Thursday, 12 May 2016

Rab Mini Mountain Marathon
Grasmere 17.04.16

Another brilliant Rab Mini Mountain Marathon. The timing was perfect for me. Two weeks before the Great Lakeland 3Day. It gave me a chance to run on proper Lakeland fells and to see if I could remember how to read a map.
 For some,  these four hour score events are an introduction to mountain marathons. Others come to test there speed, navigation and mountain skills. Whatever the reason for entering, everyone seems to have a good time. Me included.

That feeling when you find the control

A sparkling Easdale Tarn
Pinched from  Rab Mini MM  
A big thank you to these good people
Photo also pinched from Rab MMM

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Spare us the cut-off

Edale Skyline 13.03.16

A good start to the day
A proper good day out. The Edale Skyline is one of the highlights, of the Peak District, fellrunning calender and once again, Dark Peak Fell Runners put on a top event.

Slick organisation, friendly marshalls, and a great route rounded off with; pie and peas, tea and cake. The sun even put in an appearance.

Here are a a few photos, Highlights and randoms:

  • My slowest ever Skyline
  • I beat the cut-offs 
  • Para-gliders, vulturing around Mam Tor. Not much meet on a fell runners bones.
  • Catching up with Mikk
  • For some reason I always feel sick on the great ridge.
  • Rescue Ale, from Ian Dark Peak
  • Snow/slush
  • Sunshine

One of many many, smiley, Dark Peak  marshals.
Thank you, to you all

Not a bad end either.
Rescue Ale supplied by IDP and Woodhead Mountain Rescue 

How to crash a fell race by Emer

Monday, 21 March 2016


Marmot Dark Mountains

That was proper hard.  Mike and I sat shell-shocked and weary, after 12 hours and 14 minutes of Marmot Dark Mountaining. Gazing into space, with 1000 yard stares. We had both decided 'never again'. Strangely, after just one week both of us had started thinking about entering, Dark Mountains 2017.

Marmot Dark Mountains(MDM) has been going since 2013 and like other mountain marathons,  is a mountain navigation event. The big difference is, 1.that it is in Winter and 2. we had to race through the night.

Being navigationally challenged, I probably wouldn't have entered, until Mike got in touch and said 'shall we'? We had not raced as a team before, but  had bumped into each other on a few other events. I said yes as I know, Mike is a good navigator and most importantly, we got on with each other. A big, if not the biggest consideration, when choosing team-mates.

The question was would we still get on, after a long winters night, in the hills?........

Some interesting kit choices.
 He said it was for the marshals
30th of January 2016, 22:30 hrs. We collect maps and head out, into the cold windy night. We make our first mistake, almost strait away. A wrong turn, before we have even got out of the village. Ho hum! All we can do is laugh it off and crack on.
After that embarrassing faux pas, the first 3 controls are easy enough to find. I am guessing the course planner, planned this, to ease us into the event.
Control #3 to #4 was a different matter. We fail miserably to follow a bearing and completely missed the re-entrant, we were aiming for. At this point I would normally have spat my dummy and given up.
Fortunately Mike is made of sterner stuff. Unlike me, he can navigate properly and knows how to re-locate*.

Onwards and upwards. Control #5. Straightforward, follow the path to Skiddaw House. Control #6 straightforward but very steep and a bit slippery. Splat! The face-plant was fast, probably the fastest I move all night (Note to self; it's icy).
#7 went well. #8 starts well, then we have another diversion. To be fair, we are up on the fell tops and the weather has changed.

Cue-  Benny Hill music
It is now snowing, switching to hail then back to snow again and as you would expect at 600 meters up it is much draughtier (check out the Event video).
 We miss the path, that we were aiming for. After realising something is wrong, we loop back on track. Mike's relocation skills save the day( night?), again.
At this point, the snow is blowing strait into my eyes. It hurts. Thankfully, I have brought my new reading glasses. Middle age myopia, saves the day. It's blurry but I can see enough to follow Mike.
We climb up onto the hilltop, where control 8 should be, scan round 360 degrees. No control. We lower our gaze. Amusingly, the control kite is almost touching distance. Big up to Mike's Navigation again.

