29 Aug

Keeping Track Of The Dragon

action from the 2012 Dragon's Back Race

The legendary Dragon’s Back Race returns next year for its third edition (22-26 June) and, with top performance outdoor brand Berghaus announced as title sponsor, the 2015 event promises to be very special.

The sponsorship deal is allowing race organiser Shane Ohly and his team at Ourea Events to introduce live tracking of the competitors over the 5 days of the event. The Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race follows the mountainous spine of Wales from Conwy Castle in the north, to Carreg Cennen Castle in the south. This incredible race is approximately 300 kilometres long with 17,000 metres of ascent across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain.

Shane Ohly said: “Berghaus provided superb support for the 2012 race and I am really delighted to be working with the team there again on the 2015 Dragon’s Back Race.  The company’s renewed support will directly allow us to improve the event in many ways but I am most excited about providing live tracking of the competitors, which will allow the public to follow the race in real time as it unfolds. It’ll be very exciting!”

Caroline Smith at Berghaus commented: “Berghaus is very proud to be associated with this incredible event.  Because of its history, the Dragon’s Back Race has an almost legendary status.  However, it is for real and we witnessed an amazing race in 2012.  The Dragon’s Back Race  was a perfect testing ground for our specialist VapourLight kit and we look forward to seeing some of our latest developments being used on the mountains of Wales next year.  In this era of immediacy thanks to social media, the addition of live tracking to the mix is very exciting.”

The original Dragon’s Back Race happened 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.

This race attracted nearly 100 entries, including many international competitors. Helen Whitaker, the 1992 winner, alongside Martin Stone, returned and incredibly she finished fourth.  Renowned adventure racer Steve Birkinshaw was the overall winner.  However, only 32 runners managed to complete the full course and the reputation of the event as one of the hardest mountain races in the world was confirmed.

The Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race will take place from 22-26 June 2015 and there are just a few days remaining before the entry application closes on Monday 8 September. If you’d like to take part, Ohly has this advice for you: “The race is very tough but not impossible to finish. We are looking for applications for the limited number of entries from runners with a combination of mountain running, ultra running and multiday experience. That said, there is a free text space on the entry application, which allows potential competitors to outline other relevant experience.”

More details at the event website.

Photograph reproduced courtesy Jon Brooke