2019 Recce Weekends - The Berghaus Dragon's Back Race®

2019 Recce Weekends

Five weekends dedicated to each day of the race, where a complete guided recce based on the organiser's recommended route is completed over two days. 

 

Jim Mann striding out on day 5

Day 5 on the glorious traverse of The Black Mountain ©iancorless.com

 

Introduction

The Recce Weekends will complete the full 2019 course over five weekends. This means that each day of the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race® is broken down into bite-sized chunks. After a winter of training these Recce Weekends will be a great reward and enable you to start putting everything together; learning the course, testing clothing and equipment and asking any questions you may have of the expert team guiding each recce.

Each weekend includes two days of guided running, accommodation, transport logistics and baggage transfer. The Recce Weekends will be a cost effective and efficient way to become familiar with the course whilst also meeting other participants in advance of the event.

When you sign up you’ll be asked to indicate your expected overall finishing time so that we can organise everyone into smaller groups of similar paced runners if needed. Our running guides are all professionally qualified Mountain Leaders who have either completed previous editions of the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race® or worked on the Event Team. Either way, they have first-hand experience of the event, and are on hand to answer your questions throughout the weekend.

 

When?

The dates for the recce weekends are: 

  • Day 1 Recce: 9-10th March 2019
  • Day 2 Recce: 16-17th March 2019
  • Day 3 Recce: 23-24th March 2019 
  • Day 4 Recce: 6-7th April 2019 
  • Day 5 Recce: 13-14th April 2019 

 

How Quickly will we be running?

These Recce Weekends are not about going fast! They are about learning the route, clocking some quality training and time on your feet in the mountains. The focus will be on navigation and route familiarity, but with plenty of time for chatting. The questions you may have about strategy, nutrition, equipment and clothing will all be covered whilst on the hill and over dinner on Saturday evening.

When you sign up, please indicate how long you think you will take to complete the race, and we will assign you to a group with similar aspirations. The choices will be:

  • Less than 50 hours
  • Less than 55 hours
  • Less than 60 hours
  • Less than 65 hours
  • Less than 70 hours

 

Group Sizes

Depending on the popularity of each weekend we recruit additional Mountain Leaders to lead the groups. We will not exceed a 1:10 ratio for guide:group.

 

Running Guides and Guest Runners

Each Recce Weekend is lead by a professionally qualified Mountain Leader who has direct experience of the event. There will be a second 'guest runner' who will also have direct experience of the event, and may also be a professionally qualified Mountain Leader. The team will be:

  • Kate Worthington – Event Team 2017 & 2019. Summer & Winter Mountain Leader
  • Heather Ohly – Event caterer 2015 and 2017.  pHD in Nutrition. International Mountain Leader
  • Shane Ohly – Race Director 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019. Summer & Winter Mountain Leader
  • Gary Tompsett - Course Planner 2017.
  • Others TBC

 

How It Works

The weekend starts by meeting early on Saturday morning at the Sunday end point. Your vehicle is left here, and we provide transport to the start point. While you are running on Saturday we will transport your Overnight Baggage to our Saturday accommodation. Mostly, no further transport is required on Saturday and accommodation is within a short walk of the finish. On Sunday, your Overnight Baggage is again transported to the Sunday end point (where your vehicle is already parked) while you run. If you need to drop out during the run, there will be some vehicle support, but you’ll be aware the course is remote, and this is rarely achieved easily. 

 

Overnight Baggage

This is a great opportunity to start using the 59L Ortlieb Dry bag we recommend for the event (detail here). We will transport one bag for you that must be less than 60L in size.

 

Booking On A Recce Weekend

Places are sold on a first-come, first-served basis in blocks of ten. This means that once the first ten places are booked, a waiting list is started. Once there are ten people on the waiting list, another ten slots will be released… and so on.

 

What Is Included?

