Marmot Dark Mountains 2015 – Provisional results and Images

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The heavens opened the day before the Marmot Dark Mountains and the promise of a snowy course disappeared with each rain drop.

In many respects it was a shame. Many, including me, was excited by the prospect of a night time race with cold chilly temperatures, a clear sky and a layer of the white stuff. However, it was not to be!

More importantly, the 2015 Marmot Dark Mountains took place with no rain… yes, no rain! Conditions were less than perfect though. The ground was sodden with the previous days torrential rain and melted snow and although the evening started relatively calm the wind increased hour-by-hour and by the early hours of the morning, the wind and wind chill was having an impact on everyone.

Taking place in the Howgills, runners started to race at 1900-hours with elite duo Alex Pilkington and Tim Higginbottom first off! Kim Collison and Adam Perry departed at1940-hours and it was immediately apparent that they were on a mission!. Completing the top trio, Steve Birkinshaw partnered with Jim Mann and they departed at 2000-hours chasing the other runners down.

What followed was a masterclass of navigation and speedy running from Collison and Perry. They blazed a trail around the Howgills and the ‘projected’ best case scenario finish time of 11-hours was blown out the fells when the finish line dibber confirmed a time of 8-hours and 34-minutes. Quite incredible.

Higginbottom and Pilkington had had some problems early on finding a control. Equally, Birkinshaw and Mann had also had a  problem. However, Birkinshaw said after the race that his form was just not up to running at the required pace. Hardly surprising after his Wainwrights record.

There were four linear courses that follow the standard Elite, A, B and C format of ordinary mountain marathons and two score format courses. Feedback post race was excellent and a dry night on the fells was extremely welcome.

Results below are provisional and will be confirmed by Ourea Events asap.

Elite

1st Kim Collison / Adam Perry 08:34:54

2nd Steve Birkinshaw / Jim Mann 10:41:46

A

1st and 1st Mix Catherine Litherland / Ross Litherland 09:49:54

2nd Andy Thompson / Rob Brown 10:10:35

3rd Chris Baynham-Hughes / Max Wainwright 10:51:05

1st Women and 4th Steph Jones / Sally Ozanne 11:26:51

1st and 1st Vet Bryan Stadden / Andy Creber 09:15:33

2nd and 2nd Vet Tim Martland / Jim Allen 09:51.35

3rd Jamie Rennie / David Rennie 10:02:02

C

1st Greg Weatherhead / Kevin Drew 07:55:21

2nd James Parratt / Neil Garrido 09:21:14

3rd and 1st Mix Emma Van Der Gucht / James Pawson 09:34:30

Long Score

1st David Adcock / Ben Turner 404 in 10:00:33

2nd and 1st Mix Digby Harris / Kirsty Hewitson 295 in 09:55:28

3rd and 1st Female Jo Gillyon / Catherine Evans

4th and 1st Vet Simon Caldwell / Carmen Elphick

Short Score

1st, 1st Mix, 1st Vet Jonathan Aylward / Kate Boobyer 235 in 07:38:37

2nd and 2nd Mix Scott Collier / Anne Edwards 235 in 07:42:15

3rd Darryl Watton and Andy Bell

The Howgill Fells are hills in Northern England between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. The fells are bounded by the River Lune to the north by upper reaches of the River Lune and to the east by the River Rawthey. The Howgill Fells include two Marilyns: The Calf – 2,218 ft (676 m) and Yarlside – 2,096 ft (639 m) and a number of smaller peaks, including five Hewitts. Parts of the southern Howgill Fells lie within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, though they have been within the modern county of Cumbria since the county boundary changes in 1974. They were originally shared by the West Riding of Yorkshire and WestmorlandThe name Howgill derives from the Old Norse word haugr meaning a hill or barrow, plus gil meaning a narrow valley. – wikepedia

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Marmot Dark Mountains™ Howgills 2015 – Race Preview

Marmot Dark Mountain - FINAL (BLACK)

Marmot Dark Mountains™ is the only overnight winter mountain marathon and the 3rd edition of the race will take place on Saturday 24th January in the Howgills.

The Howgill Fells are hills in Northern England between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. The fells are bounded by the River Lune to the north by upper reaches of the River Lune and to the east by the River Rawthey. The Howgill Fells include two Marilyns: The Calf – 2,218 ft (676 m) and Yarlside – 2,096 ft (639 m) and a number of smaller peaks, including five Hewitts. Parts of the southern Howgill Fells lie within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, though they have been within the modern county of Cumbria since the county boundary changes in 1974. They were originally shared by the West Riding of Yorkshire and WestmorlandThe name Howgill derives from the Old Norse word haugr meaning a hill or barrow, plus gil meaning a narrow valley. – wikepedia

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This year’s elite course is a tough one, with a potential 3000m of elevation gain and an optimum distance of 53km. Famous for their steep rounded hills, the Howgills will be a tough challenge. Having viewed weather forecasts the organisers have issued a stern warning to all the competitors about the challenging nature of the terrain and event.

