Hoopster Duckett wins the Devon Coast to Coast Ultra

And here's his race report:

"I signed up to Devon Coast to Coast (DC2C) fairly last minute – about three weeks before the start… I’d been training hard since January for another event which frustratingly (though after 2020 I really should have learned to expect this by now…) had been postponed to later in the year!


Not wanting good training to go to waste I started looking around and made a last minute decision to sign up to DC2C - I loved the idea of travelling 117 miles from Devon’s South coast to the North, taking in both Dartmoor and Exmoor in one ‘run’, however was less keen on the 4,500m+ elevation gain! The last time I’d been to Dartmoor was 2007 (back in the day for my Silver D of E Award) and when checking the event out I distinctly remembered how bleak the landscape was and how the weather rapidly changed from bright sun to heavy rain (and back!) within minutes. It’s safe to say that Dartmoor hasn’t changed…


The event start window was 6am-8am, with participants asked to self-seed based on their predicted finish time: bad memories of Dartmoor flashed back and having been watching the weather all week I knew it was going to be pretty soggy under-foot! This combined with not having been on the route before left my hopes of a ‘quick’ finish pretty low: I estimated a predicted finish time of around 30hrs and left at 7am.


Setting off feeling (and looking!) much fresher than the next Coast…


The first portion of the route up to Dartmoor was good under-foot and, not wanting good ground or daylight to go to waste, I decided to run whilst I could! I made it to the second aid station running with the leading lady and our pace surprised both ourselves and the organisers! We arrived at the second aid station before it was properly set up, but thankfully were able to grab half a Cornish pasty (god I love ultra aid-stations) before setting back off!

Celebrating finding my first navigational flag – about 35k into the race…


Some epic Dartmoor climbs before things got bad…


The weather took a turn for the second half of Dartmoor - whilst it had been showering most of the morning, I got up to Hameldown Tor, 61kms into the race, and the temperature dropped and hail started coming down hard – like painfully hard! Progress was slow, I was freezing and getting pummelled by hail. I decided I’d quickly stop to put on more layers, which turned out to be a bad decision: I put on literally everything I was carrying but on trying to clip my pack back up my fingers wouldn’t work – I couldn’t clip it back up!


After a good 5 minutes of messing around with fiddly clips I gave up, wrapped my jacket up around it and just ran as fast as I could to try to get warm again! Thankfully I made it to the next aid station pretty quickly - the food on offer here consisted purely of homemade baked cakes (best thing about ultras really is the aid stations…) which, whilst it definitely didn’t fit into my fuelling plan, was perfect emotional refuelling…

Soggy off of Dartmoor


After Dartmoor came ‘the bit between Dartmoor and Exmoor’ – which consisted of a 7km detour (multiple people who were eagerly watching the tracker rung me to tell me I’d gone off course!) followed by 45km of wiggly trails and farmers fields to be navigated in the dark.


In the light the fields were bad enough, mainly because of overly aggressive cows blocking the route, however in the night the navigation was tough – the path wasn’t clear and picking the right line across the field wasn’t easy – tiredness was setting in and I was kicking myself with the amount of time I was wasting