Montane Dragon's Back Race

  • UK (GBR)
  • Off-Road Running

Day 3 - The Longest Day

Press Release / 08.09.2022See All Event Posts Follow Event
James Nobles
James Nobles / © Montane Dragon’s Back Race _ No Limits Photography

Cadair Idris was smothered in thick cloud early on day three of the 2022 Montane Dragon’s Back Race, adding an extra dimension to the challenge for runners. The murk ahead even persuaded leader Chris Cope to start the day wearing a t-shirt. Along with day five, this is the longest stage of the event and traditionally a crux moment. In the pack, athletes who complete the 70km and 3,400m of ascent start to believe that they will complete the race.

Chris Cope continued to extend his lead in the race. As on day two, he was slightly behind Simon and James at the support point, but moved ahead of them during the last third of the stage, gaining over 25 minutes on both of his nearest rivals. Chris completed the day in 8:43:49 with a cumulative time of 24:42:24. James is still in second (9:09:39 / 26:08:10) and Simon is a little over seven minutes further back in third (9:08:46 / 26:15:48). In the women’s race, Lisa Watson now has a very big lead, running powerfully all day and finishing in 9:45:58 (cumulative time of 28:12:42). Lisa is still ninth overall. Behind her, Helen Brown is managing a calf injury, but held on to second place (13:16:54 / 34:27:26), with Victoria Morris 15 minutes behind her in third (12:54:04 / 34:42.51).

As always, runners took full advantage of the stage three opportunity to restock with food and drink as they made their way through Machynlleth on market day. Local retailers and cafés always enjoy some extra trade when the Montane Dragon’s Back Race is in town.

The opportunity to shop in Machynlleth saw runners buying a wide variety of goodies.Musa Adamu was one: “I just want to reach the finish line, and the Co-op was a welcome stop on the way, to get some nice, tasty food. Lots of protein.I am having a good time but in a painful way. I just need to keep the legs moving and don’t think of giving up. It’s not easy.”

Dylan Webber was another: “I’ve got a meal deal and some cereal bars. There’s no lager is there? Oh, and an orange. I don’t know what I wanted, but this is what we’re having.”

The race has reached the half way point in time, but not distance, with another 202km facing the runners who are still in the event. Day four is almost as long as the third, at 69km, but does involve less climbing (2,300m), taking runners into rarely visited terrain in the Elan Valley, and a lot of grassy tussocks that will test tired legs.

The public can follow the progress of the race thanks to live tracking via www.dragonsbackrace.com, and the Montane Dragon’s Back Race team will be posting regular updates on social media throughout the event:

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