Marmot Dark Mountains 2015

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The organisers of the formidable Marmot Dark Mountains™ have just announced that the 2015 event will take place in the Howgills on the night of 24th & 25th January 2015.
Marmot Dark Mountains™ takes the classic two-day mountain marathon format and gives it a new… darker twist. Rather than two days of running with an overnight camp in between, Marmot Dark Mountains™ packs everything into one winter’s night!
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The event kicks-off on the Saturday evening with the longest classes setting off first for dusk-to-dawn racing. The shorter classes 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.
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Race Director, Shane Ohly from Ourea Events describes the 2015 event area, “The Howgills provide a superb setting for Marmot Dark Mountains™. The terrain is definitely more runable than previous editions of the race but with the steep sided valleys that are typical, there is significant height gain, and the course are sure to provide a suitable test of endurance.” He continued, “The Howgills also seem to catch more than their fair share of winter weather and we are anticipating a tough challenge for those competitors brave enough to enter.”
©iancorless.com.©iancorless.com.P1100464Marmot Dark Mountains™ has a growing reputation as the test of competence for experienced mountain runners. Ordinarily a standard mountain marathon with its combination of mountain running and navigation at its heart is a sufficient challenge but Marmot Dark Mountains™ takes it a step further by packing two days of running into one long winters night with dusk-to-dawn racing.
Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2013 was held in the southwest fells of the Lake District National Park. That year the event experience extremely poor weather and the completion rate for the linear courses averaged just 21%. In 2014 the event moved to the Peak District National Park and with better weather the completion rate rose to 53%. Still, these are low completion rates considering that competitors are vetted for experience before their entry is accepted.
With the announcement of the venue, the organisers have also released details of the routes, which have been planned by Charlie Sproson who is a regular Race Planner for Ourea Events. These are:
  • Elite Course: 53.1km / 2,966m
  • A Course: 42.3km / 2,415m
  • B Course: 35.8km / 2,311m
  • C Course: 33.9km / 1,770m
  • Long Score: 10 Hours
  • Short Score: 8 hours
Working in collaboration with Harvey Maps at the 2014 Marmot Dark Mountains™ bespoke ‘high contrast’ maps were produced for the first time. These were designed to show contours more clearly in the dark and when the map is illuminated by high-powered headtorches. These were a great success and the 2015 event will also feature these special night maps.
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Race Director, Shane Ohly elaborated, “For an event that is focused on mountain navigation and running, we understand completely that the quality of the map is directly linked to the quality of the overall experience and as such, we invest significant time and energy into the map. As in previous years we will be using waterproof and tearproof paper and our special night-nav high contrast printing developed with Harvey Maps. Whilst checking control sites both Charlie Sproson and I have been recording new paths, fences etc with GPS and combined with Harvey’s updating their base data from a new photogrammetry survey data, we are confident that we will provide a high quality and accurate map for the competitors.”
With the support of sponsorship from Marmot® and Petzl® there is a £500 cash prize for the winning elite team. In 2014 Steve Birkinshaw and Tom Gibbs won and Alex Pilkington and Kim Collison won in 2013.
Key Event Information
Website: www.Marmot-Dark-Mountains.com
Date: 24th & 25th January 2015
Venue: Howgills, Northern England
Entry: from £50 per person
Courses: Elite, A, B, C, Short and Long Score

Marmot Dark Mountain - FINAL (BLACK)

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Marmot Dark Mountains™ – 2014 Race Preview

Marmot Dark Mountain - FINAL (BLACK)This weekend will see the second Marmot Dark Mountains™ take place in the Peak District. “The Peak District has the perfect blend of high moorland areas, challenging terrain and a wonderful sense of wilderness… especially at night.”

Taking the classic two-day mountain marathon format, Shane Ohly (RD) and Ourea Team have given the race format a new… darker twist. The Marmot Dark Mountains™ will pack everything into one night. Derbyshire in January can only mean one thing… cold and potentially wet. Current weather forecasts are showing at best an 80% chance of rain, wind speeds of 17-22mph and lows of 2degs. Navigation is only going to be one element of this race!

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Based on the classic mountain marathon format, competitors will compete in 2-man teams in categories Short/ Long Score, A, B, C and Elite. The nature of the terrain would normally dictate the distance of each course and the Ourea Team are sticking with this format and planning with a certain winning time in mind.

The addition of darkness, potentially bad weather and navigation will all make Marmot Dark Mountains™ a tough challenge.

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“The knowledge gained from the first event shows that with experienced and vetted competitors, you can run an event in atrocious weather and allow the competitors to make decisions about their own safety.”

Although the winning time for the chosen race class will be similar to a normal mountain marathon, the distance covered will be reduced.

