Episode 151 – Carol Morgan

Episode 151 of Talk Ultra has a full and in-depth interview with 2018 The Spine Race female champion, Carol Morgan. Speedgoat Karl is with us to co-host and chew the ultra fat.
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NEWS
ARROWHEAD 135
News just in that John Storkamp, RD of Superior 100 has just won Arrowhead 135 – he’s won it before and has a great history with the race – so awesome.
HONG KONG 100
So, Jig Liang won the race in 9:28:35 – a new CR beating Francois D’Haene’s time. But was then disqualified – apparently he grabbed a water bottle from a hiker and the threw the bottle on the trail! Min Qi was then upgraded to winner with the USA’s Alex Nichols becoming 2nd and Run Yun Yu was 3rd.
Miao Yao was the ladies champ  in a stunning time of 10:40 – that was 40-minutes faster than Nuria Picas! A returning to form Mira Rai was 2nd and Fu-Zhao Xiang in 3rd.
MOUNTAIN MIST 50K
David Riddle and Jackie Merritt took the wins in 3:53 and 4:40.
THE SPINE
Pavel Paloncy won the race (109 hours 50min) for the men and Carol Morgan (130 hours 37min) for the ladies. Once gain it turned out to be epic with the early good and fast conditions getting worse as the days passed. By the end it was all snow, ice, blizzards and the race was even stopped at one point for safety.
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INTERVIEW – CAROL MORGAN
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LANZAROTE TRAINING CAMP
We were out in Lanzarote for our annual multi-day training camp. Once again an incredible week with over 40-athletes of all abilities taking part. Our coaches, MDS champ Elisabet Barnes, up and coming GB athlete Tom Evans and single and multi-stage runner Sondre Amdahl all lead specific based run groups – Marie-Paule Pierson took a walking group. I normally move between groups but this year took a specific group moving between fast walking and running. Stunning week and we have just opened booking for 2019.
What is great about the camp is seeing how people learn and progress. For example, Gemma Game placed 4th at MDS in 2015 and she was running in the fast group with Tom Evans. We had other runners nervous about the challenges a multi-day will bring and by the end of the week they were confident and ready for the next step. We also had one or two runners who actually were worried about just being on the camp but they soon overcame their fears. Got to give a shout out to Sue Ding who had a really tough day 1 with us and then overcame so many fears and obstacles to finish the week on a high.
COLDWATER RUMBLE
Notable because Courtney Dauwalter once again won outright! She did the 52 mile race in 7:10. – this was 1 hr better than the male CR!
Still a quiet time in the news…
Next week THE COASTAL CHALLENGE preview HERE
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UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

Vuriloche Ultra Trail | 90.0 kilometers | February 02, 2018 | website

Australia

Queensland

Dusk to Dawn | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Dusk to Dawn | 100.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Dusk to Dawn | 100.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Dusk to Dawn | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Dusk to Dawn | 100.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Dusk to Dawn | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Dusk to Dawn | 100.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

Tasmania

The Cradle Mountain Run | 82.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website

Chile 

Futangue Challenge | 62.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

Finland

Lapland

Rovaniemi Arctic Winter Races | 150.0 kilometers | February 16, 2018 | website
Rovaniemi Arctic Winter Races | 66.0 kilometers | February 16, 2018 | website
Rovaniemi Arctic Winter Races | 300.0 kilometers | February 16, 2018 | website

France

Côtes-d’Armor

Trail Glazig | 72.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Trail Glazig | 54.0 kilometers | February 11, 2018 | website

Morbihan

19éme Tro Maneguen | 100.0 kilometers | February 11, 2018 | website

Germany

Lower Saxony

Brocken-Challenge 84,5 km | 86.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

Guadeloupe

Traces du Nord Basse-Terre | 154.0 kilometers | February 16, 2018 | website

Hong-Kong

Green Power Hike | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
MSIG Sai Kung 50 | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

India

Gujarat

Run the Rann | 101.0 kilometers | February 02, 2018 | website
Run the Rann | 161.0 kilometers | February 02, 2018 | website

Kerala

Munnar Marathon | 71.12 kilometers | February 11, 2018 | website

Ireland

Kildare

Donadea 50K | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

Italy

Marche

Maratona sulla sabbia | 50.0 kilometers | February 11, 2018 | website

Malaysia

Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon | 100.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

