Billed as the toughest five-day mountain run in the world, the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race tops many a runners CV. The prospect of scaling what totals 15,500m of ascent isn’t too much of a deterrent – registrations for the 2019 event are already flying with more than 350 runners signing up on the first day of entries going live.
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, a race that saw Helene Whitaker (neé Diamantides), the 1992 winner alongside Martin Stone, return and take fourth position with an incredible performance.
Scheduled for 20–24 May 2019, the Dragon’s Back covers 315km of rugged Welsh mountains 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.
Entrants must be very confident in map reading, traversing technical terrain with huge ascents and descents, adept at coping with difficult Welsh weather and just generally very good at managing themselves and their own safety.
In the lead up to 2019, organisers have added boot camp and recce weekends to assist entrants and show them what tackling the race involves: Shane Ohly, Berghaus Dragon’s Back race director, explains: “We know that a surprising number of participants come to the event underprepared, and the sole focus of these courses is to enable them to prepare with expert guidance so that they arrive in Conwy in May 2019 truly ready for one of toughest mountain races in the world.”
Further information on the Dragon’s Back Race is available here.