With only 4 weeks to go until the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race (DBR), training will have intensified for many of this year’s participants.
One athlete who is taking part for the first time this year is Sandra Mastropietro.
An impressive career to date, Sandra is a freelance journalist for various running magazines. Two years ago, she published her first book, “Runner Life”. In the outdoors, 2016 and 2017 saw her successfully finish the GORE-TEX Transalpine Run, with 2018 her personal highlight being completing the Zugspitz-Ultratrail: 102Km around the Zugspitze and the Wetterstein Mountains.
Now, ready for a new challenge, the all-round epic social influencer is swapping the German hills for the Welsh mountains. As we near DBR, we caught up with Sandra whilst she was training.
What made you enter the Dragons Back Race 2019?
Well, that’s a tricky question. I guess, after finishing the Transalpine Run three times in a row as well as 100k around Germany’s highest Mountain “Zugspitze” and 100 miles in the beginning of 2019, I was Looking for a new challenge. I was curious for something I never experienced before, and there it was: Dragon’s Back Race.
Beautiful Landscapes ahead, a great course, sleeping in tents and self-supported on the course – that sounds exactly like the adventure I was looking for.
Have you competed here before?
Not the Dragon’s Back Race, no. My only multiple stage race I’ve participated in before is the Gore-Tex Transalpine run.
It is safe to say it has left me hungry for more.
When did you start training and how is it going?
I keep increasing my mileage on a reasonable level for years now – trying to have foresight.
In Summer 2018, I finished my first 100k with 5500 meters of ascent and I felt so well and still full of power after finishing, that I just wanted more. This led me to sign up for a 164k race with 6700 meters of ascent – which I successfully completed as well.
I guess that makes a good basis for DBR training. I’ve continuously kept the Dragon in the forefront of my mind and been actively training since February.
Sandra taking a moment whilst training to enjoy the scenery.
Have you set yourself any goals to achieve during the race?
I want to enjoy this adventure as much as possible.
For me, the taking part is not about the position I finish, or the rewards from completing the race – I simply want to gain as much as possible from the experience as possible and meet like minded people along the way.
Do you have a piece of kit that you wouldn’t start a race like this without?
My Berghaus Coffee Mug! Without coffee, the day just doesn’t start right [haha]. Other than a strong dose of caffeine, I am in love with my fancy hooded fleece jacket.
What keeps you motivated when participating in a race of this kind?
My motivation comes from new experiences. I feel most motivated when I am pushing myself outside my comfort zone; I believe it is this that makes an individual grow.
Physically and mentally.
Would you say you have any barriers to overcome during training or the race?
[Sandra laughs] Yes! I am a social media freak and there won’t be 24/7 access to the internet.
Probably even worse: impossibility to charge my phone!
What advice would you give to anyone considering entering a race of this kind?
- Ensure you have multiple stage race experience
- Read the instructions
- Know the conditions well before signing up!
DBR is a very tough one!
During the race (20-25 May 2019), Berghaus will be providing live updates of the race, so make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Instagram to check in and see how Sandra fairs throughout the race.
Sandra and her dog, a very able helper for training motivation!