Over 200 runners from 24 nations have this morning embarked on what is billed as the toughest five-day mountain run in the world, the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race. Staged only three times before, in 1992, 2012 and 2015, the event has acquired near mythical status in the adventure racing and ultra-running community.
The original Dragon’s Back Race took place in September 1992 and entered running folklore for its extreme difficultly and surprise female winner. After a 20-year absence, Shane Ohly revived the event in 2012, an event that saw Helene Whitaker (neé Diamantides), the 1992 winner alongside Martin Stone, return and take fourth position with an incredible performance.
The 2017 field departed from the courtyard of Conwy Castle and will follow a 315k route that follows the mountainous spine of Wales from Conwy Castle in the north, to Carreg Cennen Castle in the south. This will amount to an ascent of roughly 15,500m across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain.
Those likely to mount a challenge this year include the current title-holder Jim Mann, who completed the 2015 race with a total time of just over 40 hours. Irish runner Carol Morgan, 2017 female champion (and current record holder) at the gruelling Montane Spine Race, is also likely to be in contention, while Joe Faulkner is aiming to be the only person to complete every race since it was first held in 1992.
You can follow the progress of each competitor thanks to live tracking, while regular updates will be made on the event’s social media channels.