Dragon 100

20 July 2024 - 21 July 2024
Cardiff, uk
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5
trail race
160 KM
2 days
300 Runners
Alternate Distances: 
80 KM
   
50 KM
Difficulty:    Advanced
ENTRY FEE:    140.00 gbp

The Dragon Coastal ultramarathons are 3 epic ultra-trail footraces along the Wales coast path.  There are 3 race distances to choose from – 100 miles from Rhossili Bay to Cardiff Bay, 50 miles from Kenfig Nature Reserve to Cardiff Bay OR, new for 2024, 30 miles from Dunraven Bay to Cardiff Bay.  All routes follow the Wales Coast Path and after the final mile over the Cardiff Bay Barrage, finish at the Captain Scott Memorial and iconic Norwegian Church.  The routes are easy to navigate and non-technical making them a great choice for a first attempt at any distance or for a seasoned runner looking to post a quick time over some fast runnable coastal trails.  However, don’t let that fool you, the Dragon has plenty of surprises in store – multiple beaches, sand, shingle and on the 100 some night time elevation that will test the legs!

The Route

The 100 mile route starts at the stunning Worms Head above Rhossili Bay on Saturday at 2pm.  Runners head along the dramatic southern Gower coastline, with its numerous bays and ruined castles.  As darkness approaches, runners arrive at the Mumbles, Swansea and a faster, less exposed section around Swansea Bay.  In the early hours of the morning the route leaves the Wales Coast Path and heads inland into the hilly depths of the Afan forest.  This section is well marked with luminous running arrows to keep runners on track as they go through the dark and majestic forest trails.  Then, as the dawn comes up, the routes travels through Margam Park with it’s historic mansion house and herds of deer.  As the halfway point approaches a short run will take runners to Kenfig sands and the Dragon 50 route.  

The Dragon 50 route joins the course on Sunday morning at Kenfig Sands Nature Reserve and starts with a 4.5 mile fully marked loop of trail and beach running around the rugged reserve before joining onto the Wales Coast Path and the journey back to Cardiff.  Both 100 and 50 runners have a short run from Kenfig before the seaside town of Porthcawl heading past several bays normally packed with surfers!  At the edge of Porthcawl one of the big challenges awaits – Merthyr Mawr – an 840 acre dune system that borders the Ogmore River.  Once this has been conquered, the route crosses the stepping stones at Ogmore Castle and runners are onto the beautiful Vale of Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

Here the Dragon 30 race joins the course at 10am in Dunraven Bay (Southerndown).  All runners are now getting closer to Cardiff with many points of interest to check off on the way – Nash Point Lighthouse, Atlantic College, Llantwit Beach, Aberthaw Power Station, Porthkerry Park, Cold Knap Point and finally Barry!  As the coast turns north at Sully Island, the end is literally in sight.  A quick pass of Penarth Pier leaves one last climb up the legendary Kymin Steps and from the top of Penarth the barrage and the Norwegian Church seem tantalisingly close.  A short run along the barrage leads you to the Scott Memorial where touching the sign stops the clock and your adventure.

Route Statistics
The Dragon 100 route has approximately 3400 meters of ascent.
The Dragon 50 has approximately 1300 meters of ascent
The Dragon 30 has approximately 460 metres ascent.
Please note ascent is approximate as there may be route adjustments due to coast path / forestry works.  Any adjustments will be notified to participants before the event.

The routes are brilliant for spectators and supporters with the numerous sandy beaches, beauty spots, coffee and ice cream parlours and that iconic finish at Cardiff Bay – so bring the family!

 

Map and Gps
An interactive map and gps file is available at the link at the bottom of the page.

To download the gps click on ‘actions’, then ‘export’ and follow the onscreen prompts. 

Navigation
The route is marked with Wales Coast Path signs, and additional running arrows and tape  where you leave the coast path.  We want the route finding to be easy so you can concentrate on enjoying yourself and completing the race.  In addition to the route markings you will receive a marked map and route description and gps file so if you lose or come off the route you can easily find your way back to it.  The section where you leave the Wales Coast Path will have extra markings and luminous flags. 

