- Start – Vanner Farm Campsite
- Finish – Fagwyr Fawr Farm
- Distance covered – 71km
- Height climbed – 3,500m
- Key features – Cadair Idris and Pumlumon Fawr
- Number of runners still in the full race after day three – 139
On day three of the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race, the cumulative effect of hard days of mountain running was very evident. The medical tent was busy and there were more retirements overnight. The pre-race advice was that, statistically, those who complete day three stand a good chance of completing the full distance, so for many this was regarded as the crux day. However, it was a long one, 71km, with almost as much ascent as day two, and that is a daunting prospect with heavy legs and aching limbs.
Day 3 at the Berghaus Dragon's Back Race
With fatigue and injuries developing, spirits may have been willing, but bodies were complaining. Was defending champion Jim Mann's lead compromised by his early-on navigational blip? How did BBC Radio 2's Vassos Alexander do? Is Sabrina still in the lead in the women's race?Posted by Berghaus Dragon's Back Race on Wednesday, 24 May 2017
There were major developments at the front of the men’s race, which began when leader Jim Mann made a navigational error after reaching the summit of Cadair Idris. Mann took the wrong ridge line down from the checkpoint and didn’t realise for a long time. He only started to correct after losing a lot of height, and then wandered off track again.
Above, Jim Mann's route, below, the orange line is the recommended route.
Meanwhile, Marcus Scotney enjoyed another excellent day. He had always known that the last half of the race would suit his running style better and after he’d finished in a time of 7.54.33 today, he said, “It was nice to get off the rocks and be able to run some more today.”
Scotney passed Chris Lines of the Berghaus relay team on the climb up to checkpoint 5 on Tarren y Gesail. Lines comments: “Marcus looked very strong and comfortable, in sharp contrast to me I should add!”
Chris Lines, putting in yet another solid performance on the third leg for the Berghaus relay team ©iancorless.com
The end result was that Mann (who finished in 9.30.43) and had set off with a lead of 70 minutes is now 26 minutes behind Scotney. To retain his title, he will now have to chase down Scotney over the last two days. It’s a tall order as Scotney always planned to conserve energy on the earlier days, and try to finish more strongly. Neil Talbott was third today and stayed third overall, 33 minutes ahead of Jez Bragg.
Jim Mann crosses the finish line understandably upset having lost time, and his lead, on day 3 ©guillemcasanova.com
In the women’s race Sabrina Verjee was first to finish in 14th overall, but she was distressed in the heat. “I had asthma all day,” she said. “I felt like someone was strangling me but my good friend Jonathan ran with me and helped me through, making me eat and drink at the right time.” She too went straight off to medical tent for attention, but was soon recovered and said, “I was just being silly and not looking after myself like I should. I’ll be fine tomorrow when I take my medication.”
Sabrina Verjee, maintaining a good lead on Carol and Caroline ©iancorless.com
Caroline McIlroy and Carol Morgan are having a great race with each other and are second and third, just 89 seconds apart.
It was a day of two halves in terms of the weather. For much of the first half of the day, dense cloud settled over the mountains, but it was still mild and humid. As the afternoon wore on, the sun took over and runners had to deal with very warm conditions. The forecast for the next two days is even hotter, something else for the remaining racers to contend with as they continue on their way. Tomorrow is another 71km, though with less climbing.
One participant especially happy with the good weather ©guillemcasanova,com
Follow progress via live tracking and the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race team will be posting regular updates on social media throughout the event:
- Twitter – follow @DragonsBackRace and @TheRealBerghaus
- Instagram – follow @DragonsBackRace and @BerghausOfficial
- Facebook - DragonsBackRace.