Galen Reynolds picks his way along Crib Goch on the Snowdon massif. Photo: No Limits Photography

Galen Reynolds picks his way along Crib Goch on the Snowdon massif. Photo: No Limits Photography

Canadian runner Galen Reynolds held a slender lead at the end of the first day of the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race.

He finished just over 12 minutes ahead of second-place competitor Konrad Rawlik of Poland.

The women’s race was even tighter, with USA runner Alyssa Clark crossing the line at Hafod y Llan first, with the UK’s Sabrina Verjee reaching the finish within a minute.

After tracker times had been verified, Verjee was confirmed as the leader after day one in 9hrs 10mins 20secs, with Clark second in 9hrs 15mins 44secs and Lisa Watson of the UK third in 9hrs 24mins 5secs.

Reynolds arrived at the first-day finish line in 7hrs 37mins 42secs, with Rawlik on 7hrs 5mins 18secs and Robert Barnes of the UK in 8rs 2mins 35secs. Pre-race favourite Jim Mann of the UK was sitting in fourth, completing the day in 8hrs 11mins 46secs, 34 minutes behind the leader. Elsewhere in the field, Joe Faulkner safely negotiated the first day of his attempt to be the only person to complete all five editions of the race since it began in 1992.

The start at Conwy Castle saw 404 men and women begin the challenge, with 360 completing Monday’s 52km course over the Carneddau, Tryfan, the Glyderau and Snowdon massif, with 3,800m of ascent.

Sabrina Verjee in action on Tryfan. Photo: No Limits Photography

Sabrina Verjee in action on Tryfan. Photo: No Limits Photography

A total of 44 runners either failed to reach checkpoints by the cut-off times or had retired from the race through injury or for other reasons.

Sabrina Verjee said: “I felt good and it got better towards the end.

“The first part of the day was tough because I have a sore back and the descents were painful. But things felt better later on and I was pleased to feel strong on the final descent to the finish.”

Galen Reynolds added: “It’s been beautiful running today. It felt good.”

Competitors are continuing south over the Moelwynion and Rhinogydd ranges heading for the overnight camp near Dolgellau.

Runners’ progress can be followed on the Open Tracking website.

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