Checkpoints
There are 12 checkpoints for the Dragon 100, 7 checkpoints for the Dragon 50 race and 4 checkpoints for the Dragon 30 which will provide a mixture of sweet and savoury snacks and hot and cold drinks.
Details of what was provided at checkpoints in previous years can be found by clicking here.  Provisional checkpoint locations and distances for the 2024 races are listed below.  In addition runners on the Dragon 100 have access to 3 drop bag points, Dragon 50 runners have access to one drop bag point. 

Cut off times can be found in Q17 on the Dragon FAQ page. 

 

CP1 Port Eynon 6.5 miles
CP2 Southgate 16.5 miles
CP3 Mumbles 22.5 miles – (D100 mile drop bag)
CP4 Baglan 36 miles
CP5 Bryn 45 miles 
CP6 / CP1 Kenfig 56.5 miles / 4.5 miles – (D100 drop bag) 
CP7 / CP2 Newton 62miles / 11.5 miles
CP8 / CP3 Southerndown 70.5 miles / 19.5 miles
CP9 / CP4 / CP1 Llantwit Major 77 miles / 27 miles / 6.5 miles (D100 and D50 drop bag).
CP10 / CP5 / CP2 Aberthaw 81 miles / 31 miles / 10.5 miles
CP11 / CP6 / CP3 The Knap 87.5 miles / 37.5 miles / 17 miles
CP12 / CP7 / CP4 Sully 93.5 miles / 43.5 miles / 23 miles
Finish Cardiff Bay 100.5 miles/ 50.5 miles / 30 miles

*Note distances are approximate and rounded.

Transport
As the route is linear you will need to either get dropped off at the start and picked up or park your car at the finish in Cardiff Bay and catch one of the buses provided to the start of the event.  The buses leave Cardiff Bay at the following times 
-Saturday at 1100 for the Dragon 100 race. 
-Sunday at 0600 for the Dragon 50 race.
-Sunday at 0830 for the Dragon 30 race.
If you want to catch the bus you will need to select this option when you sign up.  

Time Limit 
The Dragon 100 mile course starts at 1400 on Saturday and you have 34 hours (approximately 3mph) to complete the course. 
The Dragon 50 starts at 0730 on Sunday morning and you have 16.5 hours (approximately 3mph) to complete the course. 
The Dragon 30 starts at 1000 on Sunday morning and you have 14 hours (approximately 2.2mph) to complete the course.
Cut off times exist at each checkpoint.  These are non-negoitiable and if you are to continue you must have left the checkpoint by these times.  These are safety cut off points and you should not aim to pace your race by the cut offs.  These can be found in the FAQs.
All courses close at midnight on Sunday.

Entry requirements
For the Dragon 100 you must have completed a minimum of a 50 mile ultra race within the last 2 years on similar off-road terrain in under 15 hours.  For the Dragon 50 you must be physically fit enough to complete the course and have completed a marathon (trail or road) or greater distance race within the last two years. You will need to provide a link to the results of the qualifying race when you register. If you have not yet completed the relevant qualifying distance for your chosen race you can enter the Dragon now and complete a qualifying distance race before race day.
For the Dragon 30 you must be in a fit and healthy condition in order to attempt the course. 

Compulsory Kit
There is a compulsory kit list that must be carried and it can be viewed here.  This list is non-negotiable and no allowances will be made for the weather.  Come with all of the kit regardless of the conditions.

Provisional Timetable -(including Start, Coach Pick up and Registration Times)
Saturday
0945-1045 Registration for all 100 runners at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay
1100- Coaches leave Cardiff Bay for Dragon 100 
1315- Coaches drop off in Rhossili
1330- Race Brief at Rhossili
1400- Dragon 100 race start 

 

Sunday
0600- Coaches leave Cardiff Bay for the Dragon 50 
0630-0715- Dragon 50 registration at start
0645- Coaches arrive at the start in Kenfig
0715- Race brief
0730- Dragon 50 race start 

0830- Coaches leave Cardiff Bay for the Dragon 30
0900- 0930 Dragon 30 registration at start 
0915- Coaches arrive at start Kenfig
0945- Race brief
1000- Dragon 30 race start 

0000- (Midnight) all courses and the finish venue closes

Are you the race organiser?

Event Organiser

Sian Parry

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Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

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For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

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An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

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Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.