The 2014 Marmot Dark Mountans™ will take place on January 25th and 26th.
See you there... if you are brave enough?
2013 DATES & EVENT SCHEDULE
The inaugural Marmot Dark Mountains™ will be on 26th/27th January 2013
1600 Car Park Opens
1700 Registration Opens
1800 First Start
2200 Last Start
Saturday Night / Sunday Morning Event in progress
0600 First Finishers Expected
0900 Prize Giving
1200 Courses Close
1300 Car Park Closes
Conditions - Full Moon
Sunday the 27th January - the night after Dark Mountains™ - is a full moon so we should expect some excellent ambient light condition the night before while the event takes place.
The location for Marmot Dark Mountains is Northern England and is approximatley 2 hours drive from Manchester. Precise details of the event location will be revealed at 1200 on Wednesday 23rd January. We are keeping the precise location secret because local knowledge of the event area, especially for a night mountain marathon, would be a significant advantage.
If you happen to discover the location please keep this to yourself so that you don't spoil both the surprise and nature for the challenge to other competitors. Anyone who has revealed the location early can expect to be banned from all future Ourea Ltd events.
The Event Centre
The Event Centre is amazing, very unusual and considered a special place by many of it’s 10,000’s of visitors each year. It will provide a combination of modern facilities in an historical setting. Registration, Race HQ, First Aid etc will all be indoors with plenty of space for all the competitors to mill about before and after the event. The Event Centre also has a purpose built cafe, which will be open and serving the free breakfast to competitors on Sunday morning. There will also be the option for competitors to sleep at the Event Centre (silent 'sleeping' rooms - bring ThermaRest and sleeping bag) and grab a few hours sleep either before starting or before travelling home once finished. The Event Centre will be closed to the public on the weekend of Dark Mountains.
Car parking for competitors is free and in a purpose built car park on hard standing (i.e. no muddy field for cars to get stuck in).
Distances & Timing
- 700m from the Car Park to the Event Centre along a private road and trail. We would recommend bringing whatever you need to the Event Centre. Please allow 10 minutes at walking speed.
- 1.9km with 120m of ascent from the Event Centre to the start along tracks, private road and a section of public road (care required). Please allow 20 minutes at walking speed.
- 2.3km from the Event Centre to the Start / Finish (the start and finish are in the same location) along footpaths, private roads and public road (care required). Please allow 30 minutes at walking speed.
CLASSES & PRIZES
Marmot Dark Mountains™ is a team event for pairs based on the usual mountain marathon format with Elite, A, B, C and Score classes for competitors to choose from.
Usually at a mountain marathon the nature of the terrain dictates the distance of each course with the planners designing a course with a certain winning time. We are sticking with this principle but allowing for the added difficulty of navigating and running at night. Therefore although the winning time for your chosen class will be similar to a normal mountain marathon, the overall distance will be signifigantly less.
|Course||Winning Time||Start Time||Finishing Time|
In comparision to the 2012 OMM course distances, each of the Marmot Dark Mountains™ courses are significantly less. For example, the OMM Elite was 70.5km (over two days) but the Marmot Dark Mountains™ Elite is 51km. At tis stage (1st Nov 2012) course testing (at night) is still on going and we will fine tune the course distances further before the event.
When competitors enter both team members must provide details of their previous mountain marathon experience on the entry form and we will only accept entries onto a course if one of the pair has successfully completed the same standard course in a normal (day time) mountain marathon.
|Dark Mountains™ Course||Minimum Previously Experience||Minimum Age|
|Score||C or Score||16|
One team member must be over 18. Parental Consent Form must be signed at registration for under 18 competitors.
Other exceptional exploits will be taken into account if you don’t have mountain marathon experience.
The minimum age is the age of the competitor on the day of the event.
The following positions on each course are eligible for prizes:
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1st Female, 1st Mixed, 1st Veteran.
A veteran team must have a combined age that exceeds 90.
A female, mixed or veteran team in the first three will not receive two prizes and the 2nd placed female, mixed or veteran team will become eligible for a prize.
