Start of the Dragon's Back Race from Conwy Castle

Dragon’s Back Race shows its fangs with a longer & harder route in 2021

A longer 6 day challenge is one of several changes to the 2021 Dragons Back Race

Runners planning to enter the dragon in 2021 can expect an extra day, more climbing and a new finish. There is plenty for them to get their teeth into at this multi-stage ultra that will see them complete the full journey down the backbone of Wales from Conwy Castle to Cardiff Castle.

The Dragon’s Back Race has built a reputation as a gruelling event and is considered one of the toughest mountain races on the planet. It attracts ultra runners from across the UK and overseas, ranging from elites to those for whom crossing the finish line is their goal. What they all have in common is a desire to test themselves over mountainous terrain in changeable conditions and be rewarded with the coveted mini dragon trophy. This is a race for the experienced, self-sufficient runner who can navigate their way through the Welsh mountains. 

In 2021, the event will be held over six days instead of five and an increase in distance from 315km to 380km. The total ascent also increases from 15,500m to 17,400m and Day 5 includes an extended traverse of the Brecon Beacons. Minds and bodies will be pushed to their limits (and possibly beyond!) by what organiser Shane Ohly calls: “A monstrous 70km where the journey continues along Wales’ most southerly mountains.” 

The end is in sight on Day 6 as runners continue along tracks and trails through the South Wales valleys to the finish at Cardiff Castle. This is the venue for the special post-race dinner and presentation of the trophies where everyone involved will celebrate. Then leave the next day with a sense of pride in their achievements.  

For organiser Shane Ohly, this is the beginning of a new chapter in the event’s history, saying: “Now is the right time to make a decisive change to the format. I want the Dragon’s Back Race to realise its full potential in the years ahead.”

Entries open at 10am on Tuesday 1 September. More information about the event can be found at the Dragon’s Back Race website. 

Image courtesy: Right Lines Communications

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