Saturday, 8 September 2012

Dragon’s Back Race past Campbell’s Cottage

From Conwy Castle past Campbell’s Cottage to Carreg Cennen Castle – a mere 186 miles and 45,000 feet of elevation in five days. Eighty four competitors set out at 07:00 on 3rd September and I went to meet them as they reached their overnight camp two miles east of Beddgelert. That first day took them over seventeen summits including all the Welsh 3000s.

The front runner, Steve Birkinshaw, made it in just under ten hours. He had been weighed at Conwy and by the end of that day was 3.5 kg lighter. Having drunk 6.5 litres of water along the way, that means he must have sweated 10 litres!

Steve said it had been tough, especially the run over Crib Goch, and only thirty seven of the competitors completed that first day. The reward for those who were slow or did not complete was an earlier start the following day at 06:00. Up Cnicht, Moelwyn Mawr, Moelwyn Bach, past Campbell’s Cottage then the Rhinogydd and overnight camp at the old abbey north of Dolgellau.

Twenty eight completed the full course on 7th September at Carreg Cennen Castle (near Llandeilo) with Steve in overall first position in 43 hours 25 minutes followed by Rob Baker in 45 hours 22 minutes. Helene Whitaker was in fourth position with 49 hours and 10 minutes – she had the benefit of running and winning the race when it was last held twenty years ago in 1992.

Dragon's Back Race and results.

Steve running into the first camp:

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