A Welsh voice choir saw the competitors of the Dragons Back Race set off from Conwy Castle on Monday, they will finish (although undoubtedly not all of them) in the south at the Breacon Beacons in five days time. There were just 91 entries, although they came from 14 different countries including some as far away as Australia. The Dragons Back Race is said to be one of the toughest worldwide, hence the relatively low number of competitors.
When this race was last run back in 92, Helene Whittaker was one of the winners, who is back again this year. The strange thing about this particular race though, is that not only is it almost 200 miles, but also the competitors have around 15.000 metres of ascent too. Combine this with the fact that they only know each days route each morning, so are completely unaware of the terrain on which they will be running, makes for an extremely challenging race both physically and mentally.
The route is pretty demanding so fortunately the weather forecast for this week is looking surprisingly good, which will come as some relief to the participants. I couldn’t imagine trying to run a race like this, let alone if the weather is like it has been in this area for most of the summer this year.
The race also passes through some areas which are unpopulated and have very few tourists, so there is a real feeling of support for the other people in the race, even though they are competing with each other.