Whispered about with a mix of awe and trepidation, the original Dragon's Back Race is set for a return after a 20 year absence. Enjoying a near mythical status in the adventure racing community, the Dragon's Back is considered to be one of the toughest mountain running events with competitors tackling a course approximately 320km long.
Closely following the original route, competitors will depart from Conwy Castle in North Wales and trace the mountainous spine of Wales southwards over five days to finish at Carreg Cennen Castle in the Brecon Beacons. The race, which starts at 7am on Monday 3 September, will entail an ascent totalling 15,000m across some of the most remote and wild terrain the country has to offer.
The 1992 race saw Martin Stone and Helene Diamantides completed the gruelling 5 days of running in 38 hours and 38 minutes. The pair beat the top British and US mountain runners, three times Spartathlon winner Rune Larsson, and Stefan Schlett, the world's most prolific endurance runner, to victory. Of the 32 pairs who started the race, only 16 finished.
Just like the first event, this year's Dragon's Back Race has attracted a strong international field with competitors coming from 14 different countries, including Hong Kong, New Zealand, USA, Australia and Canada. Four participants from the original race, including Helene Diamantides (now Whitaker), will be competing on Monday.
More information on the 2012 Dragon's Back Race, which is sponsored by Berghaus, is available on the event website.