Race Director's Report 2020

27th Jan 2020


After nine editions of Marmot Dark Mountains™the 2020 event will be the last one organised by Ourea Events. As I explained at the prize-giving we are in the process of seeking a new organiser for the event and very much hope that someone will step up to carry on this superb, authentic and very tough test of mountain craft: there really is nothing else like it in the UK. Deciding not to continue organising Marmot Dark Mountains™ has been a difficult and soul searching process for me personally. Mountain Marathons have been a huge and defining part of my life for nearly twenty years and Marmot Dark Mountains™ was the first event of my own that I conceived and created from scratch. Life moves on, and priorities change though, and the time is right for someone else to take this event forward. It needs a smaller, more grassroots organisation that does not have the year-round distraction of our international events (Cape Wrath Ultra®, Dragon's Back Race® and Skyline Scotland®).


Dark Low Res : Steve Ashworthdark2 copyright Steve Ashworth-52

Flashback: Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2016 in the Northern Fells (Lake District). This is what the event is all about: darkness, winter, mountain running and navigation. It's no wonder the event has built such a reputation for being the all-round test of mountain craft ©Steve Ashworth 


Now seems the right time to announce that we will also stop organising our sister Mountain Marathon events the Scottish Mountain Marathon™ and the ROC Mountain Marathon™ at the end of 2020. As with Marmot Dark Mountains™ we are hoping to find a new organiser to take these events forward with renewed energy, enthusiasm and direction. If you think that might be you, and want to have an informal chat please don't hesitate to contact Ourea Events



The start of the 2020 Marmot Dark Mountains™ ©Tom Hecht


Thank you to the event team

As usual, the Event Team have been beyond excellent! Many members of the Event Team have supported edition after edition of Marmot Dark Mountains™ and their collective experience carries the event and helps define the adventurous and challenging ethos of the event. The core of the Event Team is made up of people who volunteer at most of the Ourea Event races and also support many other events in the UK. The community of runners participating in all these events really owe these superb people a great debt. I am humbled to see how the 'Ourea Family' has become a tangible experience for our regular volunteers and I'll be delighted to work with many of this team again later in the year. For the record the Event Team at Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2020 was:‚Äč

  • Abbi Forsyth
  • Ally Middleton
  • Ann Perry
  • Becky Tate
  • Carwyn "Caz' Phillips
  • Charlotte Hattersley
  • Colin Harding
  • Darren Graham
  • Dave Cumins
  • Duncan Kendrick
  • Emma Hadley
  • Emma Phillips
  • Gary Tompsett
  • Graham Gristwood
  • Helen Samson
  • Ian Brandreth
  • Ian Cowie
  • Jade Phillips
  • Karen 'Kaz' Kemish
  • Katie 'Kitkat' Cole
  • Keith Montgomery
  • Lawrie Jones
  • Liane Shaw
  • Michelle Creed
  • Neil Middleton
  • Paul Hadley
  • Paul Imrie
  • Philip Wilkinson
  • Rob O'Loughlin
  • Scott Mathers
  • Shane Ohly
  • Stuart Smith
  • Sue Dowker
  • Tom Hecht
  • Tom Withers
  • Wayne Smith



Our Event Team working on registration at the 2018 Marmot Dark Mountains™ ©Steve Ashworth


Special Thanks Marmot and Petzl

I'd like to extend a very special thank you to Hugh Harris and the entire team at Marmot UK for their continuous support, professional relationship and awesome jackets given to the Event Team each year. Marmot has been the title sponsor of 'Marmot' Dark Mountains™ since the inaugural race in 2013. As some of the regular participants will recall, the 2013 edition was marked by the worst weather the event has ever experienced, and I am sure that Hugh (who was attending that evening) wondered what on earth he had agreed to sponsor!


 Marmot Dark Mountains 2019 Steve Ashworth12

Petzl headlamps in action at Marmot Dark Mountains™© Steve Ashworth


Petzl have also been a long-term supporter of the event joining as a sponsor in 2015. Each year they have provided the Event Team with a brilliant Petzl headlamp, which has been a truly essential part of an overnight event(!) and also attended the event to chat with participants and lend Petzl headlamps to anyone who forgot one!

I'd like to extend a special thanks to Martin Bergerud and his team for their support. 


Event Stakeholders

Finally, I'd like to extend a special thanks for many local stakeholders who have supported the 2020 edition of Marmot Dark Mountains™ and enable the event to go ahead. 

"Diolch. Gwerthfawrogir eich cefnogaeth yn fawr gan y gymuned sy'n rhedeg mynyddoedd".

  • Anna and Arwel, Blaen-y-cwm Farm
  • D.E.Davies, Frongoch Farm
  • Gareth + Iona Jones, Plas Onn Farm
  • Hefin + Eleri Jones, Ty Mawr Cwm Farm
  • Lowri and Alwyn, Capelle Farm
  • Manon's Riverside Cafe
  • Mr A Jones, Defaidty Farm
  • Mr A Roberts, Graigyronwy Farm
  • Mr A Roberts, Ty Uchaf Farm- 
  • Mr A Williams, Pentre Farm
  • Mr Davies, Nant Hir Farm
  • Mr G Davies
  • Mr G Jones, Rhyd y Fen Farm
  • Mr G Jones, Wern Fawr Farm
  • Mr Ifor Evans, Gwernhywel Bach Farm
  • Mr M Prydden, Ciltalgarth Farm
  • Mr Rhodri Jones, Craignant Farm
  • National Trust Wales
  • National White Water Centre
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Rhiwlas Estate
  • Simon, Nant-Fach Farm
  • Snowdonia National Park Authority


The 2020 results can be found here. Well done to everyone who came out to enjoy one final dark adventure with us!


Neil Talbott and Tom Gibbs

Elite Winners Neil Talbott and Tom Gibbs - Neil and Tom will be the custodians of the unique 'dark mountain' trophy for the time being ©Tom Hecht


GPS Tracking replay

Now available for non-mobile devices:


GPS tracking replay


Check out the 2020 courses

The 2020 courses are revealed here.



Score course map


News from the ROC Mountain Marathon™ and the Scottish Mountain Marathon™

The Scottish Mountain Marathon™ (13-14th June) and the ROC Mountain Marathon™ (26-27th September) 2020 will go ahead as planned and the team at Ourea Events will continue to plan, organise and deliver these events will full commitment this year. As we mentioned in the introduction, we are hoping to find a new organiser to take these events on from 2021 onwards. 



2020 British Mountain Marathon Championship

The British Mountain Marathon Championship will continue to run throughout 2020 and we hope that you will come along to enjoy two excellent events still yet to come, the Scottish Mountain Marathon and the ROC Mountain Marathon.


2020 British-championship-white 300px