Mike leads the way again. Contouring around, to control #9. A quick paddle in the river (Thanks Charlie) and a climb, up to  #10 at Lingy Hut.

We have been out so long that it is now daylight, making the rest of the nav straightforward. Even for me. Just a long slog back, via the last four controls. It is less than 10k, but becomes a cruel, grind and even I no longer find my crap jokes funny.

At last we reach Mungrisdale and the finish line. A marshal hands us both,  a much needed hot cuppa and thankfully we can stop. Wow! that was hard. We are both totally, kippered! No euphoria, just relief that it is over. We finish, dead last, in our class and only just before the course closed but at least we finish.

One week later, Mike and I remember Marmot Dark Mountains as, a fun night out. A month or so later, Mike has put an entry in, for Marmot dark mountains 2017. Nuff said.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the Marmot dark mountains team. 
See you next year.

Links to:

Event video

Race Directors report

Marmot Dark Mountains 2017 Entries Early bird discount, before September 2016

Results and link to GPS tracks

Competitor blogs:

Team JMC uk

The Adventure Emporium

Cat Slater

JP Speaks

Haydn Williams

 *Unfortunately, while relocating on the way to #4 we clipped an out of bounds area. We reported this to the RO as soon as we finished. Magnanimously, the RO did not disqualify us. See Race Directors report. Thank you Shane.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Dark Side

Marmot Dark Mountains
Marmot Dark Mountains It's Dark 

Saturday, 9 January 2016


It really is called Splatt

Happy New year to you!
My first run of 2016. A damp splash, from St Minver to a tower, on a hill and back.

Some weather

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Blobbed it (Early bath)

Rab Mini Mountain Marathon Saddleworth Moor

A funny day out. Being up out in the hills, on a cold, wet, windy day, is what I do for fun. Which is why I surprised myself, by turning around and heading home, for an early bath.

Rab Mini Mountain Marathons are score events. four hours, to visit as many controls as you can. There are penalties for finishing late, the later you finish the more severe the penalty. 
  • 1  to  5  minutes late-  1   points per minute
  • 6  to 10 minutes late-  2   points per minute 
  • 11 to 15 minutes late- 5   points per minute
  • 16 to 30 minutes late- 10 points per minute 
  • Over 30 minutes late-  All points lost  
The reason I headed home had nothing to do with points. After two hours, I just turned around. Quit, gave up, I had, had enough. My legs were ok. Feet were a bit cold but they have been much colder.
 It was all in my head. Not a DNF, more like, could have done better. Should have done much better.

Could a, should a, would a.  Hey ho! Onwards and upwards.

Thursday, 26 November 2015


Mikk's 30/30/30

Missioning ~ (Mish-un-in)
To go out, on a Mission or adventure. Mucking about in the Hills. Usually self propelled, by foot or pushbike.
Origin ~ Mikk
Synonyms ~ Fun

After bigging it up, my trusty mju lets me down

Mikk's mission- To celebrate his 30th year was; a 30k trail/fell run, a 30k road bike ride and a 30k mountain bike ride. A proper mission.
Mikk Kindly invited me along to share in the celebrations. Not being a banana powered 'machine', I opted to just tag along on the run.
The route for the run was planned by Glen. Glen is at the elite end of the fell running scale, although  he would  probably never use the E word to describe himself, a solo Bob Graham and being able to run Simon Fellmonkey ragged, says he is.
I really am not worthy to run with these Two and proved so, by bonking at about 20k. Fortunately this didn't prevent Mikk from completing his mission(Respect). It certainly didn't stop me enjoying myself.

Happy 30th Mikk ans a big thank you, to you and Glen for the guided tour of the Eastern Peak District.

My first visit to the Ox stones


Mikk readies the Banana bike.