Marmot Dark Mountains 2014 Results & Images


The 2014 Marmot Dark Mountains was a resounding success and in contrast to the 2013 event, weather conditions were extremely kind on all entrants… well, at least all those who finished before 7am.

As predicted, the weather took a very serious turn for the worse as dawn arrived with increasing winds and torrential rain. It really did turn into a tough test for the final 20 or so teams who were still out on the course. However, a warm leisure centre awaited and a breakfast fit for a king.

Marmot Dark Mountain - FINAL (BLACK)

Shane Ohly and the Ourea Events Team really did put on a great event with excellent support. Nothing was left to chance. As we all know, an event of this nature is not for the inexperienced.

A night in the Peak District with only a map, head torch and all essential equipment (as required for safety) plus your running partner for company is a test you either embrace or shy away from.


Departing from Glossop at timed intervals starting at 1900hrs on Saturday, competitors ventured out into the dark. Maps were checked, bearings taken and then a plan was formulated. Experience really showed in the first 5-minutes of the race. Some runners required several minutes of map checking before departing whereas experienced runners like eventual elite category winners, Steve Birkinshaw and Tom Gibbs received a map and immediately ran whilst taking bearings and making navigation decisions whilst covering ground.



Conditions during the night on the whole were extremely favourable. It was dry and temperatures, particularly if running, were mild. Of course the wind did blow on the tops and occasionally mist and fog would move in and out making navigation difficult. A couple of teams did struggle with this and were forced to retire.

The ground was very wet from months of rain and certain sections of the Peak District had been blocked off to ensure safety.

Headlights appeared all over the mountains as different teams navigated different routes to maximise time. One thing remained a constant; as I encountered runners on the course, a smile and welcome greeting was always returned.


A midpoint checkpoint proved to be a great central hub to see runners depart and arrive. A glowing Marmot tent providing protection for the marshall team and of course providing an additional safety shelter should runners need it.


As the event unfolded, pre race favourites in the elite race, Steve Birkinshaw/ Tom Gibb took a very early lead and never really looked  back. Bruce Duncan/ Lucy Harris pushed them close in the early stages but as the race progressed the gap opened.


Over the other categories:

Catherine and Ross Litherland took a convincing victory in the A category in 11:30:01

Matt Harris and James Stokes won the B category by around 18-mins in 12:43:34

Louis and Bertie Goffe won the C category by over 30-mins in 6:37:02

Ben Stansfield and Pat Bartlett won the Long Score with 345 points in 9:44:47

Joe Gillyon and Catherine Evans won the Short Score with 185 points in 7:37:24

Full results available HERE

©© 2014 Marmot Dark Mountains was without doubt a great success. Marmot and SilvaUK added to the whole experience and without doubt a huge thanks was passed on to all the marshals who ensured safety for all throughout the night.

You can receive additional information from the race website HERE

Photography of the race is available HERE

UTMB 2012 quick review


Well, the rain came, the snow fell and the course was quite rightly considered too dangerous to send so many runners to potential harm. With rain forecast for all of the race evening, snow above 1600m and possible drifts with -5 temperatures the TNFUTMB organisation decided to cut short the route to 100k, keep it below a certain altitude and keep the whole race in France. Using a ‘sort of’ figure of 8 loop the runners would go out and come back on themselves primarily through Contamines and Les Houches and then finish as planned in Chamonix.

Of course this is not what any runner wanted to hear. All the money, all the time training and focussing on a target race for it all to be removed at the last minute. If this was the first time then we could all say ‘bad luck’! But unfortunately this is the fourth year in a row the race has had problems and although they cannot control the weather and I do believe they made the correct decision I can’t help but wonder why they can’t plan ahead and have a ‘safe’ longer route available as an option.

Certainly the lack of a longer route saw pre race favourites, Julian Chorier and Iker Karrera defect from the race. Juian heading to the GR20 and Iker doing a ‘flyer’ to make the start of the GoreTex Transalpine race at 2100hrs that very same day.

However, a very good field remained with Francois d’Haene, Jonas Buud, Mike Foote, Csaba Nemeth, Jez Bragg, Sebastian Chaigneau, Miguel Heras, Carlos Sa and Kaburaki amongst others ready to fight it out in the dark and wet.

In the ladies race pre race favourite, Lizzy Hawker looked ready and happy to run. Emma Rocca, Krissy Moehl, Amy Sproston, Rory Bosio, Francesca Canepa and Katia Fori all took to the start.

Lizzy Hawker set her table very early and never let up. I saw her at Notre Dame de Gorge and she was running a gradient others walked. She was pushing hard, so hard she never came out of the top 20 overall. Lizzy took a great win in 12:32:13 and was 16th overall. Following in second place was Francesca Canepa from Vibram. She ran a strong consistent race and took an excellent podium slot behind Lizzy in 13:17:01. Emma Rocca filled the vacant podium slot in 13:23:37.

