Exciting news! We are going to GO BIGGER! From next year we are going to organise a full size 2 day Mountain Marathon in Scotland in the first weekend of June, so the 5th and the 6th of June 2021. This is a week after Jura, for those who want to combine the two races. We believe the UK needs to maintain it's tradition of having a late spring/early summer Mountain Marathon in Scotland and we are very excited to be able to fulfil this need. It is going to be a fantastic event, of course with overnight camp. More to follow as we are starting to plan for next year. We will need lots of support and we definitely could do with a number of volunteers to help out with our first 2 day race. Stay tuned!
What a year. Just like many of you I am now working from home for 12 months. Pretty tough winter, but finally things are starting to look better. Longer days, spring in the air and of course we have a lock down roadmap with provisional dates for when things will become possible again. Based on England athletics and FRA guidance it looks like fell races (with COVID-measures) will be possible again from the end of March and unrestricted travel within England becomes possible again from the 17th May. Scotland is a different story with a lot more uncertainty at this point.
We have therefore decided to move the first Kong Mountain Marathon on the Isle of Arran to next year and use the date of the 6th June to organise our April Mini Mountain Marathon. We still have to get permission from the National Trust and FRA, but are hopeful to organise the 4 hour Mini Mountain Marathon in Borrowdale on the 6th June. We are also still keeping our 8th May evening race on the calendar, but that is likely for local people only given travel restrictions.
And WE ARE BACK!! It was brilliant to be able to organise races again. Our very first race was last week in our local Dovedale from Ilam Hall. Good to practice our new COVID procedures. I had to be extra careful as I was visiting my parents in Holland - now quarantining of course!
And after 14 months of lockdowns, cancellations and postponements you would expect glorious sunshine...well it was pouring!! Despite that about 120 runners turned up and nobody seemed to care. Big smiles all over that racing was possible again. The COVID procedures went well. A shame we can't provide any home made cakes at the moment.
And the normal post race discussions - socially distanced of course - were good to hear. Which check points people went to, what route they followed and the famous check point 2. Where was it?!! All in all a great evening and we are happy to be back again. Now up to the first 4 hour race in the 2021 Series on Sunday 6th June in Borrowdale. We hope to see you there.
Sitting in a cafe now doing the post race computer stuff before heading out to collect controls in the Howgills. Tired from yesterday, but really pleased! Lots of positive comments from competitors about the race yesterday. The Howgills is first of all a great area to race. Very difficult to make route choices. Lots of ups and downs and no obvious ridges. And because of the bank holiday, it's an area that is actually not very busy. People really enjoyed the area. And we were able to bring homemade soup and cakes back to our races as the Covid rules relaxed. A lot more work of course to prepare. Janneke, Alison, Oscar, Eleanor, Chris spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing. But it makes the race a lot more enjoyable. People getting their food and then of course discuss the check points, route choices and many other things. Timing wise everything went very well. I am teaching Max and Oscar how to do the timing as well and they are picking up very quickly. Now up to the next race. Unfortunately not in September (NT!), but in November.
What a fantastic race. Our race weekend started Wednesday before the race where we drove up to the Lakes. Thursday and Friday we used to set out the controls. Bit claggy on the tops on Thursday with some rain, but the rest of the week was absolutely stunning. Janneke and myself set out some controls from Langdale on Thursday. Alison had great company from Josie Greenhalgh who helped during the entire event - thank you Josie! We stayed at the YHA in Borrowdale which is always a great location. We used the Borrowdale Institute in Rosthwaite for registration. Bit of a panic on Saturday evening when due to the renovation it appeared all the tables were gone! An old door outside as table on a few boxes was the solution. Race day was brilliant. Lots of familiar faces and new runners. Fantastic weather even a bit too hot and lots of positive comments and smiles all over after the race. Great scores as well. Eleanor did really well with the ladies despite ending up in someone's backyard :) On to the next one in the Howgills!
Just home from Wales. We had a great weekend. The race yesterday from Aber went very well. We were a bit worried about the registration venue as it was very difficult to find one large enough in or around Aber. Sheila from the Butterfly cafe was very nice and it worked very well. Don't believe we have ever had sofas before in our event venue. The weather was much better the whole weekend than expected. It was very windy, but at least the rain stayed away. On race Sunday there was quite a bit of fog on the tops, which made navigation challenging, but that's all part of the sport. Cannot believe that Neil nearly collected all controls. He did 22 in 4 hours whilst it took us 4 people days let's say 20 hours to set them all out. Thank you to Eleanor Johnstone who helped us collecting in controls on the Monday. Normally we have Max helping, but he is in New Zealand at the moment, lucky him! And after collecting controls, Welsh rarebit and cake in the Aber cafe of course. All in all a very successful first race. Up to a great 2020!