The 2017 Dragon’s Back ultra running challenge – Results

By Elsa Trujillo

The 2017 and fourth edition of the world’s toughest five-day mountain race took place from 22nd May to 26th May. 223 competitors from 24 countries set out from Conwy Castle and attempted to complete the tough 315km course with 15,500 metres of ascent. 127 made it to the finish line.

The Berghaus Dragon’s Back heads south from Conwy along the spine of Wales to finish in Llandeilo in southwest Wales. Over five days, competitors navigate across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain, finding checkpoints before cut-off times, and carrying essential kit at all times. They sleep at official event campsites.

  1. Day one: Conwy Castle to Hafod y Llan campsite. 52km and 3,800m of positive ascent.
  2. Day two: Hafod y Llan Campsite to Vanner Farm Campsite. 58km and 3,600m of positive ascent.
  3. Day three: Vanner Farm Campsite to Fagwyr Fawr Farm. 71km and 3,500 of positive ascent.
  4. Day four: Fagwyr Fawr Farm to Rhandirmwyn. 71km and 2,400m of positive ascent.
  5. Day five: Rhandirmwin to Llandeilo. 63km and 2,200m of positive ascent.

RUNULTRA_Dragons-Back-Race_Wales_UK_Marcus-Scotney-ran-a-strong-race-on-day-three

Marcus Scotney on day three. Photo credit: Ian Corless.

Despite injury concerns and the high temperatures, Marcus Scotney came in first with an overall time of 37h and 58m with two stage victories under his belt. Defending champion Jim Mann, was second with three stage victories and an overall time of 39h 38m. Neil Talbott came in third with 41h 53m overall time.

In the women’s race, Carol Morgan from Ireland won overall in a time of 48h 43m also with two stage victories. Second was Sabrina Verjee at 49h 28m and Caroline McIlroy was third at 50h 23m.
Joe Faulkner, the only runner to have participated in all four editions of the Dragon’s Back Race since 1992 also finished the race to claim his own personal victory.

It’s not really sunk in.  I thought it was over last night and that I wouldn’t be able to run, but today I decided that I had come here to complete the race and to win, and that I had to give it a go.  I knew too that this was potentially my fastest day and that I could run most of it if the knee held out, and it did, though I didn’t have a full range of movement. In the end, I was well inside my 40-hour target as well, so I’m delighted with the result,” said Marcus after the race.

RUNULTRA_Dragons-Back-Race_Wales_UK_Runners-near-Diffws-on-day-two-of-the-Berghaus-Dragon-s-Back-Race

Runners near Diffws on day two. Photo credit: Ian Corless.

"Over five days, competitors navigate across wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain, finding checkpoints before cut-off times, and carrying essential kit at all times. They sleep at official event campsites."

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

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

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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.

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

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

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Very little change < 500 metres

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