In the last few days entries have opened for the 2014 Marmot Dark Mountains race, which takes place at the end of January next year.
In January earlier this year, atrocious weather brought heavy snow to much of the country. While most people opted to crank up the heating, a few select runners were testing themselves at the first Marmot Dark Mountains. In the words of event organisers, this race 'takes the classic two-day mountain marathon format and gives it a new... darker twist'. Rather than two days of running with an overnight camp in between, Dark Mountains packs everything into one long winter's night.
With many of the courses at the inaugural event selling out, the 2014 race has added an extra score course to help cope with demand. The challenging line up of courses include Elite, A, B, C, Short Score and Long Score and promises to satisfy the full range of nocturnal deviation competitors enjoy, say organisers [really? the full range? Ed.].
The location will change each year. For now organisers are only prepared to say that for 2014 the event is going to be in Northern England, less than 1.5 hours drive from Manchester. Precise details of the location will only be revealed at the beginning of January 2014, but the chosen area is described by Race Director, Shane Ohly as 'absolutely fantastic.'
'It is one the best upland areas in England and amazingly, it hasn't had a mountain marathon event for many years' he continues. So there's a clue.
'With the success of the 2013 event, new courses for 2014, an amazing area and the continued support of sponsors Silva and Marmot, I am very confident that Marmot Dark Mountains will be a big success in 2014' says Ohly.
In a bid to make the event open to a wider range of competitors, the organisers have reduced the difficulty of the navigation on the easiest course.
Shane Ohly explains:
'Based on our 2013 experience we will be making the C Course slightly easier to navigate around by only using major features and/or linear features as checkpoints on this course. Each of the other courses will get progressively harder with the Elite Course having the hardest navigation.'
There will be a £500 cash prize for the winning elite team, so competition is expected to be intense on this course.
- Date: 25/26th January 2014
- Venue: somewhere hilly in Northern England
- Entry: £90 per team of two
- For more info see: Website