New Zealand

Tarawera Ultramarathon Run | 85.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Tarawera Ultramarathon Run | 62.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Tarawera Ultramarathon Run | 162.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Tarawera Ultramarathon Run | 100.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 52.0 kilometers | February 02, 2018 | website
Wadi Bih Run | 72.0 kilometers | February 02, 2018 | website
Wadi Bih Run | 52.0 kilometers | February 02, 2018 | website
Wadi Bih Run | 72.0 kilometers | February 02, 2018 | website

South Africa

Bay Ultra Marathon | 50.0 kilometers | February 02, 2018 | website

Thailand

The North Face 100® – Thailand | 75.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
The North Face 100® – Thailand | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
The North Face 100® – Thailand | 100.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
Ultra Trail Koh Chang | 66.0 kilometers | February 16, 2018 | website
Ultra Trail Koh Chang | 100.0 kilometers | February 16, 2018 | website

USA

Alabama

Black Warrior/Phillip Parker 50k and 25k Trail Runs | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Black Warrior/Phillip Parker 50k and 25k Trail Runs | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

Arizona

Elephant Mountain | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
Ragnar Relay Del Sol | 200.0 miles | February 09, 2018 | website
Pemberton Trail 50K | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

Arkansas

White Rock Classic 50K | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website

California

Fort Ord Trail Run | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
Ordnance 100 | 100.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
Sean O’Brian Trail Runs | 100.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
Sean O’Brian Trail Runs | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
Sean O’Brian Trail Runs | 50.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website

Florida

Lost 118 | 118.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website
Iron Horse Endurance Runs | 100.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Iron Horse Endurance Runs | 50.0 miles | February 10, 2018 | website
Iron Horse Endurance Runs | 100.0 miles | February 10, 2018 | website
26.2 With Donna | 110.0 miles | February 11, 2018 | website

North Carolina

Uwharrie Mountain Run | 40.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website

Oregon

Bristow Trail Runs | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website

South Carolina

Rut Rogue 40s | 40.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website
Rut Rogue 40s | 40.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website
Rut Rogue 40s | 40.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website
Mill Stone 50K | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

Texas

Rocky Raccoon | 100.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website
Lone Star 100 | 100.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Lone Star 100 | 100.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website
Lone Star 100 | 100.0 miles | February 10, 2018 | website
Lone Star 100 | 100.0 miles | February 10, 2018 | website
Rocky 50 Trail Run | 50.0 miles | February 10, 2018 | website
Rocky 50 Trail Run | 50.0 kilometers | February 10, 2018 | website

Virginia

The Wild Oak Trail 100 | 112.8 miles | February 16, 2018 | website

Washington

Jed Smith Ultra Classic | 50.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website
Jed Smith Ultra Classic | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
Orcas Island 50K | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website
Orcas Island 100 | 100.0 miles | February 09, 2018 | website

Wisconsin

John Dick Memorial 50K | 50.0 kilometers | February 03, 2018 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Arc of Attrition | 100.0 miles | February 09, 2018 | website

Devon

Coastal Trail Series- South Devon | 34.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website

Oxfordshire

Thames Trot 50 | 50.0 miles | February 03, 2018 | website

Surrey

Wales

Brecon to Cardiff Ultra | 42.0 miles | February 11, 2018 | website

Warwickshire

Cotswold Marathon & 35.35 Mile Ultra Run | 35.35 miles | February 11, 2018 | website
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CLOSE
01:38:27
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Please support Talk Ultra by becoming a Patron at www.patreon.com/talkultra and THANKS to all our Patrons who support us. Rand Haley and Simon Darmody get a mention on the show here for ‘Becoming 100k Runners’ with a high-tier Patronage.
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Website – talkultra.com

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ 2017 – Day 5

The 2017 Berghaus Dragons Back Race concluded today in Llandeilo – five days of epic mountain racing over. By epic, we mean E P I C!

For those looking for one of the toughest races in the world, Wales and the Dragons Back Race is a perfect starting place. 223 runners toed the line in Conwy, just over 100 finished – yes, 50% of the field didn’t make the journey from the north to the south.

For the first two days the race was very much about 2015 champion Jim Mann dominating the race, for the ladies, Sabrina Varjee also built a very clear lead over her main rivals – Carol Morgan and Caroline McIlroy.

However, on day 3 it was all change for Mann. The 90-minute margin he had built over days 1 and 2 was wiped a way with two navigational errors and a charging Marcus Scotney. On day 4, the heat came and Mann used his 0730 start to press the pace and apply pressure. Scotney had a lead of almost 30-minutes, surely it was too much for Mann to pull back? Well yes, but he came close. The final days race was going to be brutal.

