The race gets underway at Conwy Castle

The race gets underway at Conwy Castle

A group of hardy runners set out this morning at the start of one of the country’s toughest endurance races.

Competitors in the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race were serenaded by a male voice choir at the event start at Conwy Castle before taking to the hills to begin the 300km (186-mile) route down the spine of Wales.

The 140 participants will have to ascend 16,000m during the five-day race.

The runners were handed their day-one maps in the minutes before the start. At that point, they discovered that today’s route does not include the Welsh 3,000ft peaks as it did in 2012, but instead takes in the full Snowdon horseshoe route, starting with the knife edge Crib Goch ridge, which the runners will reach from Pen-y-Pass.

This year, the runners were allowed to jog along the fortified town walls and the race timing began as they left the wall and started their first uphill climb, out of Conwy and on towards the Welsh mountains.

They were also greeted by very changeable weather conditions, with wind, rain and sunshine marking the start of the race.

At the time of posting, Jim Mann was heading the field on Glyder Fach, with André Jonsson second, having taken a different route up to Bwlch Tryfan, and Jasmin Paris close behind in third.

The runners’ progress can be followed live via the Berghaus Dragon’s Back website.

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