Berghaus announces sponsorship for two high-profile competitors in the epic Dragon's Back trail-running race this September.
Berghaus has announced the sponsorship of two high-profile competitors in the epic Dragon's Back Race which takes place on 3-7 September 2012 and runs down the spine of Wales.
Berghaus is the headline sponsor for the race itself and has backed that up with support for Helene Whitaker (neé Diamantides) who was a winner of the original race 20 years ago and Stephen Birkinshaw, a seven times winner of the KIMM/OMM.
Kit Development Role
Not only will the pair be flying the Berghaus flag during the race, but they've also been closely involved in testing and refining a new range of Berghaus trail-running products which will be used during the race and sold commercially early next year. We've seen one of the jackets from the range and while we can't go into full details, it's definitely a distinctive and innovative design - watch this space.
'Five nice days of running in Wales'
Helene Whitaker - Helene Diamantides at the time of the original race in 1992 - was half of the first pair home along with Martin Stone. To put that in perspective, only half the competitors in the race actually finished the event. Since then Helene has married and started a family, but despite a busy working life, is still a passionate runner.
She's clearly excited about the prospect of the race, but equally aware that it's a huge challenge:
“I really want to go out and have five nice days of running in Wales. I have two aims. First, to get to the start line. Second, I would very much like to get across that finish line. Neither are foregone conclusions.
"Actually, it is very enjoyable doing long distance travelling across mountains on foot. I love being in the mountains - and deserts too for that matter – and experiencing the views, and the wilderness. I enjoy the navigational challenges and the skill of maximising my own chances. It’s hard to keep body and soul together after a time and how you eat, drink and what you wear makes all the difference.”'
'The Dragon’s Back is the perfect race for me'
Fellow Berghaus athlete Stephen Birkinshaw, meanwhile, is a veteran mountain racer, who's been competing since the age of seven and has a long list of elite victories under his belt including those seven KIMM/OMM triumphs and he's optimistic that the mix of long days and navigation will suit his talents:
“I enjoy racing against other people and I also enjoy long days running out on the fells – the rougher and longer the better. So the Dragon’s Back is the perfect race for me. There will also be a navigation element in the race - finding the best lines between the checkpoints will be very important and I really enjoy and excel at this aspect.”
The 2012 Dragon’s Back Race™ will begin at Conwy Castle on Monday, 3 September, when 100 individual competitors are expected to line up at the start. Over five days, they will cover around 200 miles, including almost 15,000 metres of ascent, finishing at Carreg Cennen Castle in south Wales.
To find out more about the event, visit www.DragonsBackRace.com. For more information about Berghaus visit www.berghaus.com.