Chris’ winter training was severely hindered by the arrival of his newborn child, and the effects were clear at an early stage in the race. He was the last person to exit Bernie’s Brambles and tripped over a tree root in an attempt to catch up the rest of the pack. By the time he encountered the first hill he was struggling to manage his breathing. He turned back to base 2 miles in to retrieve his asthma pump, got lost and was later found wandering the countryside by local ramblers.
Lesson: Plan to conceive a child so that birth does not clash with DMBSRC training. July/August is ideal, for an April/May birth.
Peter Blackwood : DMBSRC I
Peter’s training was strangely dominated by heavy weight lifting, with unnecessary focus on building up his biceps. Bent over due to the weight of his arms, Peter was forced to adopt a ‘neanderthal’ running style, his hands brushing the ground as he made his way through the course. Unsurprisingly, Peter fell behind early into the challenge. Eclipsed by other heavily built runners such as Jim Scott and Anthony Martin, he joined CM to form the now infamous Team Deadwood, less than 2 miles into the challenge. Rumours of the two wrestling in the woods after a navigation disagreement are unconfirmed.
Lesson: Cardio training must take priority over weights training. Big arms – although impressive in the shower – are better suited to showboating events such as Tough Mudder and Men’s Health.
‘Rabbit’ Warren: DMBSRC II
Rabbit relied solely on weekly South Gower rugby training to get him through the race and seriously misjudged the challenge. Despite a valiant effort he said goodbye to the DMBSRC Back Marshals at the 7 mile mark. Aside from weak training, he was also hindered by poor clothing, namely baggy jogging bottoms which weighed over 20kg when wet, and plimsolls which caused a series of falls – Rabbit running up Horse’s hill in sopping wet attire was one of the greatest achievements of this illustrious event.
Lessons: Rugby, football or other high intensity sports, will not provide sufficient endurance levels. It is essential you conduct some long distance running in training. Clothing is also important – please consider sea submersions and muddy terrain when selecting your attire for the day.
Tim Steele: DMBSRC III
Probably the most interesting entry, Tim entered DMBSRC III as one of the favourites for the title. He had trained for 8 months in the Brecon Beacons, and climbed Kilimanjaro only two months before the event. He had not, however, prepared for the icey cold sea submersions, and this proved to be his undoing. After cruising the first part of the course, Tim came unstuck in the first sea entry. Adopting the controversial ‘squat and lower’ technique the shock to the system caused him to freeze in position. To observers he looked like he had taken the opportunity to relieve himself, but it was clear that this wasn’t the case 3 minutes later. Unable to move, he was dragged to shore by back-marshall Jon Shoulder, and despite jelly-legging for the next mile, dropped out with 2 miles to go.
Lesson: Try and build some cold-water tolerance into your training. We recommend a weekly cold shower, or wading through your local river/stream mid-run.
Clyde Machete: DMBSRC IV
A determined effort by Clyde saw him fail at the base of Long Hill just over 3 miles in. He was collected in a near hyperthermic wheeze by an elderly group of ramblers (rumoured to be the same ramblers who rescued Team Deadwood three years before). He later revealed his training schedule was made up of a weekly helping of two spin sessions, bums and tums and a 6k light jog.
Lessons: Training must replicate DMBSRC – distance and intensity – as much as possible. Bums and tums – although impressive in the shower – will not get you through the challenge.
Jez Grimforest: DMBSRC IV
Jez’s failure at the DMBSRC IV event was part self inflicted and part sabotage. Heavy boozing in Wind Street, Swansea Centre on Friday night, which didn’t finish until 3 am, severely impeded his ability to run. The evil Cernie Hughes also encouraged him to take an alternative (much longer) route.
Lessons: Pre-event drinking should be avoided at all costs – it will limit your physical ability and will make you more susceptible to evil manipulation. Course direction should only be taken from official DMBSRC marshalls.
Dave Queensland: DMBSRC IV
A great performance in DMBSRC III saw Dave rest on his laurels, put on 4.5 stone and fail DMBSRC IV in embarrassing fashion. 8 miles in he needed assistance to get off the route from a passing group of ramblers who provided him with Lembus bread to give him with the energy to get back to base.
Lesson: Do not rely on previous successes to get you through the race. Ask a friend to give honest advice on weight gain.
Dicky Spouse: DMBSRC IV
The only man to fail 2 DMBSRCs. No training and a complete disregard for pre-run nutrition saw Rich in 2013 the first man to be assisted by the Rob Tovey safety van.
Lesson: Consider nutrition before running – we recommend 48 hours of carb-loading (pasta,rice) and a light breakfast (porridge, slice of toast) on the day. Consult a psychologist if you are prone to delusional thinking.
Cernie Hughes: DMBSRC IV
Despite being a regular on the UK Marathon Circuit his pride and self confidence was his undoing. Ignoring advice on hill training and pre-race sensibility, coupled with poor running attire, saw Ceri struggling (and disrobing) 4 miles in. Once behind the Marshals he elected to ruin Jez Grimforest’s day rather than focus on catching the peloton. His semi-naked state was noticed by local ramblers, and it was only the opportune appearance of Rob Tovey’s safety van that prevented a night in the cells.
Lesson: Training on a flat track e.g. road-running or the Swansea 10k is not sufficient – hill training is essential. Clothing – however inappropriate – should not be removed (unless you are in the Pwll Du naturist section of the run).