Needless to say, mandatory kit will be checked prior to the event.

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Marmot Dark Mountains™ is a true test of mountain craft for experienced mountain runners. Challenging terrain, night navigation and a wintery environment will test each runner over the variety of courses available: Elite, A, B, C, Short Score and Long Score.

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“Marmot Dark Mountains™ takes the classic two-day mountain marathon format and gives it a new… darker twist.” said Race Director, Shane Ohly. “Rather than two days of running with an overnight camp in between, Marmot Dark Mountains™ packs everything into one winter’s night!”

Steve Birkinshaw

Three of the UK’s leading teams are of particular interest in the 2015 event: Steve Birkinshaw and Jim Mann, Chris Near and Tim Higginbottom and Kim Collison and Adam Perry.

Kim Collison at Mourne Skyline MTR

Kim Collison at Mourne Skyline MTR

Runners will start to race at 1900-hours and  Chris Near and Tim Higginbottom will be first off! The dynamic duo have won practically every elite mountain marathon and they have held various long distance mountain running records. In 2014, Near and Higginbottom missed the race due to last minute illness, they will be looking for victory in 2015.

Steve Birkinshaw needs no introduction. His incredible Wainwrights record in 2014 was a highlight of the year for many a trail, mountain, fell and ultra runner. Steve’s partnership with Jim Mann is fitting as Mann holds the record for the winter Bob Graham Round. Birkinshaw won the 2014 event when partnered with Tom Gibbs, so the pressure will be on! Birkinshaw and Mann start at 2000-hours chasing the other runners down.

Kim Collison and Adam Perry will be a tough pair to beat and setting off at 1940-hours. Collison won the first Marmot Dark Mountains in 2013 (running with Alex Pilkington) and finished the 98km Fellsman with Perry in first place last year. The duo are evenly matched and are considered favourites by many!

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Offering a range courses to suit a range of abilities, every year there has been a small but steady increase in the number of participants.

“The event kicks-off on the Saturday evening with the longest classes setting off first for dusk-to-dawn racing. The shorter classes will set off later in the evening with the aim of most competitors finishing within an hour or so of each other the following Sunday morning. This makes for an exciting finale as all the courses and most of the competitors converge on the finish as dawn breaks.”

There are four linear courses that follow the standard Elite, A, B and C format of ordinary mountain marathons and two score format courses.

This year there will be two manned checkpoints in the Howgills that competitors on the various courses may visit and the organisers intend to post updates to the event website as the night of racing unfolds.

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Follow the race at Ourea Events HERE

Marmot Dark Mountains HERE

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Ultra Trail 26 – Montane

We are excited to announce the Montane UltraTrail26 series coming soon to a venue near you. Dates are November 18th 2012, with events to follow March 24th 2013 and May 26th 2013 and the series will take place across the North of England. The 26 mile trail events are designed to provide the perfect opportunity for runners to step up to longer trail distance events and provide great training opportunities for the Montane Lakeland 50 and 100 mile events.

 

Grizedale

The opening event of the UltraTrail26 series takes place from Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre, close to Hawkshead in the Lake District. Grizedale is a popular location for both trail runners and mountain bikers, due to the varied trails and great scenery throughout the forest.

The route will largely take place on forest trails with some minor sections of road to link the trails together. It offers great views of both Coniston Water and Lake Windermere. If you think the route will be flat.. think again. Grizedale Forest and surrounding areas provide challenging hills and rolling trails throughout the route. This course is a great opener.

TO ENTER THE EVENT GO HERE

Rivington

Event 2 of the UltraTrail26 series moves to Rivington, Lancashire. The event starts and finishes at Rivington High School and takes place on a variety of track and trails. The Lancashire moorland includes landmarks such as Great Hill, Rivington Pike and Darwen Tower and offers a variety of terrain and scenery.

Rivington is perhaps one of the less visited trail running areas in the North West, which is why, for event number 2, we chose to move away from Cumbria. The course is challenging, includes some hard climbing and moorland can be boggy underfoot. It’ll certainly be one to remember.

TO ENTER THE EVENT GO HERE

Howgills

The final event of the UltraTrail26 series takes place in the Howgills, which are ‘just about’ on the Yorkshire side of the Yorkshire and Cumbria Border. The event starts and finishes at Sedbergh School, in the town of Sedbergh, gateway to the Howgills.

The Howgills offer amazing running terrain and are infrequently visited by tourists. The fact that the Howgills are a collection of large, grassy hills, make all the climbs runnable. The fact that many of the climbs are steep and persistent, outweigh the grassy surface underfoot. The views are stunning and the trail running even better. This is a great way to end the series.

TO ENTER THE EVENT GO HERE