Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ 2017 – Day 4

Mann on fire… reeling after navigational errors, giving away a ridiculous amount of time and losing his first place, today Jim Mann left camp at 0730 with just one purpose, ‘make them chase and make them chase hard!’

Mann set off at a ridiculous pace and despite a day of sun and high temperatures (25-degrees) he pushed and pushed breaking splits for his 2015 winning time. On the rolling terrain he rarely walked, constantly switching from running to fast, hands-on-knees hiking. He crossed the line for the 71km’s in 7:03:26. The question was, what would Marcus Scotney do?

The rolling terrain suited Scotney today allowing him to use his running prowess to stretch his legs and hopefully protect his lead on Mann in second. At all times he looked relaxed and focused. However, after the midway point, it was becoming clear that Mann, really was on fire. Scotney pushed to the line and crossed in 7:21:26.

Mann had almost done the impossible in clawing back his first place… wow!

Scotney’s 31:46:28 to Mann’s 31:54:34 now means that the last day of the 2017 Berghaus Dragons Back Race is going to be epic!

Or should I say, IT WAS going to be epic.

Post race, it transpired that Mann once again made a navigation error – he missed a ‘mandatory’ route.

The ‘officials’ have checked the route Mann took and have compared times and splits in comparison to race leader Scotney. It transpires that this section and route was actually slower than the mandatory route and that no advantage was gained. However, the officials have issued Mann with a ‘strike’ – he now has two! Should he get a strike on the last day he will be disqualified from the race. The whole situation was discussed with Scotney and no time penalty will be given.

Scotney however has gained a knee injury in stage 4 and it now looks unlikely he will be able to race the fifth day of the race, he has said he would like a ‘Dragon’ and should he start the last day it will be to complete!

Drama in Wales!

For the ladies, Sabrina Verjee had a tough day battling heat and dehydration and crossed the line in 9:51:25. Whereas Carol Morgan had a game changing day crossing the line in 9:14:18 – this eradicated much of the time gap Verjee had built up over the first three days, moved her up into 2nd place and leaves her just minutes from a potential 2017 victory.

Adding to the ladies mix is Caroline McIlroy who crossed the line in 9:24:09. She has spent much of the week in second place and now she is in third after Morgan’s impressive run. With just fifteen minutes between the top three ladies, the last day is going to be a tough one!

Verjee will start at 0800 on the last day and then Morgan and McIlroy will start with the time differences to first – the first lady of these three on the day 5 finish line will be the 2017 champion!

On a final note, 133 people started day 4 of the race – a 50% drop out rate.

  1. Marcus Scotney 31:46:28
  2. Jim Mann 31:54:34
  3. Neil Talbott 34:23:29

 

  1. Sabrina Verjee 40:37:38
  2. Carol Morgan 40:44:31
  3. Caroline McIlroy 40:52:53

Results HERE

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ 2017 – Day 3

A day of drama in Wales as 2015 champion and 2017 race leader Jim Mann, makes a navigational error and not only loses his strong and convincing lead, but also gives away an additional 30-minutes… needless to say, on the finish line he was less than pleased with his navigational prowess.

The day started at 0600 as much of the field started early to maximise the time available to be back in camp before the 2300 cut-off. Forecast was for clear skies and sun and a tough day.

The first control at Pau Craig had a 2-hour guide and many were finding the early climb to just under 700m a challenge. For the lead ladies, Sabrina Verjee and Carol Morgan arrived together – Caroline McIlroy having started earlier. The men arrived in dribs and drabs – Marcus Scotney getting an early start and then the other main contenders arriving closer together, Neil Talbot  first, then Jez Bragg and then finally Jim Mann who appeared to be flying on the tough/ steep terrain.

Myndd Moel followed at 683m and a series of false peaks before dropping down to the first road crossing at Llanllwyda.

The ladies were running strong holding their respective places with Verjee and Morgan running together. Morgan no doubt looking to open up a gap on McIlroy – the duo were only 30+ seconds apart on general classification.

At Cadair Idris, Mann made his error – he navigated south off the course. Unfortunately he ran for many km’s before navigating back north only to go off course again and lose more time and distance.

Scotney, who loves to run, started to extend his lead and claw back the 90-minutes of Mann’s lead.

It was the end of the day when the damage was really starting to come clear. Scotney arrived at Pumlumon Fawr (the last control) looking strong, relaxed and focussed. He said, ‘I feel good!’ )n hearing the news that Mann had gone off course, he no doubt found some new gusto for the final downhill run to the line on good fast terrain. He crossed the line in 7:54:33.

When Mann finally arrived, he was a long way back and pushing hard. Of course it can be a little confusing as the duo did not start at the same time. Crossing the line in 9:30:43 – the true extent of the damage was finally confirmed, Scotney had taken the overall lead by approx 26-minutes, 24:25:02 to Mann’s 24:51:08 elapsed time.

