Galen Reynolds wins the 2019 Berghaus Dragon's Back Race, setting a new course record the same week he is announced as Montane's newest Ultra Running Athlete.
"I ran hard today. But apart from all the pain, it feels really good to win.”
- Galen Reynolds upon winning the 2019 Berghaus Dragon's Back
Created in 1992, the Dragon's Back is an epic following the mountainous spine of Wales from North to South, its 315km total length and 15,500m incline split into 5 days. Add ruthless checkpoint cut-offs and largely un-tracked terrain, and the result is a brutally uncompromising race. To succeed requires incredible grit and self-management to not only make the cut-offs whilst ensuring the body is in a fit enough state to tackle the next stage. It is a race of international pedigree, commanding respect from those who tackle it, and awe from those who can't.
Galen leading Jim Mann on day 4 of the Berghaus Dragon's Back
His overall finishing time of 37hrs 48 minutes breaks the previous Dragon's Back course record (set by fellow Montane Athlete Marcus Scotney in 2017) by 10 minutes. He was almost an hour clear of second place Jim Mann - with whom Galen ran with for much of the course, striking a firm friendship. Indeed, this likeability and generosity stood out almost as much as his physical prowess - even for the famously benevolent ultra running fraternity - with fellow runners at both ends of the pack remarking on positive experiences of him as he set about conquering the Dragon:
"Galen seemed like a super nice guy. Happy to chat and offer encouragement as he whizzed past each day!"
- Kirsy Reade, RUN247 Journalist & 2019 Dragons Back finisher (60:25)
Galen's recent track record showed he was more than up to the task; with a 2nd place finish in the 2018 and 7th in the 2017 Montane Tor Des Géants
- a 330km non-stop race around the Italian Alps, proving his mettle. With 24,000m of ascent - not to mention the sheer daunting scale of the TOR - it is recognised as one of the greatest trail running races in the world. Galen's 2018 time of 74hrs 40 minutes stands as one of the fastest times in the races' history.
"We are immensely proud of Galen. This record will be difficult to break and hope it acts as a sturdy foundation upon which his ultra running legacy can be built. Chapeau."
- Terry Stephenson, Montane Head of Marketing