Day 3 took its toll on the runners in the 2015 Berghaus Dragons Back Race and on the morning of day 4; over 50% of the field had withdrawn. It’s fair to say that the Dragons Back Race is one of the toughest multiday races in the world. The relentless terrain, continuous climbing and descending, navigation, sleep deprivation and long days really do make this a toughie!
However, the terrain changed today for day 4. Green fields and rolling hills replaced the dramatic and rugged landscape of the 3 previous days.
Rolling terrain and less vertical ascent does in principal equate to more runnable terrain. However, no matter how runnable the terrain may be, you still need the legs to run! As you can imagine, the runners left in the race do have somewhat sore legs!
After a cloudy start and slight drizzle, the sun slowly broke through the grey but it did take a while; the final hours of the day were baked in glorious sunshine.
Although beautiful, the day 4 course did not have the challenging terrain of the previous days and it was another long day at 64km with 2273m of vertical gain.
It was a routine day at the front of the race with the main protagonists from the previous 3 days confirming their status as the strongest runners in a quality and determined field. Unfortunately, the front of the race did loose a top contender!
Jez Bragg had had a tough day during day 3 with stomach issues and then during the night he had chills, sickness and little or no sleep. He did force some breakfast down and start the day but it soon became clear he was depleted. He reluctantly pulled out of the race.
Jim Mann obviously decided that his 1hour 30min lead over the rest of the field was enough and decided to run day 4 with 2nd overall and 1st lady, Jasmin Paris. Paris was a favourite coming into the Berghaus Dragons Back Race and she has excelled showing everyone a clean pair of heals everyday and in the process she has looked fresh and confident.
Beth Pascall and Lizzie Wraith both looked strong all day, Pascall said post race said, ‘I felt as though I couldn’t go any faster but then I hit the last section. All road! I decided I had to get that over with as soon as possible so I speeded up. Just goes to show, it’s all in the head!’
Wraith came into the race with a bug and had said that she was unsure how her week would go. Obviously it has gone well and just this morning, before the race started she said, ‘If I can finish top 10, I will be over the moon.’
Equally consistent at the front end of the action has been Konrad Rawlik and Damian Hall. Rawlik is 3hour 30min ahead of Hall so we have no fears of a last minute surge on the final day. That would take some serious navigation error!
Tomorrow is the final day! It’s fair to say that anyone who has now finished the first 4 days will finish day 5. Of course, there are no guarantees – a fall, an accident or a serious navigation error could stop all that but lets cross our fingers; believe me, everyone is going to deserve the finish line.
Results day 4
1 – Jim Mann 7:58:50
2 – Jasmin Paris 7:58:54
3 – Beth Pascall 8:27:31
4 – Konrad Rawlik 8:28:25
5 – Damian Hall 8:47:52
6 – Lizzie Wraith 9:11:03
7 – Owen Rees 9:42:01
8 – Jonas Mollare 9:45:26
9 – Lawrence Eccles 10:30:20
10 – Charlie Sharpe 10:38:38