Epic Dragon's Back Welsh mountain stage race to be sponsored by Berghaus.
Berghaus has announced that it is to sponsor the legendary Dragon's Back Race, an extraordinary, multi-day, mountain-running stage race which runs down the spine of Wales and has been held only once before, back in 1992.
The race achieved cult status in the fell-running and adventure-racing community in a mythical unicorn sort of way and features in Richard Askwith's brilliant fell-running book, Feet In The Clouds.
Now it's been revived by serial racer and race organiser Shane Ohly, with a view to turning it into an annual event, so it's great to see Berghaus putting its considerable muscle behind it.
What Is The Dragon's Back?
What is the Dragon's Back all about? Well, its first and only running took place back in September 1992 with 32 pairs of runners taking on the gruelling five-day challenge. Only half of the entrants completed the course and the race was won by Helene Diamantides and Martin Stone.
Some 20 years later, the second running of the race remains broadly faithful to the original concept and is set to follow the original course very closely, starting from Conwy Castle in the north and tracing the mountainous spine of Wales southwards, over five days, with approximately 200 miles and 45,000 feet of ascent, to finish at Carreg Cennen Castle. It will, however, be run in full colour rather than the sepia-tinted black and white of the original.
Ohly, the driving force behind the race, had an engaging glint in his eyes, when he talked to us about the Dragon's Back revival in Germany last summer and is clearly totally enthused by the event. He's also chuffed to be working with Berghaus and the relationship goes both ways, with Shane having tested prototypes of new Berghaus fast and light products – more about those in the future, but there's some exciting stuff in the pipeline – during his recce's of the race route.
“From early on, Berghaus recognised the unique and compelling challenge that the Dragon’s Back Race™ represents to both competitors and their kit'” he says. “As such, I am very happy to be working with Berghaus to test and develop some exiting new products while I spend many days – in all weather – in the mountains of Wales refining the course.”
David Heath, Berghaus global vice president of product and brand marketing, adds: “Berghaus has enjoyed associations with many events over the years, but I’m not sure that any of them epitomises the phrase ‘adventure race’ quite as much as the Dragon’s Back Race™. When Shane told us that he was planning to bring back this event, we were extremely excited about its potential on many levels.
“It’s going to be a great testing ground for new and existing kit, and we plan to have at least a couple of Berghaus athletes participating in the race. Berghaus is a fundamentally adventurous brand, so giving our support to the Dragon’s Back Race™ makes very good sense and we are delighted to be involved.”
The Dragon's Back Race begins on Monday 3 September with 100 individual competitors expected to line up on the start line. To find out more about the event, visit www.DragonsBackRace.com. For more information about Berghaus visit www.berghaus.com.