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Helene Returns to the Dragon’s Den

by Press Release
Thursday 8th March 2012
Tags  Dragons Back Race   |   Helene Whitaker   |   Martin Stone   |   Shane Ohly

Twenty years after winning the original Dragon’s Back Race™ Helene Whitaker (nee Diamantides) has confirmed that she will be racing again this September

Certainly, it is impressive that she remains sufficiently fit and motivated enough to take on a challenge as demanding as the Dragon’s Back Race™ but remarkably she will be joined by three other 1992 veterans. Starting at Conway Castle on 3 September and covering a distance of 200 miles (and 45,000 feet of ascent) over five days, the 2012 Dragon’s Back Race™ is being sponsored by Berghaus.

Race Director, Shane Ohly, commented that, “From the beginning the genuinely legendary status of the race has been an irresistible lure to many runners. The fact that four veterans from 1992 will be taking part is confirmation of the very special hold the race has over everyone involved”.

In addition to being twenty years older, Helene also has a young family now and when asked how this affected her training and preparation said, “I don’t have the selfish luxury of hours and hours roaming the hills! Nor do I want to anymore. My old joints certainly wouldn’t thank me for it either if I tried to. It was my husband who encouraged me to enter, as I didn’t think it would be fair to the family to commit the time and effort required to have half a chance of making it to the start line, let alone the finish line. I’ve had to concentrate on trying to get fit enough to train for the Dragon’s Back Race™ without something breaking”…

Over the last few weeks, Shane Ohly has chatted with both Helene and her 1992 partner, Martin Stone, and asked them to reflect on their victory twenty years ago and their opinions on the resurrection of this iconic race. In a series of fascinating insights Martin recalls that, “The race was completely absorbing, tactical and finely balanced. When the top teams were running with us, Helene and I revelled in games of cat and mouse. For a while we would all be mates running together across misty mountains. But the moment the opposition took their eyes off us, we were gone, evaporating in the mist, never to be seen again until the end of the day”.

Photo: Helene competing at the Olympus Marathon in 2011 © go-mrp.com

Click here for the full interview


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