Neil Talbott traverses Crib Goch on the Snowdon range during the 2017 event. Photo: Ian Corless

Neil Talbott traverses Crib Goch on the Snowdon range during the 2017 event. Photo: Ian Corless

Hundreds of runners have already signed up for an extreme event down the spine of Wales, a year ahead of its start.

Entries for the 2019 Berghaus Dragon’s Back opened on Wednesday and within an hour more than 200 people had booked their place on the challenge.

By the end of the day, entries stood at more than 350.

Organisers said they are keen to reiterate that the race is not a trailrunning event, and the course follows summit checkpoints along the mountainous spine of Wales, where terrain is at times extreme. “Combined with the need to self-navigate the course and deal with the Welsh mountain weather, and the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race offers a genuinely unique challenge,” they said.

“The Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race previously sold out within two weeks and organisers expect there to be extraordinary demand for places for the 2019 race, especially from an increasingly international audience.

“An entry into the race includes live GPS tracking of each participant so that a worldwide audience can follow every competitor in real time.

“Simply completing the 315km [196-mile] route in five days is no mean feat, but add both a huge 15,500m [50,850ft] height gain and some seriously rough terrain, and the chance of earning a legendary Dragon trophy becomes even more of a test.”

Extra ‘Boot Camp’ and ‘Recce Weekends’ are being introduced for the 2019 event, which organisers said are being provided to maximise a participant’s chance of completing the race.

Race director Shane Ohly said: “We know that a surprising number of participants come to the event underprepared, and the sole focus of these courses is to enable them to prepare with expert guidance so that they arrive in Conwy in May 2019 truly ready for one of toughest mountain races in the world.”

The 2019 event will only be possible due to an estimated 75-strong event team, a large proportion of whom are volunteers, who take responsibility for campsite builds, checkpoint placing, mountain safety, media coverage, catering, and much more. The race team said the support of National Trust Wales, national parks and landowners is equally valuable to the smooth progress of the race as it travels south through Wales.

The Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race is a biennial event, with its sister event the Cape Wrath Ultra taking place in the alternate years, with each event always taking place in the last full week of May.

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

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