Distance – 106k Time – 3hrs 45min (for 16k) Food – Cereal biscuits, potatoes, soy spread/ quinioa crackers. Position – 52 starters, 13 finishers. DNF after 16k following a fall 😦 Fantastic race and whilst it received some criticism from many runners for being too hard (to given you a clue, it took the joint winners Jo Meek, Anne-Marie Flammersfeld, and Laila Ojefelt 25hrs 55mins to compete the 65 mile course) it was an incredible adventure. Way tougher than most races you’ll find, including a lot of rock climbing, scrambling and technical descents, and a lot of bush whacking/ wading though stinging nettles. So I’m many respects it was an adventure race rather than a running race, but I hope they keep the route as is because it provides a very unique and new challenge to runners who have been there and seen the trail running circuit and want something mind blowing!! Unfortunately I left the race at 16k in, very disappointing for me, however I took a nasty fall, landed badly and hurt my left quad bad enough that running was no longer an option. So I hobbled my way out the forests to the nearest aid station (very lucky to only be half a mile away) – luckily encountering no bears, wolves or Shepard dogs we’d been warned about. One lady did come head on with a bear and survived the experience, blowing her whilst and slowly retreating! Another had been ‘attacked’ by dogs, but again came out unscathed. But the southern Carpathian mountains in Romanian are definitely a significant challenge not to be underestimated. This was Lost World Racing‘s first time in Romania Whilst there are always problems organising a race in a location like this for the first time the signage was fantastic and every effort was made for the runners by them and the supporting teams from Kullamannen and the Romanian Trail Running Association. The race HQ was in Bran, a couple of k’s from the castle featured in Bram Stockers movie Dracula. Though in reality the castle was the home of Vlad the impaler (ruler of Romania), and whilst there were many references to Vlad as ‘evil’ and other links to vampiric methods (given his penchant for displaying the killed via a spear though their body and left on display for town folk) vlad was in fact only ruler of Romania and not a blood sicking mythical Vampire! Bran Stocker wrote the ‘Dracular’ novel in 1897 without which Vlad would most limey not be known to many of us, however during Bram’s visit to Tranyslvania, he was so awestruck by the “symphony of horrors” that Vlad ensued on his people that he was able to translate this into the Dracula character within his book (photos of the castle far below). So whilst the race was an epic fail for me, I had a fantastic time and met some fantastic people… here are 10 miles worth of photos! if anyone has the other 55 miles, though would be great to see??!
Some photos of Vlad’s ‘Dracula’s’ castle.