Montane Dragon's Back Race

  • UK (GBR)
  • Off-Road Running

Cope and Watson Extent Leads on Day 2

Press Release / 07.09.2022See All Event Posts Follow Event
Chris Cope still smiling on day 2
Chris Cope still smiling on day 2 / © Montane Dragon’s Back Race® _ No Limits Photography

The leading runners increased their advantages on day two of the 2022 Montane Dragon’s Back Race. Elsewhere in the field, mixed weather and tricky underfoot conditions took their toll, with another 62 participants failing to complete the course, reducing the overall number still in the full race to 164, 100 fewer than started out from Conwy.

In the men’s race, Chris Cope set off a few minutes ahead of James Nobles in second and Simon Roberts in third. Simon and James caught and got ahead of Chris,and had a five minute lead when leaving the Cwm Bychan support point at 35km. However, Chris ran very strongly during the second half of the day, passing his nearest competitors again and finishing in 8:21:45, 34 minutes ahead of James (8:55:47). Simon was another six minutes back (9:01:47).

Chris now has a lead of an hour in the men’s race.In the women’s race, Lisa put in a sustained and powerful performance to extend her overall lead. She completed the day in 9:36:09 and now sits ninth overall in the race. Helen Brown is second(11:17:49 on the day), with Victoria Morris in third (11:42:39).The Welsh weather turned wet during the afternoon and is adding to the challenge for all aspiring Dragon Slayers.

The top three positions in both the men’s and women’s races haven’t changed, but there are still four days and over 260km to go, starting with the joint longest stage of the event on Wednesday – 70km and 3,400m of ascent, including the early climb up Cadair Idris.

After he finished day two, a shirtless Chris Cope commented: “It was a bit wet up at the top towards the end. I almost, almost put a top on at one point – it was that bad. I’ve only done two days so far and it’s fine at the moment. I think day four will be the telling stage. I’m just so enjoying it – one day at a time.”

Lisa Watson extending her lead

Lisa Watson added: “I like day two. It’s really varied – some runnable bits, some steep bits. I spent a lot of time on my backside coming down Cnicht. This section’s always tough – I just try to shove some food down and keep it steady. I really like the Rhinogs, as long as I can stave off a mega bonk on the way down.”

James Thurlow of Open Adventure Tracking is part of the event team and is a type 1 diabetic. He reflects on the performance of Chris Cope: “Ten years ago, I sat in a surgery and as a type 1 diabetic, I was told that I should consider stopping running. 30 years ago, a type 1 would have been on a strict diet, 50 years ago they’d endure life changing complications, and 80 years ago they would probably not be alive.With that context, I find utterly astounding that a type 1 can step up to the Dragon’s Back Race.

“To see Chris Cope at the sharp end and leading the event - sporting a Dexcom sensor and a Dana RS pump connected up to Android APS - is absolutely mind boggling, and really should challenge anyone with type 1 diabetes about how they perceive that the condition limits what they can do.It’s both humbling and inspiring in equal measure.

“I’m sure that Chris will continue to take the next four days in his stride, but the first two alone represent a performance that are without equal in the type 1 diabetes community.”

Heading into day three, 164 runners are still in the full 2022 Montane Dragon’s Back Race. Away from the front of the field, many of the participants start every day knowing that they will have to put in a huge effort to meet the cut-off times during the day. The event’s media team captures and shares a lot of their stories as the race progresses, some of which will end in deep disappointment, others with the presentation of a Dragon trophy in Cardiff on Saturday.

See All Stories On This Race

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