What a fantastic weekend. Really enjoying these Lakes weekend, specially of course if the weather is good. Just came back from the US on Friday for work (do this regularly), so bit of a difficult time getting up yesterday to set out controls and this morning for the race. But when you then look outside and the sun shines and the mountains look red from the early morning sun, all is forgotten. Yesterday a great day to set out the controls. Luckily Alison, Max and Joe already had done most of the controls. We only had to do 6, so a nice relaxing day. Quite cold thought with the wind. Fantastic terrain. Today the race went very well. Quite a few people misjudged the rough terrain though and came back late, but in the end c3:30 pm everybody was in, which is always a good feeling. The winners were amazing, such high scores and we had such a great field. Brilliant! More importantly though everybody seemed to enjoy the race and of course the cakes and soup flew out. Tomorrow collecting controls and then up to the next one - our favourite - our local 2 hour evening one from the local pub. See you there.
Just home from Wales. Today Alison and I collected the controls from yesterday's race from Capel Curig. It was a special one! Last week the weather looked more challenging by the day and we were wondering if the race could go ahead. Alison went to set out controls on Friday and I was anxiously waiting for news what the situation on the ground was. Fortunately it looked good enough to go ahead, but for the first time we had to make the race area smaller and take out a number of controls. It took hours to set out a few controls in the deep snow. Knee deep in most places, but sometimes you went through the snow up to waist height or higher. Very interesting if there was a bog below! The weekend was brilliant however. The weather was cold, and a bit wet towards the Sunday afternoon, but overall decent. And the competitors seem to enjoy the challenge and everybody safely returned with a smile and lots of stories. Great to see! Really happy we went ahead and took on the challenge. Up to a successful 2019 season.
I haven't been maintaining the blog this year; will do better next year. It has now been 5 years since we started organising the Kong Mini Mountain Marathons and it has been a real pleasure and nice hobby to organise them. There is a lot of work involved yes! And it does take away quite a few weekends and therefore opportunities to race. But it also brings new opportunities, different areas in the British mountains to explore, weekends away to recce and of course the nice race weekends where we set out controls, meet with our two families, have nice team dinners, busy race day, meet all of you again, etc. We all have our tasks and by now we know exactly what to do which makes it easier. Alison chooses the areas, the check point locations and deals with the difficult access negotiations, checks in with local farmers and organises the village hall and parking. Alison and Janneke do all the cooking, and that is a lot!! Have you ever cooked for 300 people? Erwin does all the computer stuff, marketing and finances. Chris helps with the marketing and loads of other activities that need to happen. And all of us get involved in recceing, setting out controls and collecting controls. And of course we have lots and lots of support from our children and their friends. Without them we couldn't organise it as we need at least 9-10 people on race day to be able to pull the races together. The best thing however is seeing everybody having fun, smiling faces, great comments, great discussions about route choices and lots of discussion over a cup of soup and one or two or three pieces of cake. And then the comments and thank yous when people leave and the comments on facebook and email, always very nice to see. It is a hobby for us, we are not making any money out of this and we don't need to. It is just great to organise them and see all of you coming back every time. The last time we had our race sold out - wow, that didn't happen before and it is great to see they are popular. Fell Running and Orienteering are such great sports and the British mountains are such fantastic areas to do these sports. It is great to be able to contribute and give back. Thank you as well to Kong for sponsoring us. Great to have a company behind us with the right spirit and interest in the sport. And thank you to the FRA, Steve Wilson Granddayoutphotography, Mike Godfree from DVO for helping with Routegadget and PurplePen, David Broom our ecologist, Harvey maps, Lucking printers, SI Entries/Sportident and the National Trust and many others! Up to the next 5 years.