But the ladies race spiced up on day 4 with Verjee suffering in the heat and Carol Morgan having a great day – like the men’s race, it was all to fight for on the last day!

Morning in day 5 camp was one of mixed emotions, the end was in sight but a tough day was ahead and to add to the pressure, forecasts were predicting a scorching 30deg high.

The majority of the field started early at 0600 but all eyes were on the 0800 ‘chase’ starts. Scotney and Verjee would start on the stroke of 0800 and then 2nd placed runners, Mann and Morgan would depart as per their time deficits to the leader. The same applied for 3rd placed lady, McIlroy. Quite simply, the first man or woman across the line would be the 2017 Berghaus Dragons Back winner.

Scotney had complained the previous night of a sore knee and had contemplated not starting day 5, however, on reflection, he decided it was better to fight and run with a chance of victory in comparison to leaving questions unanswered. He was flying, the terrain suited him and allowed him to stretch his legs. By CP2, Scotney was pulling away from Mann and Verjee and Morgan were equally matched with McIlroy losing time.

More good running to CP3 and then the climb to CP4 and the run along the high ground with the impressive Llyn Y Fan Fact to the right saw Scotney extend his lead. When Mann arrived at CP5 he was over 30-minutes back and barring Scotney having any problems, the race was his for the taking. Mann no doubt paying a price for a tough first 3-days and a hard chasing 4th day.

Scotney crossed the line in 6:12:09 1st and Mann came in much later (7:43:40) having eased off the gas knowing that his place for 2nd was secure. Neil Talbott who had started later than the 1st and 2nd placed runners had a long day chasing all in front of him, his 3rd place secure in 7:31:04 placing 2nd on the stage.

In the ladies’ race, Verjee although in the lead to CP5 was struggling with the heat, the fatigue of 4-days of tough racing and being chased by Morgan and McIlroy. She looked agitated, stressed and not her normal self. By contrast, Morgan at CP5 was relaxed and when asked how she felt, “I feel great – fantastic!”

The possible threat of a blazing run from McIlroy didn’t happen and the race was now between Verjee and Morgan.

Morgan hunted Verjee down and by CP6 had caught and passed her. It was all about putting her head down and pushing on. Victory was hers in 7:57:16 and with it, the title of Ladies 2017 Berghaus Dragons Back champion.

Verjee and McIlroy made it to the line, 2nd and 3rd places in 8:52:04 and 9:30:54 respectively. Like Mann, Verjee’s final thoughts maybe ones of disappointment with questions of what might have been…

It’s been a tough race for all concerned but when you race over 5-days with the highs and lows that this type of race can throw at you, it’s about how the runner manages all aspects of the race and not just one day. The 2017 edition will go down in history as one of the most compelling, particularly in the final 2-days.

Attention will now turn to 2019 and the next edition of the race but as Ourea Events rightly say, don’t forget it’s the Cape Wrath Ultra in 2018 for those who need their fix!

  1. Marcus Scotney 37:58:37
  2. Jim Mann 39:38:14
  3. Neil Talbott 41:54:33

 

  1. Carol Morgan 48:41:17
  2. Sabrina Verjee 49:29:42
  3. Caroline McIlroy 50:23:47

Results HERE

Read day 1 report here

Read day 2 report here

Read day 3 report here

Read day 4 report here

All images will be at iancorless.photoshelter.com post race

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

Taming the Dragon – 2017 Dragons Back Race Preview

Jim Mann – The Berghaus Dragons Back Race

Travelling from the North of Wales to the South via the ‘Dragons Back’ – the 2017 edition of the Berghaus Dragons Back Race looks set to have all the makings of a classic. A gigantic 315km route awaits the runners as they make the journey over multiple days. 

Day 1 in its own right is a tough day in the mountains as the best of Wales provides a stunning backdrop and stage setter for the race. In past editions, the opening day has proved too much for many… will 2017 be the same? It’s expected that 30% of those who start will not begin day 2 – a frightening statistic! 

Jim Mann, winner of the 2015 edition of the race has decided to return and defend his crown. After a tough 2016, Jim has recently returned to form after in ‘Winter Round’ record breaking run. Mann completed the Charlie Ramsay Round, the Paddy Buckley Round and the Bob Graham Round all within 1-month and set a new benchmark for the triple. 

