Jim Mann and Jasmin Paris, first and second in the gruelling race. Photo: Ian Corless

Jim Mann and Jasmin Paris, first and second in the gruelling race. Photo: Ian Corless

Jim Mann has won the five-day Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race after leading from start to end.

The Durham Fell Runners member arrived at the finish with an overall time of 40hrs 8mins, more than 90 minutes ahead of lead woman and second-placed racer Jasmin Paris.

Konrad Rawlik claimed third place, coming in two hours behind her.

Women runners showed their strength in the gruelling endurance event, which traverses the mountain spine of Wales from Conwy Castle to Carreg Cennen in south Wales over a 300km (186-mile) route involving 16,000m (52,500ft) of ascent over five days, crossing wild, trackless, remote and mountainous terrain.

Second woman Beth Pascall was fourth overall ahead of Damian Hall. Making up two places on the final day in sixth was Lizzie Wraith, followed by Owen Rees and Jonas Möllare. The top 10 was completed by Charlie Sharpe and Lawrence Eccles.

Jim Mann strides across the Welsh mountains during the race. Photo: Ian Corless

Jim Mann strides across the Welsh mountains during the race. Photo: Ian Corless

A field of 140 signed up for the 2015 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race, aiming to complete the taxing route. High mileage, brutal climbs, navigational challenges and changeable weather took their toll and by the start of the final day, only 64 competitors had completed every stage.

Jim Mann led the overall standings from start to finish and never looked in danger of losing his lead. Similarly, Jasmin Paris was always at the front of the women’s race and moved her way up the overall leaderboard as the week progressed. At the conclusion, three women featured in the top 10 finishers.

A little further back down the field, Joe Faulkner succeeded in becoming the first person to complete the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race on the three occasions that it has been held, in 1992, 2012 and this year.

First woman Jasmin Paris came second overall. Photo: Ian Corless

First woman Jasmin Paris came second overall. Photo: Ian Corless

Jim Mann said: “I learned a lot from 2012 and have enjoyed running in the Welsh hills this year in preparation for the race. Like 2012, the atmosphere at the event has been amazing and Jasmin has been a legendary companion to race with in the last two days.”

Jasmin Paris said: “It’s a great feeling to finish second overall. The event has lived up to my expectations with five fantastic days of mountain running. To finish the fifth day running together and sharing the spirit of the journey in a group was everything that I hoped.”

Helene Whitaker won the first Dragon’s Back Race in 1992 and was also the first woman to finish in 2012. This year, she was following the event with the race organisers, recording video news pieces and interviewing competitors.

She said: “In my unashamedly biased view, I have been really excited to see so many talented female runners finishing in the top 10, and particularly by Jasmin’s powerful run.

Konrad Rawlik came third in the race. Photo: Ian Corless

Konrad Rawlik came third in the race. Photo: Ian Corless

“The weather has been kind and I think the runners have been better prepared than 2012. I cannot express how lovely it has been to be able to watch this band of modest, respectful, and talented runners in action.

“They have been unfailingly supportive of each other, and have all given everything that they can. It has been wonderful to once again be part of an event that has been so good to me.”

Race director Shane Ohly added: “It has been an exciting, exhausting, successful and very long week.

“As always, the competitors have been amazing, whether they were competing at the front or striving hard to beat cut-off times in the middle of the night. Huge congratulations to Jim and Jasmin, and to everyone who has taken part in this incredible event.

“And massive thanks to Berghaus and all of the dedicated volunteers who make the Dragon’s Back Race possible. Without that sponsorship and practical support, none of this would happen and we wouldn’t be able to celebrate these great running achievements in the way that we intend to tonight.”

More details of the event are on the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race website.

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