50 minutes for an extra 6 miles, so using that as an indication it looks kind of comparable to me. (3500ft of ascent on trail v 6900ft of ascent on road). I have not run Beachy Head marathon, although I have done a fair bit of training out on the 7 Sisters etc so I could be off in my estimation.

  • 6900 ft of ascent?! I was using this as a base which is far less than that. http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/19337550

    I know 616 metres (just over 2,000 ft) seems a bit less than I expected, but I'm certain I'm not prepared for double the hills of Beachy Head.  Might not be looking forward to it quite so much now!

  • Have jsut looked it up again and most places I looked seem to be saying 3800 - 4000ft of ascent. The 6900 must have been ascent and descent.

  • Not looking too good for me now sadly, some form of shin splints seems to have attacked me, lower leg and ankle swollen and it hurts to walk. Physio this week for the verdict but if I cant get a decent length run in next weekend I will have to pull out - damm thats frustrating

  • That's better WIB, and at least it forced me to put in some serious hill training.  Either way, it's not going to be easy.

    Sorry to hear that Karen.  I really hope you get some good news from the physio.

  • Done this one a couple of times and it rates high on my list of fav races..actually 2nd to my recent London to Brighton.  My advice would be, unless you intend to win, walk the hills in the first half whether you need to or not..come the last 10 miles you will  reap the rewards.  My first year I did just that and over took loads in the final stages.

    A decent walking pace up hill will get you to the top in better condition and able to push on rather than those who wear themselves out running then die a few miles later.

    Good luck..I wish I was doing it with you.


  • Good lord, thought I would check in with the doc first as my leg is very swollen, he didnt even know what a foam roller was!!!! Gave me the usual stop running speech then phoned me an hour later to say I better have an x ray. I knew there was a reason why I bypass GP's and go straight to the physio

  • mind it.s not a stress fracture

  • Dips, I know, I'm sure thats what the doc was thinking so I suppose we better rule that out before the physio starts mauling me about, not looking good I have to say but not quite given up hope yet, in truth it is fading fast though.

  • The main features of the race are the delightful countryside of Dartmoor and the associated hills. The total rise of the hills is about 1200 metres (nearly 4000 ft). Because of the hills, times are typically about 50% longer than those of a flat Marathon, even though the course is only 10 km longer than a Marathon.

    Anybody verify the 50% bit?

  • I did this for the first time last year, entering using their excellent number transfer scheme only two weeks before. As I entered it on a whim I hadn't really trained for it and just missed clipping under 6 hours. My Marathon PB is 3:48 on a relatively undulating course (relative considering Bungay is in Suffolk). So the 50% factor is probably not far off the mark.

    This year I have trained for it.

    BRING IT ON!!!

  • Dips has given good advice. I was doing fine until 20 miles and then died. You do not realise how the downhill the first few miles are, until you have to climb them again at the end. Lots of people seem to cruise past me on the main road from 26 miles onwards

    So this year I will be starting slowly, walking at Dartsmeet and taking it easy out of Ashburton. Also I will be careful not to give my legs too much of a pounding as we come off the moor after Dartsmeet. That also contributed to my cramps.

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