Dragon’s Back Race less than a week away

Next week I’ll be taking part in the Dragon’s Back Race, one of the world’s toughest mountain races. The event takes place over six days, starting Monday 6th Sept at Conwy Castle, North Wales and finishing in Cardiff Castle.

The full Dragon’s Back route from Conwy to Cardiff

The route is 236 miles in length with over 17,400m of climb (twice the height of Everest!) and covers the whole of Wales from north to south, crossing three mountain ranges – Snowdonia, the Cambrian Mountains and the Brecon Beacons. Route highlights include day one which takes in the Carneddau and Glyder ranges, then tough scrambles up Tryfan and Crib Goch before a climb to the Snowdon summit, then day five includes a full traverse of the Brecon Beacons.

I’ve been running ultras for nearly ten years now and have so far run almost 50 ultras ranging from 30 to over 100 miles. This is definitely the biggest challenge I have ever taken on. I genuinely don’t know if I will make it the whole way, but I’ll give it 100% as this race means a lot to me. I have been training hard despite covid restrictions and completed seven trips to Wales so far this year to recce the route and get used to the tough climbs and terrain. It has been amazing to experience the landscapes, incredible variety of terrain and relentless climbs(!) that the journey entails. I’ve seen Pen y Fan at sunrise, Cadair Idris at midnight, bivvyed 630m up Drygarn Fawr near Elan and been spellbound by the remoteness and beauty of the Cambrian mountains. I love Wales. Words that spring to mind are WOW, EPIC and IMMENSE! This is going to be one hell of a rollercoaster ride. I can’t wait to get started now!

Near the summit of Cadair Idris

The media coverage on this event is excellent. The organisers post daily video updates on Youtube and Facebook and there are live webcams at the finish points. More details on the route and the race itself can be found on the Dragon’s Back website.

While the race is on, you can send ‘Dragon Mail’ to support your runner. These messages are given to each competitor as they finish each day and provide a much-needed mental boost at the end of a tough day. Details of how to send Dragon Mail will be posted on the race website over the next couple of days together with links for the live tracking and race results. My race number is 105.

Race website: https://www.dragonsbackrace.com/

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/DragonsBackRace-RasCefnYDdraig

Pen y Fan at sunrise

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