COMPETITORS CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
The weather in January could throw absolutely anything at the competitors and this is a major appeal of the Marmot Dark Mountains™ challenge. However, this does mean that competitors need to be suitably equipped and they must carry most of the usual mountain marathon kit (including tent, sleeping bag, stove etc) so that if a team has a major problem we know that they can make themselves safe and warm until help arrives.
Mandatory Personal Kit
The following kit must be worn or carried by each competitor at all times:
- Waterproof jacket or smock (with taped seams and a hood)
- Waterproof trousers (with taped seams)
- Survival bag (not a blanket)
- Map (supplied) and compass
- Headtorch with spare batteries (with sufficient light to be able to navigate in the darkness)
- Food for 12 hours
- Spare/emergency warm top (such as an insulated ‘duvet’ jacket or warm, thick fleece – this is not an additional thermal layer)
- Hat and gloves suitable for the weather conditions
- Water bottle and / or hydration system
- Fell or mountain running shoes (road trainers are NOT acceptable)
- Waterproof pen/pencil
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping mat
- Emergency rations (uneaten at the end of the event)
We are not specifying exactly what clothing should be worn by competitors but expect competitors to make sensible choices based on the weather conditions on the day.
Mandatory Team Kit
The following items must be carried by each team
- Tent – designed for two people with sewn in groundsheet
- First aid kit – that includes the minimum of triangular bandage, second bandage, wound dressing x2, roll of tape, pain killers
- Stove, fuel, matches/lighter, pan – with sufficient fuel to boil 1L of water
The conditions underfoot are likely to be boggy in some locations within the competition area. In winter conditions this means cold and wet feet are a distinct possibility for competitors. As such we would highly recommend using warm and waterproof socks and/or neoprene socks. Normal socks are NOT going to be sufficient for keeping your feet warm all night.
Optional Personal Kit
- Mobile phone (although we recommend that all competitors carry a mobile phone there is no guarantee of phone reception)
- Altimeter (very useful aid for navigation in low visibility conditions)
- Waterproof or neoprene socks
- Anti-chaffing / lubrication ointment
We would reccomend that all clothing and equipment is packed into waterproof bags.
Depending on the course there will be a two or three-minute gap between each team to ensure a degree of separation as each team sets off. This time interval and one hour start block naturally limits the number of entries.
Teams will be allocated a specific start time on the Saturday night and failure to be ready at that specified start time will mean that the team will have to wait until there is a suitable ‘window’… You don’t want to be waiting around on a cold January evening, so please ensure you are ready to start at the correct time. There is likely to be a walk from the event centre to the start. Each team's start time will be emailed to them in the week prior to the event.
|Course||Start Times (between...)|
The call up procedure immediately prior to the start will be:
-4 minutes = Teams called to the start
-3 minutes = SI Dibber clear and check
-2 minutes = Loose control descriptions available
-1 minute = Teams receive competition map
This means that teams should be at the start and ready to go at least 5 minutes before their allocated start time.
SAFETY, EMERGENCY PROCEDURES & BAD WEATHER COURSES
Event safety considers the impact of all actions on both competitors, marshals and potentially the emergency services such as a Mountain Rescue Team. Safety considerations are dynamic and may change as the race progresses and the weather conditions deteriorate. The Race Director’s decision will be final in all matters relating to safety.
The nature and the challenge of Dark Mountains™ is that competitors remain self sufficient and responsible for their own safety throughout the event. Should an accident occur it is initially the competitors’ responsibility to look after each other and raise the alarm.
In the event of an accident ensure that the casualty is put in their sleeping bag (and any spare sleeping bags) and in the tent. Use your whistle to summon help and ensure you make a careful note of your exact position (grid reference) and any features you can identify.
The Golden Rule
Once registered, each team must download their SI data at the event centre before departing regardless if they are retired or not (or even not started). This is our check to account for everyone being safely off the hill.