Lizzy triumphant for a 5th time

In the mens race Francois d’Haene took the lead out of Contamines and slowly pulled away. My tip for the shortened race was Jonas Buud. I felt that 2:22 marathon speed and WR 100m time would play into his hands and allow him to runner quicker in the final stretches of the race. Not so! Francois finally finished with a 30 minute lead in 10:32:36 leaving Buud in 2nd with 11:03:19. Revelation of the race was super talented Mike Foote. He ran easy for 30k saying he was thinking of quitting. At 50k he felt much better and then just speeded up. In doing so he moved from way outside the top 10 and just kept picking runners off until he finished on the podium in 3rd in 11:19:00.

Francois on the climb Notre dame de Gorge

Notable drops was Seb Chaigneau who was lying in 4th place and with just 10k to go dropped due to problems with vision. Jez Bragg dropped early with stomach issues and Miguel Heras dropped too.

In the ladies I guess the big looser was Krissy Moehl but in real terms she has had a super crazy calendar and to perform at UTMB was unlikely.



  • François D’Haene 10:32:36
  • Jonas Buud 11:03:19
  • Mike Foote 11:19:00 
  • Carlos Sa 11:22:39
  • Csaba Nemeth 11:37:18
  • Jean-Yves Rey  11:43:48
  • François Faivre 11:51:32
  • Arnaud Lejeune 11:53:17
  • Sébastien Buffard 11:57:47
  • Tsuyoshi Kaburaki 12:03:04


  • Lizzy Hawker 12:32:13
  • Francesca Canepa 13:17:01
  • Emma Roca 13:23:37
  • Rory Bosio 13:43:10
  • Katia Fori 13:58:25
  • Magdalena Laczak 14:07:50
  • Fernanda Maciel 14:12:01
  • Amy Sproston 14:13:35
  • Emelie Lecomte 14:35:54
  • Nerea Martinez 14:58:59

View my photos Faces of UTMB here

Trofeo Kima race summary

Less than 2 hours from Milan Bergamo airport and nestled in the peaks of Val Masino, every other year a race takes place. A race so severe, so difficult and so demanding that it has a restricted field of just 100.

The Trofeo Kima was established to honor the memory of mountain guide Perangelo Marchetti affectionately known as ‘Kima”. I can think of no better way to honor a mountain guide.

The race, 50km long and covering some 7 mountains passes is part of the Ultra Skyrunning series and is billed as ‘the one’. Starting in Filorea the race goes in an anti-clockwise direction. Preda Rossa at 1940m, Rifugio Ponti 2559m, Roma 2894m, Bivaccio Kima 2894m and Cameraccio 2950m and this is just the first full ascent and the highest point of the course.

Kilian Jornet ran the race for the first time in 2010 after UTMB was cut short due to bad weather. Desperate not to waist his training and a weekend he headed over to Italy from Chamonix and the next day, along with Heras tackled what he know calls an iconic race. Setting a new course record of 6:19:03 in the process.

The night before the race electrical storms entered the Val Masino and a deluge of rain fell making many wonder as we lay in bed if the race would actually go ahead. Morning came and with it a new day. Dry weather and an improving sky confirmed that the race could go ahead but with a 30 min delay.

Once underway Kilian Jornet soon made clear his intentions leading from Tom Owens, Andy Symonds, Franco Sancassani (3rd place 2007), Philipp Reiter and Michel Lanne.

In the ladies race Emelie Forsberg and Nuria Picas raced neck and neck with Emanuela Brizio (2008 and 2010 winner) chasing behind. Forsberg pushed ahead and at Cameraccio 2950m she took the lead and the prize money for the first lady to the highest point of the course.

At Camerozzo 2765m a super technical section in what already is a very technical race, Kilian descending by the chains securely bolted to the wall and had a lead of nearly 10 mins over Tom Owens.

Nuria Picas and taken the lead here and was looking super strong. Behind Emelie Forsberg and Emanuela Brizio now raced neck and neck.

In the men’s race Michel Lanne chased Francis Sancassani now in 3rd. Several minutes behind Andy Symonds and Philipp Reiter chased together.

Kilian used all his mountain skills and ran into the finish to win comfortably in 6:28. Tom Owens pulled of an impressive 2nd place after (in his words) a disappointing Sierre Zinal just two weeks ago to cross the line in 6:39. He said as he finished:

“Wow, so hard, so technical… an incredible race, you can’t describe what that course is like”.

Francis Sancassani sealed the men’s podium in 6:45.

Nuria Picas ran a wonderful race to finish first in a new Course Record of 7:36:21 some 10 mins faster than the previous best. Emelie Forsberg had to move up a gear in the final km’s to win a well earned second place in 7:46 from Emanuela Brizio who was just seconds behind.

I have witnessed many races and the Trofeo Kima stands out as the most incredible, the most beautiful and the most frightening I have ever seen. It’s an incredible race and with just 100 entries every other year it is one race that should make it to all ultra runners bucket list. It is a fitting tribute to KIMA.