Updated: Dragon Ride entries go live on 1 November
Get your mouse warmed up 'cause there's a limited number of guaranteed places with the rest going to ballot
If you're hoping to be riding the 2013 edition of the Wiggle Dragon Ride on 9 June next year then get your mouse warmed up, as entries will go live at 9am on Thursday, 1 November. Last year the ride more or less sold out on the first day; for next year there's a limit of 5,000 entries, 500 up on last year, but the organisers Human Race still don't expect the places for this, the tenth Dragon, to last long.
This year the entry process is slightly different. With the ride oversubscribed every year, the organisers have introduced a ballot system for the majority of the entries - you'll be able to register for a place throughout November. Priced at £45, the tickets aren't cheap, but if you're desperate to do it you can fork out an extra tenner for one of the 'limited number' of guaranteed places. Those also go live at 9am on 1 November. And if that isn't expensive enough, you could stump up 300 notes for premier entry, which includes a night's accommodation, priority start time, VIP buffet afterwards, a massage and a CD of all your photos from the day.
Route news is that for the first time in a few years the signature Gran Fondo and shorter Medio Fondo routes remain the same. Last year's event started at Margam Park for the first time, and 2013 will see the event return there; Human Race will no doubt be working with Dragon Ride founder Lou Lusardi to address the traffic issues that affected later start times in 2012 but most people that we spoke to last year thought the new venue was a big improvement.
The routes for 2012 were considerably harder than in previous years. The inclusion of Black Mountain early on gets the 206km Gran Fondo off to a tough start, and things don't get any easier with a road closure allowing the Dragon to revisit the Devil's Elbow, a remote 20% hairpin grind in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. And that's before you get to the Rhigos and the Bwlch. The 125km Medio Fondo route goes up both the signature climbs too.
The 37km Corto event has transformed for 2013 into a women-only Cycletta event, so if you're a chap then you'll have to go long or stay at home. "Cycletta is the UK’s leading series of women-only bike rides, supported by Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton and designed for women of all ages and abilities," say Human Race; there were seven events last year and for 2013 the series will expand.
Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race said, “It continues to be an honour to hold such an incredible event within our portfolio. The Wiggle Dragon Ride is truly special and our aim is to continually improve the event year on year. Over the 10 years of its existence the event has developed an amazing community and reputation, which makes it stand out above all other events and we’re tremendously excited to welcome another 5,000 participants in 2013.”
Prostate Cancer UK remains the Official Charity Partner of the Wiggle Dragon Ride. Last year over £75,000 was raised and participants are once again encouraged to support the cause. “The 2012 event was a huge success and provided vital funds for the charity, helping us to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life," said Claire Walsh, Head of Community and Sports Fundraising at the charity. "We are therefore delighted to be the official charity partner of the Wiggle Dragon Ride 2013 and hope as many people as possible sign up to take part.”