The prize giving for the 2017 Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race took place at the race finish in Llandeilo tonight, starting with the famous Dragon trophies being carried into the room to great applause, and some expectation for those waiting to collect theirs.
Just 127 'baby' dragons were re-homed for the 2017 race ©iancorless.com
The presentation took place in a large sports hall along with the race buffet and there was a large crowd of racers, supporters, marshals, family and friends. It also took place while the race was still continuing and finishers were ushered straight into the hall to huge applause to receive their trophy on arrival.
After the thanks for the sponsors, volunteers and media teams each and every finisher was called up to collect their miniature dragon trophy. Each one was so hard earned, with so much endeavour, sweat and not a little pain, that they will surely be the most valued trophy these racers ever win.
Congratulations to all the finishers who were in the hall on Friday night for prize-giving. They all deservedly make it into this post-race edit by Mary-Ann Ochota - thanks to all their supporters, family and friends for making the occasion such a special one.Posted by Berghaus Dragon's Back Race on Saturday, 27 May 2017
There were great cheers for Richard Beard, the oldest competitor in the race at 65. He was at the race in 2015, and on course to complete the race when a back injury on the final day forced him to withdraw – so he came back and won his dragon trophy! (There were special cheers for all those who came back after retiring in 2015 as well of course.)
Richard Beard this time receives his dragon ©iancorless.com
Perhaps the biggest cheer of all ahead of the winners (and a standing ovation) was for Joe Faulkner who has now completed all FOUR Dragon’s Back races. He was at the original race in 1992, then in 2012, 2015 and now 2017 – a span of 25 years. At the start of the race he told me he was “on holiday” and “out for a nice walk”, and he has walked much of the course too – at a fast pace, without too many stops, and on the quickest route. And he reached the finish line in good time – again.
Joe Faulkner, the only 4-time Dragon's Back Race finisher
As the countdown continued the top three ladies collected their trophies, in 17th Caroline McIlroy in her first multi-day race, in 13th Sabrina Verjee who lead until the last day and 9th overall the new ladies champion Carol Morgan who left the stage with her impressive Dragon Trophy.
Finally came the top three, Neil Talbott, who Shane Ohly tipped to one day come back and win the race, Jim Mann who came back to defend his title and complete his 3rd Dragon’s Back Race, and finally the overall winner and new champion Marcus Scotney.
Well, it was not quite the last trophy, there was one more still on the table, a very impressive one of a Dragon, its wings raised ready for flight. This is a new trophy and was waiting to be claimed by the last runner, who Shane Ohly explained had been out twice as long with half the recovery time. At this point only one runner was still to come in – Tom Withers, and his trophy was waiting for him!
Tom Withers - final finisher and winner of a specially commissioned trophy
So too were all the volunteers and staff who had supported the runners all week, including Tom’s partner Abbey, who is part of the first response team. A short while later Tom arrived to a standing ovation to collect his trophy and officially close the 2017 race.
Final finisher gets a huge welcome in
Overwhelming scenes after the presentation last night as the 127th and final dragon, Tom Withers, completes the 2017 Berghaus #DragonsBackRace in 80hrs and 17mins!Posted by Berghaus Dragon's Back Race on Saturday, 27 May 2017