  • Guided Running by a professionally qualified Mountain Leader who has direct experience of the event
  • Guest runner (as a second running guide) who has participated in the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race® or who has direct experience of event– perfect for informal chat whilst out on the hill
  • Baggage transport to the overnight accommodation
  • Overnight accommodation 
  • Vehicle Support (if you need to drop out during the day)
  • Transport to the Saturday start location (from the Sunday finish point) – therefore your car is waiting for you when you finish on Sunday.

 

What is NOT Included

  • Any food (evening meals, breakfast, hill food)

 

Cost

£199 per person

 

U18?

Sorry but we are not able to accept U18’s on these Recce Weekends. 

 


 

Recce Weekend One – Race Day One

9-10th March 2019

 

The 2017 Berghaus Dragon's Back Race gets underway - photo credit Guillem Casanova

This will be you in 2019! - photo credit ©guillemcasanova.com

 

CONWY CASTLE TO NANT GWYNANT

"Snowdonia has the rockiest mountains! The Carneddau, Glyderau and Snowdon Massif"

Race route description: Starting with a gentle climb from the beautiful coastal Conwy Castle, the route gradually becomes rockier with unrelenting ascent and descent, culminating in the airy ridge scramble of Crib Goch, the traverse of the full Snowdon horseshoe and passes by some astounded tourists.

Race route statistics: Approximate Distance: 52km (32 miles) / Approximate Height Gain: 3,800m (12,467ft)

 

Guiding Team

Mountain Leader: Kate Worthington

Guest Runner: TBC

 

Saturday 

  • Parking Meet Location: Hafod-y-llan, Nant Gwynant (LL55 4NQ) at 08:00
  • Recce Start Location: Conwy Castle Car Park (LL32 8LD) at 09:00
  • Route: From Conwy Castle to Ogwen over the Carneddau mountains.
  • Distance / Height Gain: 28.1km & 1,792m
  • Finish (and Overnight Accommodation): YHA Idwal 
  • Evening Meal: Self Catering kitchen or YHA restaurant meal

 

Sunday 

  • Start Location: YHA Idwal
  • Recce Route: From YHA Idwal to Nant Gwynant over the Glyderau and Snowdon massif. Note this day includes grade I scrambling. 
  • Distance / Height Gain: 20km & 2,031m
  • Finish Location: Hafod-y-llan, Nant Gwynant (LL55 4NQ) 
  • Estimate Finish Time: Mid Afternoon

 

Please ensure you read the terms and conditions before you sign up for a place.

 

 

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Undertaking Your Own Recce?

Important Note. Hafod-y-llan is a working farm owned by the National Trust for Wales. It is not possible to park here ordinarily. PLEASE DO NOT drive up and ask whether you can park at this location if you are undertaking your own recce. 

 

We have worked very hard to build trust and goodwill with many stakeholders along the race and it is very important that this is not undermined. Thank you. 

 

Please read our advice about Recceing the Route

 


 

Recce Weekend Two – Race Day Two

16-17th March 2019

 

The stunning southern Rhinogs

The stunning southern Rhinogs after a long and navigationally challenging day in southern Snowdonia ©Guillem Casanova

 

NANT GWYNANT TO DOLGELLAU

"Southern Snowdonia has a special gnarliness! The Moelwynion and Rhinogydd"

Race route description: The race line plunges directly south, but in the way is some of the most broken terrain of the race. Participants underestimate these mountains at their peril - they might be small but they are perfectly troublesome. Also, this is a day that is almost devoid of population.

Race route statistics: Approximate Distance: 58km (36 miles) / Approximate Height Gain: 3,600m (11,811ft)

 

Guiding Team

Mountain Leader: Kate Worthington

Guest Runner: Heather Ohly

 

Saturday 

  • Parking Meet Location: Vanner Caravan & Campsite (LL40 2HE) at 08:00
  • Recce Start Location: Hafod-y-llan, Nant Gwynant (LL55 4NQ) at 09:30
  • Recce Route: From Hafod-y-llan to Cwm Bychan over the Moelwynion and Rhinogydd mountains.
  • Distance / Height Gain: 35.5km / 1,847m
  • Finish: Cwm Bychan (this is the Day 2 Support Point)
  • Overnight Accommodation: TBC (~ 45 minute’s drive from Cwm Bychan)
  • Evening Meal: Details TBC

 

Sunday 

  • Start Location: Cwm Bychan
  • Recce Route: Rhinogydd mountains continued
  • Distance / Height Gain: 21.5km / 1,697m
  • Finish Location: Vanner Caravan & Campsite (LL40 2HE) at 08:00
  • Estimate Finish Time: Mid Afternoon

 

Please ensure you read the terms and conditions before you sign up for a place.

