This news story will be updated with video updates and messages as the night of adventure unfolds.
Saturday / 1940 - The first elite team started at 1900. The weather, as predicted, is poor with heavy rain and a strong wind blowing. Competitors are in good spirits though as they regsiter and prepare for the race ahead at the Muncaster Castle Event Centre.
Saturday / 2044 - The first report of lightning out on the fells in the last half hour. Teams all starting without any problems. Everyone seems motivated and focused for the big challenge ahead of them. Our marshal team on the Corney Fell / Thwaites Fell Road (the southerly point of the courses) are now in place having walked in through knee deep snow in places.
Saturday / 2059 - Just received a dispatch from the start. All the Elite and A course competitors have started by 2030. The weather seems marginal better than terrible out there. Another video update uploading at the moment.
Saturday / 2141 - Still busy at the event centre with competitors registering and getting kit checked before heading off to the start. Before each pair collects their SI card they receive a briefing about the specific risks and challenges on the course tonight, which include: 1) Wind that has shredded and blown away the control kites (the stakes and SI boxes are still in place, 2) Deep snow that may have buried checkpoints, 3) Frozen tarns that are now covered in windblown snow, 4) A reminder to look out for each other and NOT take any unnecessary risks and 5) That there is a manned checkpoint at the most southerly point on the course that offers a place a refuge in an emergency. There has just been a very loud rumble of thunder!
Saturday / 2236 - The last competitors have now left registration and headed off to the start!
|Above: Ben Winston captures the lights of competitors as they cross over Muncaster Fell.|
Sunday / 0114 - It is now eerily quite at the event centre with just two of left here. Since all the competitors set off we have dismantled the start and set up the finish at Howbank Farm. This has involved putting out lots of traffic cones, hazard warning beacons and ‘Caution Runner’ signs along the section of the A595 that the competitors will walk along to return to Muncaster Castle. The team of marshals who were on the start have now gone to bed for a few hours, and another team is setting up the facilities at the finish (tables, hot water urn (the water for this needs to be carried in), chocolate biscuits etc for the finishers. We decided to man the finish from midnight, throughout the night so that there is always someone available for any competitors who decided to finish early. There will be shift change at 0400 with some of our marshalling team going to bed for the first time then. We have had one team retire and make their own way back to the finish and no reports of any problems out on the course. The local police have called by and shared a cup of tea with us before heading off to rescue one of our photographers whose car had broken down in the middle of nowhere. The weather is still unpleasant with strong guests of wind and persistent rain, often heavy. Fortunately it has warmed up a little but conditions on the fells will be extremely challenging tonight. We certainly wish all our competitors the best of luck tonight.
Sunday / 0242 – The Event Centre is busy again with teams that have retired from the course. Most have just decided that the weather is too poor for them to really enjoy themselves, whilst others have made the sensible decision to retire rather than spend long periods of time standing still or moving slowly because of the difficult navigation. The list of the teams safely back at the Event Centre is:
Ben Crowther / James Williams
Lawrence Eccles / Charles Brent
Adrian Chewter / Steve Ardern
Shona Mackie / David Chandler
Xavier Nokin / Jean Damien Schenkelaars
Helen Skelton / Braddan Johnson
The following teams Did Not Start:
Tim Bateman / Amy Kilpin
Steve Gale / Michael Moss
Jeremy Mycock / Kate Thurman
John Roberts / Benjamin Wolstenholme
Alex Smith / Jonathan Gledson
Sunday / 0325 - The following teams have now returned to the event centre:
Hugh Williamson / Andy Lewis
Carmine De Grandis / Matthew Davis
Matthew Kowalsk-Hicks / Rose Thompson
Christopher Pickles / Pete Jamison
Adrian Moir / Ellie Salisbury
Sunday / 0418 - The following teams have now returned to the event centre:
Barbara Lonsdale / Chris Hepponstall
Sarah Fuller / Kate Boobyer
Nick Galpin / Joseph Hodson
Emily Ravenhill / Naomi Hopes
Sue Woods / Lisa Whetter
Phil Hodgson / Phil Scarf
Sunday / 0449 - The following teams have now returned to the event centre:
Marcus McEwan / Gavin Soutar
Andy Bell / Iain Taylor
Andrew Parrish / Justin Moody
Michael Lord / Paul Beresford
Ken Jaquiery / Richard Smith
Andy Mouncey / Andy Beanland
Sunday / 0557 - The following teams have now returned to the event centre:
Claire Ellis / Stuart Obree
Caroline Emslie / Jane Emslie
Michelle Aukland / Will Beckwith
Scott Collier / Maxim Cardew
Tom Davies / George Neville-Jones
Nigel Prue / Chris Smith
Mark Hammond / Fiona Glen
Simon Caldwell / Carmen Elphick
Phil Ward / Graham Hey
We will get proper results out as soon as possible. Everyone who has returned so far seems in good spirts having had a real adventure on the fells tonight.
Sunday / 0656 - The following teams have now returned to the event centre:
Andrew Sansum / Peter Gronbech
Pat Bartlett / Ben Stansfield
Coner Cromie / Fraser Gibson
Kenny Leitch / Keith Mason
Andrew Aziz / Matthew Cooper
Sunday / 0826 - Alex Pilkington and Kim Collinson... Last to start the elite and first to finish. Juts waiting for the other elite teams to download but it looks fairly certian that they have won Marmot Dark Mountains. Congratulations. Last night was a supreme test of mountain craft for all involved. Only 8 teams unaccounted for now.
Sunday / 1112 - Lots more competitors finishing and very busy last few hours with peak finishing times, prize giving etc. There are just four competitors (two teams) outstanding at the moment and we are waiting for them to return before closeing down the event. Update to follow this afternoon with breakdown of results and a short report.
Sunday / 1117 - One pair, Wouter Hamelinck and Pierre Eyen have just arrived at the finish. It is a 2k walk back to the Event Centre at Muncaster Castle and we have a hot breakfast waiting, Just once outstanding pair now.