The Preseli Dip-Dab mountain trial.

So, what the ‘eck’s the Preseli Dib Dab? Well, It’s a mountain trial event on the lovely Preselis, Pembrokeshire on Saturday 25th June 2022. What’s a mountain trial? It’s like an orienteering event where you get given a marked map at the start line, and you have to navigate your own way to various checkpoints/controls. No waymarkers, no arrows, just you, the map, and the hills. This is also a staggered start event, so you can’t even follow the runner in front as they may be on a differnt course to the one you’ve entered!!! The staggered starts also helps prevent the  possibility of covid transmission. It ain’t a good idea to follow runners anyway for two reasons. There are three different length courses, and you don’t even know if the person in front is running the same course as you!!! The event is entirely off-road, with possibly some road crossings!

First runners can start at 10am, with last runner heading off at 11am. 2 minute staggered starts between runners/pairs. Yes, you can run as a pair if you want. Just let us know. There will be a 4pm cut off at the finish! Please be back by this time, even if you have not completed the course!

Local knowledge will be useful, but not essential…….as long as you can navigate. All competitors will need to adhere to WFRA rules in regards to compulsory kit. Full length waterproof top and bottoms, gloves, container to carry water, compass, hat, whistle, and fell or off-road shoes suitable for rough off-road ground.  In addition to the long and medium course participants, you must also carry an emergency survival bag(not a single use foil blanket!), and it is also advisable to carry a small 1st aid kit in case. All participants must also carry a waterproof pen/pencil for marking their map if they so wish.

Long- Approx 17miles/1170m of climb. Tough and rough, but scenic and beautiful. Put your big boy(or girl) pants on for this one! This race/distance is a counter in the South Wales fell champs!

Medium – Approx 10miles/820m of cimb Not as tough, but still tough enough if you’re not use to the Preselis and this is your first event of this kind. Don’t be fooled by the distance!

Short – Approx 6miles/ 534m of climb  Easiest, but still testing. Mostly on better tracks, but some controls will be on the fells. Controls are easier to find….bar one or two cheeky ones maybe! Suitable for novices and children will be allowed with an accompanying adult.

Details of where the event centre will be located will be given out approx 1 week before the race. You’ll need to be self sufficient out on the open fells, but there will be some refreshments at the end. There will be no aid/water stations out on course, but there will be first aid station at a location marked on the map. The map will also have my contact number should you need urgent assistance, not for asking where you are! lol Regarding water, there’s plenty available from good water courses on the hill……………which is fresh and free!

Mandatory Kit– You’ll need to carry the following as a minimum.- Full waterproof top and bottoms with taped seams; sufficent food for the duration of your intended course; compass; mobile device to record the route on the maprun6 app; water container; long sleeved top(if you wear this at the start, then it’s fine); a small first aid kit; emergency bivvy(not just a foil blanket); whistle; gloves; hat; fell or suitable off-road trainers; a suitable running backpack to carry everything in(apart from the trainers which you should be wearing!); waterproof pen/pencil.

The Map– A minute or so before you start you’ll be given a bespoke(love that word) A3 waterproof map in OS form detailing all the control points. You won’t need to visit all these control points, even if doing the Long!

When you actually start, depending on what distance you are running you will be given a separate control sheet, listing the controls you need to visit.  You need to find these controls on your map, and if you so desire mark these on the map. I certainly would.

My original plan was to use old fashioned punches, but this would have meant all runners holding/touching the punches. This would not meet covid guidelines. Therefore this event is being checked by utilising the maprun app, and you would need to download this app onto a suitable mobile device before the day. For more information on using the maprun app, check their website. Basically your mobile will beep when you reach the correct location of where the control is on the map. Simples!!! You will also see a simple map on your app with the controls on there. Once you reach the control the control on the app will turn from pink to green. Therefore you’ll see which controls you’ve visited.

According to which distance you take part in, you will have to visit each control in the order given. You will need a waterproof marker/pen to mark which controls you need to visit on the map, and you can also mark your preferred route on the map. Many runners will spend a few minutes after starting doing all this on the ground before actually running. This way you can easily see when you’re on the move with your map conveniently folded. On the map will also be a description of what the control will look like. It could be a fence corner, a gully, a stream, a sheepfold, etc. It’s worth familiariasing yourself with various descriptions of where controls could be.

Although I won’t actually need to put any markers out on the course, I may still do this as there’s nothing nicer than actually seeing something you’re actually looking for.  These controls will be marked by a red and white orienteering kite(as below), and will be near to an obvious feature, eg-stream, track bend, gate, fence, boulder/s, cairn, etc. Just make sure you’re at the right one!


Or like this

Not like these kites!!!-

Want to run it? Then get entering! Click here- Shop, and scroll down to one the DipDabs of your choice.

Your start time will be emailed out to entrants approx one week before race day, as well as last minute instructions on where the start/parking is! On the day, your name will be called out just prior to your start time. Although this can change as the day goes on.

There will be ample car parking, but possibly no facilities!!!

If travelling from away, then please check out the places to stay page here.

Don’t bother reading below, this is what would have been! I’m leaving it there as I might revert to using punches in the future.

To save on costs, the event will be old fashioned, in that we’ll be using the good old punches instead of electronic dibbers. These punches will be tied to  kites, and look like these-

If you notice on the punch, you’ll see small metal pins. The position of these pins perforate your paper control sheet in a certain shape. This is how you prove to us at the finish that you have visited that particular control. Each control will have a different punch leaving a different shaped perforation. According to which control your at, make sure to punch the control sheet in the correct box! ie- If you’re at control AH, then punch the AH control sheet box. Simple really!!! And whatever you do, do not put your fingers in the punch to see how much it can make you bleed! You will not get any extra points, or cake!

The control sheet- Will look similar to this, but bigger if you’re doing the longer course!

So, are you ready to be Dib-dabbed? Then put the date in diary. In the meantime put the Preseli Beast(or other races down on the calendar. 😉

This will be a limited pre-online entry only.