 

 

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Undertaking Your Own Recce?

Important Note. Hafod-y-llan and Vanner Caravan & Campsite are working farms. It is not possible to park at these locations ordinarily. PLEASE DO NOT drive up and ask whether you can park at these locations if you are undertaking your own recce. There is a car park at Cwm Bychan with an honesty box – please leave a generous donation if you are parking here but be aware that the access road to Cwm Bychan is very long, very narrow and very windy! 

 

We have worked very hard to build trust and goodwill with many stakeholders along the race and it is very important that this is not undermined. Thank you. 

 

Please read our advice about Recceing the Route

 


 

Recce Weekend Three – Race Day Three

23-24th March 2019

 

Day 3 camp

Day 3 camp - the earlier you finish, the more you can relax! ©Tom Hecht

 

DOLGELLAU TO CEREDIGION

"Leaving Southern Snowdonia over Cadair Idris and heading into Mid Wales"

Race route description: Pumlumon Fawr is the highest point of the extensive Cambrian Mountains, but the even mightier Cadair Idris guards the approach early in the day. Participants pass through the centre of two towns on this day. Ice cream of chips anyone? If they complete Day 3, the statistics are on their side for completing the entire race.

Race route statistics: Approximate Distance: 71km (44 miles) / Approximate Height Gain: 3,500m (11,482ft)

 

Guiding Team

Mountain Leader: Kate Worthington

Guest Runner: Gary Tompsett

 

Saturday 

  • Parking Meet Location: (close to) Fagwr Fawr Farm (SY23 3LD) at 08:00
  • Recce Start Location: Vanner Caravan & Campsite (LL40 2HE) at 09:30
  • Recce Route: From Vanner Caravan & Campsite, over Cadair Idris and Terrens
  • Distance / Height Gain: 44.6km / 2,636m
  • Finish (and Overnight Accommodation): Machynlleth (at the Day Three Support Point)
  • Evening Meal: TBC

 

Sunday 

  • Start Location: Machynlleth 
  • Recce Route: South through the Cambrian Mountains to Pumlumon Fawr
  • Distance / Height Gain: 23.7km / 1,076m
  • Finish Location: (close to) Fagwr Fawr Farm (SY23 3LD) at 08:00
  • Estimate Finish Time: Mid Afternoon

 

Please ensure you read the terms and conditions before you sign up for a place.

 

 

------

 

Undertaking Your Own Recce?

Important Note. Vanner Caravan & Campsite and Fagwr Fawr Farm are working farms. It is not possible to park at these locations ordinarily. PLEASE DO NOT drive up and ask whether you can park at these location if you are undertaking your own recce. 

 

We have worked very hard to build trust and goodwill with many stakeholders along the race and it is very important that this is not undermined. Thank you. 

 

Please read our advice about Recceing the Route

 


 

Recce Weekend Four – Race Day Four

6-7th April 2019

 

Will you find the best route through the tussocks of the Elan Valley?

Will you find the best route through the tussocks of the Elan Valley? ©Guillem Casanova

 

THROUGH THE ELAN VALLEY

"Mid Wales continues into the Elan Valley and westernmost Powys - not for the agoraphobic!"

Race route description: Remote and rarely visited hills and forests are the hallmark of this day, as are the famous grass tussocks of the Elan Valley hills. The route goes to one of the highest summits in Mid Wales - Drygarn Fair - on the remote moorland plateau of the Cambrian Mountains. Participants are advised to keep in good company on this day, as they are unlikely to see anyone else!