Departing from Glossop (Peak District) on Saturday evening, the longest classes will set off first and conversely; the shorter classes will set off later. This dusk-to-dawn style of racing will look to have all competitors finishing in a 1 to 2-hour window come Sunday morning. The break of dawn as runners converge on the finish line will without doubt make this an exciting finale to a long nights racing.

Marmot Dark Mountains™ is a challenging event, however courses will remaining open until 1200 on Sunday; this will allow sufficient time for everyone to complete their respective courses.

BW-Sponsors-Marmot

Shane Ohly when asked about the event and who would be the main protagonists had this to say, “My suspicion is that the elite race will be a battle royal between the duo of Steve Birkinshaw / Tom Gibbs and Chris Near / Tim Higginbottom. Both Steve and Tim are excellent navigators but with a 14-minute difference in their start times, I am hoping that they will remain in the ‘dark’ about each others positions until they have finished. I wouldn’t dismiss Simon Patton / Dave Troman either as both have intimate local knowledge and the darkness can be a great leveler of speed. Dark horses will be Jim Mann (recent winter BG record) / Stuart Walker – they are not renowned as a strong navigation team but they are fast.”

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It goes without saying that there will a hearty breakfast and hot drinks available to everyone as they finish. Competitors may also sleep at the Event Centre, which is recommend, before travelling home.

Race sponsorship comes from Marmot, Silva and Trail Running Magazine.

Entrant Numbers (teams of 2):

  • Short score – 20
  • Long score – 15
  • C category – 15
  • B category – 7
  • A category – 7
  • Elite – 13

Links:

MARMOT24™ – A NEW 24-HOUR MOUNTAIN MARATHON

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The World’s first 24-hour mountain marathon, the inaugural Marmot24, will be held on the weekend 2nd and 3rd August 2014.
This exciting new event combines the very best elements of the predominantly British mountain marathon phenomenon with aspects of the more international, 24-hour rogaining events. With mountain running and navigation at the heart of the event competitors will have 24, 12 or 6-hours to visit as many checkpoints as possible on a score format course. With the 24-hour race starting at noon Saturday, the 12-hour race starting at midnight Saturday and the 6-hour race starting at 0600 on the Sunday morning, everyone will finish at 12 noon on the Sunday in an exciting and dramatic finale to a memorable weekend of racing.
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Seven times OMM Elite winner, Steve Birkinshaw was quick to state that, “A non-stop 24-hour mountain marathon has been missing from the UK calendar, the Marmot24™ fill this gap. It sounds like a great event that I am really looking forward to competing in.”
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Race Director, Shane Ohly explained his thoughts about the new race, “I’ve actually been injured since August and this has given me some extra time – when I would normally be running – to think about concepts for events and as Steve Birkinshaw said, a 24-hour mountain marathon really was the missing piece in the current range of mountain marathon events in the UK. So, by this time next year, there will be high quality mountain marathon events each month from the Highlander in April through to the OMM in October. There will also be a great variety of events with the 3-day format Great Lakeland 3Day™, score format races like the RAB Mountain Marathon and even an overnight winter event with Marmot Dark Mountains each January. 
Marmot24 will have a central event centre within the event area where all teams will start and finish. The location of the controls is such that competitors can choose to pass through the event centre during the race, with the two-person teams making the choice whether to rest, or eat, whilst the four-person teams can tag-in their team mates; swapping tired runners for fresh runners. The event centre will be a hub of activity with a large marquee, race control, retail shop, catering and camping for competitors and supporters. Supporters are actively encouraged and they can provide help for the competitors at the event centre.
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With events like the Dragon’s Back Race™, the Great Lakeland 3Day™ and Marmot Dark Mountains™, Shane Ohly and his team from Ourea Event have been steadily building a reputation for delivering high quality mountain running events in recent years. This years 2013 OMM Elite winner, Nick Barrable, was happy to lend his endorsement, “Experienced race organiser Shane Ohly, always puts on a good show and I am sure that much fun will be had.”
Marmot UK Sales Director, Hugh Harris said, “After the great response to Marmot Dark Mountains™ (MDM), we wanted to extend Marmot’s support of mountain based events. MDM is brilliant, but it’s deliberately extreme and targeted at experienced, and seemingly masochistic participants! After working very successfully with Shane Ohly and his company Ourea, on MDM, we asked him to create a brand new summer event for us that would be open to a much broader range of participants. The result is Marmot24, and we’re really excited to be launching it this week.”
Key Event Information
Date: 2nd & 3rd August 2014
Venue: Northern England
Entry: from £55
Courses: 24-hour, 12-hour and 6-hour