Today the first race of the 2018 Series. The run up to the event was tough. Recceing in difficult conditions and also setting out controls on the Saturday before the race was let's call it interesting. The wind chill on the tops was huge and the snow deep.
But race day.....race day was the most beautiful day I have ever seen in the mountains.
Imagine snow white tops with a blue sky overlooking a lower level landscape with different kinds of green/brown colours and the sea in the background. Some of the pictures looked like they were straight from the Himalayas or the Alps. Pure white mountains towering behind the competitors. Luckily we had some competitors taking photos as unfortunately Steve Wilson our event photographer couldn't make it due to a family emergency - luckily his son is alright!
The race went very well - amazing what some people can do in four hours when it takes 4x that to set out the controls. And as usual the cakes and soup made the day! A great start of the year. Up to April
Mid December last year Janneke and I went to do our final Recce for the race in North Wales. It is our first race in Wales and it is nice to go to another area of the British Mountains. We like these recce weekends and make them into a mini outing. This was the only weekend we had left to recce just before Christmas and with myself being a lot in the US for work. So we couldn't really plan for a good weather weekend, we just had to go. And the weather was interesting to say the least. It started with reasonable weather in the valley, but higher up we ended up in the deep snow with gale force winds, very, very cold. Traversing a mountain on snow was an experience. Good we brought our micro spikes, we didn't want to glide down a gully. The area is beautiful though, very wild, very remote although it is actually very close to Bangor and easy to access. The area is one of the highest mountain areas in the UK after the Scottish Highlands and part of the Snowdonia national park. Looking forward to February, to race day!
2018! We are now in our 4th year of organising the Kong Mini Mountain Marathons. As you probably know we do these purely as a hobby and not for financial gain! By recceing, setting out controls and collecting them in again, we get our own fell running and navigation practice in and we really enjoy race days with all of you enjoying the races and the food and the race chatter afterwards. Also great to be able to get the whole family involved.
We are now only a week away from the first race in North Wales. Organising a race in Wales has been a bit different. We have joined the Welsh FRA for example to get their support and run the race under their regulations. We also have to build up a new following of people in Wales to complement our regulars.
The soup and cakes are in the making. That is always a lot of work for Janneke and Alison. We have had our planning sessions on who is doing what on the day. The maps are in, the SportIdent equipment is coming on Wednesday - we are ready for the first race of the 2018 series! See you then!
Yesterday we went to do our final recce of the April race. I have announced the location today, so can now talk about the location - Glenridding with wainwrights like Helvellyn and Great Dodd.
Alison went two weeks ago - unfortunately the weather was absolutely awful.
We had stunning weather yesterday. Icy cold, but beautiful sunshine and clear skies.
Micro spikes were needed as the snow was very hard and the footpath very icy. We saw a pair going up a long snow field with no crampons or micro spikes and nearly falling down - that would have been a long slide down!!
The area is amazing and we can't wait to show you. Glenridding is a nice little village on the banks of Ullswater with some nice restaurants and shops if you decide to stay a bit longer on Sunday afternoon. Anyway up to April, up to Spring and hopefully the weather will be kind for race day again!