‘Thanks to the volunteers the event runs like a well-oiled machine’

22nd May 2019 @ 09:00

The volunteers – 120 this year – are a crucial part of the organisation of the 2019 Berghaus Dragon Back Race. There are a wide range of jobs including erecting the campsite each day, manning checkpoints, transportation, safety monitoring, course checking, medical assistance, catering and general administration. Many of  the runners have spoken about how much they value the “slick”, “effective”, "friendly" and "smiley" team working behind the scenes of the event.

For newcomer Luke Emms (race number 120), the Dragon's Back Race is his first multistage race in the UK. He has completed many others overseas, including the Marathon des Sable and the Himalayan 100-mile. He said: “I have been very impressed by the Dragon’s Back Race so far. The organisation and the smiles shown in the race make me think about doing Ourea's other event, the Cape Wrath Ultra. I am very impressed.”

Danny Garrett (138), from New Zealand, said:  “The event is a well run, oiled machine and efficient. All the information is there that you need. It’s very good.”


Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2019 - Day 2 - Checkpoint 2 - Copyright No Limits Photography

Some of the happy, smiley checkpoint team. ©No Limits Photography

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2019 - Day 2 - Checkpoint 3 - Copyright No Limits Photography

A member of the volunteer medical team chats with a runner. ©No Limits Photography


'Why we volunteer at Ourea Events'

At a Support Point we caught up with some of the volunteers to find out why they wanted to join the organisation team.

Emma Philips, Support Point team, said: “It is my first time volunteering with Ourea Events although I have done plenty of GB Ultras. I am a runner and so I know how important it is to have a support crew that gets where your head is when you are doing these types of races. I like helping other people to succeed.”

Steve Arden, Support Point team, said: “I was taking part in the Great Lakeland 3Day race and I got talking to a volunteer. She told me what she got out of volunteering and that motivated me to volunteer myself.”

“I have now done many Ourea Events as a volunteer and this is my third time with Dragon’s Back Race. I thought that the best way to experience this race, because I don't think I would be able to compete in it, is to be a volunteer. You are right in the middle of it. I also like being part of a really effective team.”

Alli Holland, First Response team, said: “As a runner myself I know what it is like to compete and I think this is important. I also like to volunteer because it is great to see an event from the other side.”


Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2019 - Day 2 - Checkpoint 1 - Copyright No Limits Photography

Volunteers set up the Support Point on day 2. ©No Limits Photography

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2019 - Day 2 - Checkpoint 5 - Copyright No Limits Photography

A runners seeks help from a medic.  ©No Limits Photography 

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2019 - Start 3 - Copyright No Limits Photography

One of the event team checks over a runner's mandatory kit. ©No Limits Photography


Kate Worthington, First Response team, said: “I learn a lot as part of this team. It is good to work with good folk.”

Stuart Allan, First Response team, said: “I get back as much as I put in as a volunteer. I also get to work with inspiring people and to use a wide range of skills, such as communication. You do have to be comfortable in the outdoors and get along with others but the volunteering is very rewarding.”



One of the many check points laid out on the race course by volunteers. ©No Limits Photography

Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race 2019 - Start 4 - Copyright No Limits Photography

Kit checks by volunteers. ©No Limits Photography


On Cnicht summit at a checkpoint, we spoke to Louise, who is part of the Wrangling team.

She said: “I was up early today to put the radio repeater up on the mountain Cnicht. I have raced some mountain marathons and fell races. I volunteer to help out people running  and racing and to give something back. I also wanted to see the journey of the whole race through Wales…”


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