Dumyat Hill Race 2014

I ran the 5 mile/390m (1280ft) ascent Dumyat Hill Race again on Wednesday. This year I was taking it a bit more seriously than last. I accepted no Haribo. I ran solo, and I finished 12 minutes faster than last year.

We were aware due to the showery weather that it'd be wet on the hill, and we were pre-warned by a team member's dad who had done a recce' run that it was a bit of a mud pit at places. Bit worried this would slow everyone, and it some cases it really did.

Before the pain train.
Last year I failed to really describe Dumyat so here is the full description of the climb: We started up an incline on road, then ducked through a wall onto the forestry trails. Here this year there was a large-ass pile up, but unfortunately that can't be helped if you're a middle or back-of-pack runner. We then went into forestry trails that do have a fair amount of rolling hills before hitting a sharp, steep road turn uphill onto the actual hillside. We popped over a stile (pile up #2).

Then came the real hard climbs of the route; you have several gulleys to climb up (think rounded almost chutes of mud and tree root). These are pretty insanely angular- some are more a climb. In dry weather they are fast scramble-able; in wet weather they are 45 degree mudslides. Wednesday was the latter here, so I power walked best I could. This was the part of the course that took me into majority walking. This was also the part of the course that separated our uni team herd, cue the switch to 'I'.

Now on hillside proper, I had several rolling mounds heading upwards to try to stumble/walk/occasionally jog, whilst keeping an eye on the elderly ladies threatening to overtake me. 'Never underestimate people older than you' is hill racing rule number one. They have no fear. I then moved across onto more rolling mounds, through a flat but REALLY boggy bit (I stepped beside the fence here to go over stile 2 and went up to my knees, thank god for long socks).  This was where the front runners made a dramatic appearance, absolutely flowing downhill. The rule here is the slower one keeps out the way... that would be me.

The real last rise starts there- onto a few more rolling mud/greens for a half mile or so but also then much rockier hill at the top. I jogged round the top marker (there are two, I asked which one and the marshals shrugged and said 'either').

Then I turned around and prepared to have a great damn time on the downhill. And have a great time I did. The first rocky section was an ankle battering, but the softer rounder hills were glorious. Dumyat has to be watched though- it has a lot of random sharp descents that if you are unprepared for could put you in danger. Because I knew this , I was having a whale of a time. The hill also seems a lot more furrowed on the way down, and I did really have to watch my feet at points.

This time, I went to the far right and climbed the fence manually instead of risking what was sure to be a much deeper pit at the stile. At this point I warned some runners on the way up of the pit danger, they rewarded me by getting truly in my way on the downhill just after this stile. Guyssss, hill running rule 2- 'if you're going slower, get out the way'. I have less control over my gravitational pull than you seem to believe.

At the deep, sharp gulleys I caught up with the next runner ahead in my club. She was having big issues on these sections because of the lack of fell shoes. Apparently they ended up going down on their bums! I managed this because Inov8s are made of mountain gods and love, but even so I had to pull up to plan a course of action. Down over the stile, sudden buckle of the legs on that stupid concrete downhill curve, down through the forest trail and then, DAMNATION these trails had a downhill at the start, which means an uphill now. That blowed.

I walked a tiny bit then thought I'm too close for this and shuffled into a run again. Made it back through the wall doorway and suddenly it seemed really far to the finish line down the road. It was even round a corner which I didn't remember on the way there. I pushed but my legs didn't have much left to give. I managed a little burst on the more forgiving grass just before the finish line and finished in 71.32 (last yr 83.30). Done.

Unflattering photo but oh well, near finish line.
On assessment, I wish I had given it more on the uphill- more running as soon as was possible again after the gulleys. And I wish I had just bucked the f up on the uphill trail near the end of the race and just dealt. But I can't really argue with what is a fair improvement. Gives me a bit of hope that if I keep applying myself, I'll get there with the times and the distances and the hills. I need more calf work for sure- they bunked long before other things did!

Post race posing.

I now might do the Whangie Whizz next week... Funny how a good day makes you want to risk another!


Do you do any hill racing? Like it? Don't?


  1. Well done!! Sounds a crackin - if brutal! - run!! Love the sound of this! I adore hill running ... well after the race is finished I do - I might have a different answer halfway up the hills!! :)

    1. Thanks for your comment Sarah! I'm actually no longer doing the Whangie tomorrow, very sad! Dumyat was great though and I will do more throughout the summer :)

      I told those who were new to hill racing 'Its worth it on the way down'- thats how I feel!

  2. Great running again, you're a machine :)

    1. Thanks Paul! Glad to see your blog back on the up and up!