As Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2016 rapidly approaches there are just a few(?) things we would like to bring to your attention.
Registration / Photo ID
Competitors can only register as a pair and with photo ID. The person at registration, the photo ID and the online entry credentials must all match. Even if you think someone at registration will know you, you still require photo ID. We are happy to accept a photocopy of your photo ID as long as the photocopy is sufficiently high quality that the photograph is clear, and that someone who doesn't know you can identify you from it. We know that the most significant factor in keeping competitors safe at the event is their own personal experience. As such, we need to ensure that the person entered, is the person standing in front of us at registration.
Mandatory Kit / Kit Checks
There is a mandatory kit list and there will be strict kit checks at registration and spot checks at the finish. Please pay particular attention to the 2-person Emergency Shelter requirement (aka group shelter or Kisu), which is a relatively new addition to the kit list. A tent flysheet is not an alternative to an Emergency Shelter. The Mandatory Kit list is HERE.
The weather in January could throw absolutely anything at you, the competitor, and this is a major appeal of the Marmot Dark Mountains™ challenge. Come prepared for severe weather and a long (but hopefully satisfying) night out in the hills. If we need to send any final updates to you we will do so by SMS to your mobile phone, but you should assume that the event is going ahead and using the full courses.
Competitors are strongly advised to read the excellent Fell Runners Association guide to avoiding, spotting and dealing with hypothermia and also take a moment to read the 'Tiredness Kills' leaflet.
You can now see your pair's start time (and who your fellow course participants are) on the SI Entries Entry List. The clock starts ticking from your allocated start time so please do not be late - we wish to maintain a regular gap between each team. Late teams may have to wait until all other teams on their course have started before they can start.
Weather Forecast and Conditions
There will be a final ‘conditions and weather’ update on Friday evening on the website that will include pictures and video of conditions in the Northern fells that day. Based on the current weather and forecast we are anticipating severe weather on the high ground on Saturday night: temperatures hovering around 0°C, wind, rain and possibly snow. Come prepared!
The latest Mountain Weather Information Service forecast for the Lake District is HERE
Specialist Winter Running Equipment
Specialist winter running equipment should NOT be neccessary for this event.
There is currently no avalanche risk on the Northern fells.
Live GPS Tracking
We're proud to be the first event to showcase a new tracking interface that uses a bespoke Harvey mapping overlay for each course. Don't forget to tell your friends and family to keep their eyes peeled from Saturday 20:00 onwards HERE.
GPS and Smart Phones
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 only via barometric pressure are allowed.
We encourage teams to carry a mobile phone with them but it must be turned off and sealed in a 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.
If you are travelling to this race, there is a very good chance (over 96.5%) that another runner who lives nearby is also driving to the race. Why not car share and save on petrol costs? Simply tap in your postcode on the Racelifts.org site.
It only takes a minute to see how many runners are in your area, and then register. Choose whether you might be able to offer a lift, and/or if you're looking to get a lift. You're under no obligation, and you can opt-out if you change your mind.
The above chart shows that 96.5% of participants entered could potentially car share to and from Marmot Dark Mountains™.
With no car sharing, participants will spend an estimated total of £7,900 on fuel, emitting 17,800 kg of CO2!
Car Parking & Event Centre Location
The event centre at Mungrisdale Village Hall will be manned throughout the event and competitors may leave bags and personal belongings here. We anticipate that items will be safe here, as we have sole use of the building, but we cannot guarantee this and all items are left at your own risk.
Below is a useful map to show you where the event centre and car parking will be HERE. Parking will be along the roadside verge and managed by the event team. A polite reminder not to arrive before 5pm and to park up tightly as the event has sold out.
There are a number of risks to also take into account...
RISK #1 - Driving Tired
The number one risk to competitors at Marmot Dark Mountains™ will be driving home after the event. This is almost certainly the most dangerous activity you will do all weekend. Please take advantage of the sleeping areas and have a few hours sleep before travelling home and a coffee. Please refer to the link to some further information in "Event Safety" above.
RISK #2 – Hypothermia
The next big risk to competitors is hypothermia especially if the weather is poor. Once you start the race it is your responsibility to look after yourself and your teammate.
Please remind yourself of the signs and symptoms of hyperthermia and be very alert to these in your partner and yourself. We would strongly advise competitors to download and read the excellent short PDF booklet about Hypothermia produced by the Fell Running Association HERE.
Experience has shown that competitors who opt to ‘run-warm’ consistently do better at Marmot Dark Mountains™ than competitors who ‘run-cold’. By this we mean that at a summer mountain marathon it may well be possible to accept some discomfort and cold by wearing only lightweight clothing in poor weather and allowing yourself to get wet, and then staying warm, by running. This is NOT possible at Marmot Dark Mountains™, where the much colder temperatures and slower pace of night navigation and running, mean that even mildly cold/wet competitors rapidly succumb to hypothermia and retire from the event.
RISK #3 - Severe Weather
It is too early to be certain but there is a possibility of severe weather on the night of the race. However, at this stage we anticipate an air temperature of around 0°C and wet conditions under foot. With the low temperatures, even light winds will mean a very significant wind-chill factor. Competitors should keep an eye on the weather forecast and come suitably prepared for a tough night. As in previous years we will be proceeding with the event… whatever the weather!
Useful Information #1 - Clothing and Equipment
As mentioned above, the risk of hypothermia is very real and it is best that competitors wear warmer layers than usual and aim to stay warm and dry at all times. Our advice is that waterproof socks (such are Gore Bike Wear GTX Socks or similar) are beneficial for almost all competitors. We would also recommend at least two pairs of warm, waterproof gloves. The mandatory kit list also states that a spare warm layer (like thick fleece or insulated jacket) must be carried. If this layer is being worn at the start of the race, it is obviously not spare!
Useful Information #2 - Blank Maps
Blank (minus course/control information) maps will be displayed at the Event Centre.
Useful Information #3 - Support Points
There will be two manned support points in the Northern Fells. These may be used as places of refuge and where help can be sought in an emergency. Some courses also visit these locations as checkpoints.
Useful Information #4 – Sleeping
There will be a silent room for competitors (and event volunteers) to sleep in during the night and before travelling home. Competitors will need to bring a sleeping bag and sleeping mat and we would also recommend earplugs. Please be courteous to sleeping competitors when entering and leaving this room.
Useful Information #5 – Sale Rail
Final piece of information… There will be a small ‘sale rail’ of clothing available at the Event Centre. Items will be at least '50% off' and include unique event-branded marshal uniforms from previous events and the like.
We look forward to seeing you there!
The Marmot Dark Mountains™ Team,