Day four of the 2015 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race was a little shorter than the previous leg at 64km and involved less climbing. Nevertheless, with three days of mountain running already in their legs, the remaining competitors faced another long and arduous challenge. The day finished with a 10km (or longer, depending on the routes chosen) road run to the campsite below the Brianne Reservoir, a sharp contrast to much of the terrain already covered.
The leading competitors consolidated their positions, with Jim Mann (32:59 hrs total race time) and Jasmin Paris (34:34) running together all day and remaining in first and second place respectively, ahead of Konrad Rawlik (35:52). Third quickest on the day was the second woman Beth Pascall (36:45), who has moved up to fourth overall, ahead of Damian Hall (36:59), and followed by Owen Rees (39:34), Jonas Möllare (39:40) and Lizzie Wraith (39:41). The top 10 is completed by Charlie Sharpe (42:08) and Lawrence Eccles (43:00). The day’s major casualty was one of the pre-race favourites, Jez Bragg. Bragg had felt sick overnight and was unable to hold down any food, and retired from the race during the day. Barring accident, injury or poor route choices, the top five runners should retain their positions. The exciting racing in the top 10 on the final day will determine positions six, seven and eight, as the three runners are separated by only seven minutes.
Race director Shane Ohly spoke ahead of the start of day five:
“There have been tears of joy, and tears of pain, at an emotional and atmospheric overnight camp as the runners prepare to start the final day of the 2015 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race. The last finisher from day four arrived after 05:00 this morning, having been out on the course for over 23 hours, meaning the support team have had a tiring and stressful night. However, all thoughts now turn to Carreg Cennen Castle where the runners remaining in the full race will be aiming to finish today.”
Of the 140 starters of the 2015 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race, 64 runners have completed the full course over the first four days and all will be hoping to finish the job today. Among them is Joe Faulkner, who is currently lying in 27th place and aiming to be the only person to finish all three Dragon’s Back Race events. The competitors started leaving their overnight camp at 6:00am this morning – the final day of the race is underway.
News and images from the finish at Carreg Cennen Castle will be shared as quickly as possible once results are confirmed.
For full accounts of the action to date in the 2015 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race visit www.dragonsbackrace.com/news and for more updates and images, along with a selection of short videos fronted by Helene Whitaker, go to the Dragon’s Back Race Facebook page. Follow live tracking throughout the race here, and keep an eye on Twitter for updates from @DragonsBackRace and @TheRealBerghaus, using #DragonsBackRace.
Photos by Ian Corless