Neil Talbott, Jez Bragg and Ken Sutor once again had strong and consistent days finishing 9:31:55, 9:36:35 and 9:34:30 respectively.

Sabrina Verjee and Carol Morgan pretty much shadowed each other for most of the day. In the latter stages Verjee looked hot and bothered with her effort in the strong hot sun – she crossed the line in 11:01:05 and retained the overall lead in 30:46 :13 elapsed.

Morgan finished in 11:07:46 with an elapsed time of 31:30:13 but the ladies story was all about McIlroy who finished in 11:06:52 and therefore consolidating her lead for 2nd with an elapsed time of 31:28:44.

Results HERE

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ 2017 – Day 2

A calm morning and thick clag shrouded the runners as they departed Nantgwynant between 0600 and 0900 this morning – slower runners starting early and fast runners starting later.

At Cnicht (the first summit of the day) the weather started to clear around 1000 and then blue skies and glorious sunshine stayed with the runners throughout the day – on higher ground whips of cloud came in but it was a glorious day in Wales.

Descending and climbing from Cnicht, Moelyn Mawr was the next control and Jim Mann was slowly but surely reeling all the competitors in, having started last – the fox, he was chasing the rabbits.

Crossing the A496 road, Sabrina Verjee and Mann were taking a grip of the race, following on their day 1 performances with a confirmation they are in great shape.

Marcus Scotney, Neil Talbot and Jez Bragg were putting up a battle but Mann was just on fire. At the final summit, Diffwys, Mann descended like it was the beginning of the day, he ran fast and smooth and at the finish line he set the fastest time of the day – elapsed 15:20:25. However, Scotney who had started earlier was the first to cross the line, his elapsed time16:30:29. Neil Talbot 16:46:40 is holding off Jez Bragg in 4th.

For the ladies, Carol Morgan and Caroline McIlroy put up a battle to Verjee and this resulted in McIlroy gaining time on Morgan, 20:21:52 to 20:22:27. The battle for 2nd lady is now very close with just 35-seconds between them – Verjee by contrast extended her lead, her elapsed time 19:45:08.

Results HERE

Image galleries will be uploaded to iancorless.photoshelter.com post race

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ 2017 – Day 1

Jim Mann, the 2015 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ Champion, today set out his stall with a strong and dominant performance that left all the other runners following in his wake as he dominated the tough, challenging and yes, intimidating day 1 of this race.

For the ladies, Sabrina Verjee also produced a strong performance despite pre-race concerns that a recurring calf injury may surface and scupper her plans.

The day started at 0700 at the impressive Conwy Castle to music and a male voice choir. The early climb to Conwy mountain saw everyone close together but a pattern was starting to form with Jim Mann, Marcus Scotney, Jez Bragg, Neil Talbot and Nickademus Hollon. Sabrina Verjee and Carol Morgan similarly set the pace for the ladies.

Carnedd Gwenllian, Carnedd Llewelyn and Carnedd Dafydd followed and the field started to spread out as Mann upped the pace – ahead of his 2015 times!

The climb of Tryfan was a significant marker in the race and Mann and Varjee arrived first in the male and female categories. Scotney followed Mann but was not looking his comfortable self.

Climbing up and over Tryfan and then Glyder Fach the descent to Pen-Y-Pass was the next key marker. After crossing the road the long, steady and at times technical climb took runners to the exposed ridge of Crib Goch. Here man took a slight lower line in the final sections and mixed a control at the start of the ridge… there was some confusion as a map instruction did cause for a question mark. Most certainly it was a mistake by Mann but not intentional. It was decided post race by the judges he would receive a 15-minute time penalty.

On the ridge Mann extended his lead ahead of Neil Talbot who had now moved into 2nd and Marcus Scotney. The summit of Snowdon followed and then the run in to the finish at Nantgwynant. Mann was 1st in 7:27 (this includes the 15-min penalty), Talbot was 2nd 7:54 and Scotney 3rd in 8:14.

For the ladies, Verjee continued to the lead the ladies and although she moved a little slower over the exposed ridge of Crib Goch, she extended her lead on the final run in crossing the line in 9:27. Morgan took a lower line on Grib Goch to avoid the strong winds and in the process held off Caroline McIlroy – their times 9:46 and 10:07 respectively.

All results HERE

Image galleries will be available on iancorless.photoshelter.com post race

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ 2017 – Registration in Conwy

Jim Mann 2015 Champion

223 runners have arrived and registered in Conwy ahead of the 2017 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ starting at 0700 on Monday May 22nd.

Ahead an incredible, tough and challenging journey that will test each and every runner. Following the mountainous spine of Wales from north to south. This incredible 5-day journey is 315 kilometres long with 15,500 metres of ascent across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain. It is the toughest 5-day mountain race in the world.

Read the race preview here

But who are the runners who plan to tame the Dragon?

Meet the 223

“And all will know that 223 will give their last breath to beat it! Runners! Ready your breakfast and … Give thanks, men and women! To Ourea events, and the brave 223!”