Jasmin Paris in action during last year's Dragon's Back Race. Photo: ©iancorless.com

Jasmin Paris in action during last year's Dragon's Back Race. Photo: ©iancorless.com

A major outdoors brand has announced it will again sponsor a gruelling race down the length of Wales.

Berghaus has extended its main sponsorship of the Dragon’s Back Race to 2017 and 2019, the next two times the event will be held.

The race was originally run in 1992 and was revived 20 years later. The course involves 300km (186 miles) of running, with 16,000m (52,500ft) of ascent over some of Wales’s wild mountainous terrain.

In 2012, the event lived up to its reputation, with only 32 of 100 starters completing the course, confirming its reputation as one of the toughest mountain races in the world.

The 2015 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race attracted another field of elite international athletes and again lived up to its reputation. A field of 140 signed up and by the start of the final day, only 64 competitors had completed every stage.

Jim Mann was the overall winner, with Jasmin Paris in second place, continuing the tradition of outstanding female athletes in the race which was started by 1992’s joint winner Helene Whitaker, who also finished fourth in 2012.

The introduction of live tracking in 2015 allowed the public to follow the progress of each athlete and the race generated huge interest on social media, along with extensive coverage in specialist and national media.

Entries for the 2017 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race opened on Monday 9 May and within 24 hours the race was sold out. Runners from 21 different nations have signed up to participate, with 200 expected to make the start at Conwy Castle on 22 May.

Julian Nichols, global vice-president of product and marketing at Berghaus, said: “The Dragon’s Back Race has earned a special status in the mountain racing world and the 2015 event took that to another level with live tracking, daily releases of film footage and photographs, and of course some incredible performances by amazing athletes.

“The 2017 race will once again be closely aligned to some key product development at Berghaus, which we can’t wait to put to the test on the mountains of Wales.”

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