British ultra-running pioneer Jez Bragg toed the line in 2015 but was forced to withdraw through illness, no doubt he will look to put the record straight in 2017. However, Cape Wrath 2016 champion Marcus Scotney will want to make sure he continues a winning streak of Ourea Events multi-day success with a strong performance.

Nickademus Hollon from the USA is well known in the ultra-world but may well fly under the radar of the UK based runners. Hollon was the youngest runner to complete the infamous Barkley and has placed 2nd at the Tor des Geants. He loves a challenge and although the UK mountains may well be new to him, we can anticipate a strong performance.

Alistair Hubbard and Neil Talbot may very well be the other prime contenders to take top honors on this journey through Wales. Hubbard has won the expert category on the Great Lakeland 3-Day – a great build up race to the Welsh multi-day adventure.

With the absence of Jasmin Paris, the ladies’ race is open but many are tipping Carol Morgan as a potential favorite. Her recent victory at The Spine is a standout result and it confirms that she can keep pushing even when tiredness and sleep deprivation are prevalent.

Sabrina Verjee is a regular Ourea Event competitor and participated in the 2015 Dragons Back Race where she placed 14th overall. It’s fair to say that Verjee has improved since then and she recently won the Great Lakeland 3-Day.

Italian Emanuela Marzotto came to running late in life and has made up for lost time with a sting of back-to-back performances in the world’s biggest ultras and multi-day races. Her experience in the Marathon des Sables was no doubt instrumental in her success in winning the 2016 Cape Wrath Ultra. Without doubt, she will have her hands full racing against Morgan and Varjee in Wales. 

A final nod goes to Canada’s Emily Compton who is a complete unknown on UK soil but she has accumulated a string of top-10 results dating back to 2012. Notable markers being 3rd at Vulcano Ultra Trail in 2013 and 5th at Yakima Skyline Rim 50k in 2016.

Action begins on May 20th when runners will arrive in Wales ahead of the May 21st start.

You can follow the daily action via this website in words and images and on Twitter – @talkultra and on Instagram – @iancorlessphotography

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ 2017 – Countdown Begins

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Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race™ 2017 Entries Confirmed

The 4th edition of the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race takes place this May 22nd-26th 2017. The original race first took place in 1992 before being rekindled in 2012 by Ouea Events – the brainchild of Shane Ohly.

‘The toughest mountain running race in the world’

©iancorless.com_DragonsBack2015Day1-6649The 2017 edition of the race, sold out in less than 14-days and now, with just under 3 months to go, Ourea Events have a definitive list of those who will toe the line – 23 nationalities will be represented at the 2017 event.

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Ourea Events are also delighted to welcome back the Berghaus Relay team who are offered the unique opportunity to split the 5-day race between 5 of their staff, handing over the baton at each overnight camp.

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Berghaus’s commitment to both the upcoming 2017 and 2019 editions of the race allows organisers to further cement the event’s world-class reputation in delivering a superb participant experience, live GPS tracking for a worldwide audience, and in daily releases of film footage and photography.

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Congregating at the start line at 7am on May 22nd inside the walls of Conwy Castle, 270 participants will take a first step on one of the ultimate running tests not only in the UK but the world. They will embark south on an incredible journey along the mountainous spine of Wales the Dragons Back!

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The 2015 route will remain mostly unchanged,and features one of the most punishing first days of any multi-stage race, tackling all but 3 of the 14 Welsh 3000s. Day 2 once again heads into some of the roughest and most arduous terrain in the UK; the craggy, heather-infested Rhinogs. “Think like a sheep” was advice anecdotally presented to 2015 participants by Race Director Shane Ohly in order to navigate through the myriad of faint trods. Statistically, if participants make it through both this and the following (longest – 68.3km) day, they are most likely to finish the full race.

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A 60-strong event team, a large proportion of which are volunteers, who take responsibility for campsite builds, checkpoint placing, mountain safety, media coverage, catering, and much more make this event possible, without them, there would be no event!

National Trust Wales, the National Parks, and landowners are equally valuable to the smooth progress of the race.

Full entry list can be viewed HERE

A full preview of the race and who we can expect to feature in the overall rankings will follow, however, as a teaser, here is a few names to whet the appetite.

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Jez Bragg will return after running in the 2015 event and Marcus Scotney, winner of the Cape Wrath Ultra will also toe the line. Carol Morgan will without doubt be a name to watch in the ladies’ race as will Sabrina Verjee – this is just the tip of the iceberg. A full preview to follow.

Winners of the 2015 event were Jim Mann and Jasmin Paris.

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