If a team has not finished AND downloaded their SI data at the event centre by 1200 on the Sunday AND they have failed to contact the organisers then the Police and Mountain Rescue will be notified and a search organised.
Bad Weather Course
A bad weather course maybe declared at anytime by the Race Director and in this instance, competitors must omit certain checkpoints. Details of the bad weather course are printed on the map.
In addition to the event Terms and Conditions, competitors must abide by the following Event Rules. The Event Rules are such that Dark Mountains™ can be run in a way that ensures fairness and safety for everyone involved. Anyone breaking the Event Rules or seeking to gain any unfair advantage (not necessarily listed here) will be penalised with harsh time penalties or disqualification at the sole discretion of the Race Director.
- The Golden Rule. Once registered, each team must download their SI data at the event centre before departing regardless if they are retired or not (or even not started). This is our check to account for everyone being safely off the hill.
- Teams must visit all the checkpoints on their course in the correct order.
- On open hills, mountains etc, which are generally defined as Access Land competitors may cross walls or fences as they please but are encouraged to use gates and stiles where available.
- On agricultural / farmland competitors MUST use Rights of Way, established footpaths and tracks and must NOT cross walls and fences except at designated crossing points, gates and stiles.
- No litter should be dropped on the course and Competitors must be able to show their litter at a Kit Check.
- Competitors must always wear or carry all the items in the Mandatory Clothing and Equipment list. This is the minimum amount of kit to ensure safety and survival. Leaving a rucksack at any time is prohibited.
- Dark Mountains™ is a team event and each pair must maintain both voice and visual contact with each other for the duration of the event. Both team members must visit each checkpoint together.
- If one member of the team must retire, then both team members must retire. It is not possible for individuals to continue alone or join another team.
- The competition map may have Out of Bounds Areas, Uncrossable Boundaries and Crossing Points marked on it and these must be respected. For the benefit of doubt an Uncrossable Boundary doesn’t necessary mean it is physical uncrossable but crossing it would be deemed a breach of the rules.
- The competition area is embargoed. If a competitor or team becomes aware of the competition area they are not allowed to reconnoitre or inspect it in advance of the event.
- Any competitor who acts in a manner that brings the event into disrepute or endangers another competitor, marshal or member of the public will receive a life ban from Ourea Ltd events.
- Absolutely no GPS / Satellite navigation devices (including watches, phones etc) are allowed. This includes GPS watches that can display distance travelled or speed even if they cannot display location data. Altimeters that work via barometric pressure are allowed.
- We encourage teams to carry a mobile phone with them but it must be turned off and sealed in bag at registration. Unless required for a genuine emergency the mobile phone must remain sealed in a bag for the duration of the event and this will be checked at Kit Check.
- All teams must submit to a Kit Check if requested by a race marshal. All teams eligible for a prize will be kit checked and random kit checks will be carried out on many other teams.
NAVIGATION AND MAPS
Marmot Dark Mountains™ is a night mountain marathon and the navigational challenge should not be underestimated… but it shouldn’t be feared either, as successfully navigating at night is hugely satisfying and gives a real sense of confidence.
Teams will be issued with their maps in the start lanes.
The map will be 1:25,000 scale using standard OS data. Loose control descriptions will be available in the start lanes.
The loose control description will use ISOM pictorial symbols to describe the control location. The competition map will also describe the control location using just words i.e. Stream Junction.
Absolutely no GPS / Satellite navigation devices (including watches, phones etc) are allowed. This includes GPS watches that can display distance travelled or speed even if they cannot display location data. Altimeters that work via barometric pressure are allowed.
All the controls, on all the courses will have reflective material on them. After much consideration we feel that this will improve competitors experience of the event without altering the nature of the challenge. Competitors will still need to accurately navigate to close proximately (circa 50m) to the checkpoint location before the control is visible but we hope that the reflective material will cut down on the frustration of missing controls, after navigating accurately to their location.
Competitors who are unable to continue may retire at any point and should make their own way back to the event centre. There is no facility to collect retiring teams by vehicle.