Race route statistics: Approximate Distance: 71km (44 miles) / Approximate Height Gain: 2,400m (7,874ft)

 

Guiding Team

Mountain Leader: Kate Worthington

Guest Runner: TBC

 

Saturday 

  • Parking Meet Location: (close to) Towy Bridge Inn (SA20 0PE) at 08:00
  • Recce Start Location: (close to) Fagwr Fawr Farm (SY23 3LD) at 10:00
  • Recce Route: Across the rolling and remote hills of mid-Wales to Elan Village
  • Distance / Height Gain: 32.4km / 1,075m
  • Finish: Elan Village (this is the day 4 Support Point)
  • Overnight Accommodation: TBC Rhayder (~ 15 minute’s drive from Elan Village)
  • Evening Meal: Details TBC

 

Sunday 

  • Start Location: Elan Village
  • Recce Route: Through the Elan Valley and remote Powys mountains
  • Distance / Height Gain: 31.6km / 1,198m
  • Finish Location: (close to) Towy Bridge Inn (SA20 0PE)
  • Estimate Finish Time: Mid Afternoon

 

Please ensure you read the terms and conditions before you sign up for a place.

 

 

------

 

Undertaking Your Own Recce?

Important Note. Fagwr Fawr Farm is a working farm. It is not possible to park at this location ordinarily. PLEASE DO NOT drive up and ask whether you can park at this location if you are undertaking your own recce. There is limited parking all around the Day 4 finish at the Towy Bridge Inn, please park considerately and avoid blocking access. 

 

We have worked very hard to build trust and goodwill with many stakeholders along the race and it is very important that this is not undermined. Thank you. 

 

Please read our advice about Recceing the Route

 


 

Recce Weekend Five – Race Day Five

6-7th April 2019

 

Day 5 - The Black Mountain

Day 5 - The Black Mountain - the sting in the Dragon's Tail ©iancorless.com

 

Guiding Team

Mountain Leader: Kate Worthington

Guest Runner: TBC

 

INTO CARMARTHENSHIRE

"Rural South Wales beckons but the sting in the Dragon's tail is the Black Mountain!"

Race route description: The route south reaches its final stage, with many tranquil rural scenes and pastures. The day escalates at the scarp of the Black Mountain and many of the highest summits of South Wales with huge vistas. Participants will delight at their first glance of Carreg Castle. Not a day to dawdle though; we advise the participants, 'to get it done'!

Race route statistics: Approximate Distance: 63km (39 miles) / Approximate Height Gain: 2,200m (7,217ft)

 

Saturday 

  • Parking Meet Location: Tregib Sports Facilities (SA19 6TB) at 09:00
  • Recce Start Location: (close to) Towy Bridge Inn (SA20 0PE) at 10:00
  • Recce Route: Rural South Wales hills, lanes and path leading to Usk Reservoir Support Point
  • Distance / Height Gain: 24.1km / 1,101m
  • Finish: Usk Reservoir (the Day Five Support Point)
  • Overnight Accommodation: TBC Llandovery (~10 minutes drive away)
  • Evening Meal: TBC

 

Sunday 

  • Start Location: Usk Reservoir Support Point
  • Recce Route: The sting in the tail, proper mountain running on the Black Mountain
  • Distance / Height Gain: 30.6km / 1,166m
  • Finish Location: Tregib Sports Facilities (SA19 6TB) 
  • Estimate Finish Time: Mid Afternoon

 

Please ensure you read the terms and conditions before you sign up for a place.

 

 

------

 

Undertaking Your Own Recce?

Important Note. There is limited parking all around the Day 4 finish at the Towy Bridge Inn, please park considerately and avoid blocking access. The day five route passes Carreg Cennen Castle, which is the original finish of the Race. The castle is on private land and payment is required if wish to access this location. Please be polite and considerate at all times, and quiet if you are passing here early or late so as not to disturb the owners in the adjacent farm. 

 

We have worked very hard to build trust and goodwill with many stakeholders along the race and it is very important that this is not undermined. Thank you. 

 

Please read our advice about Recceing the Route