The course planner's optimum course lengths and height gains from previous editions are summarised in the following table:
- Full details of the 2013 courses are available HERE>>>
- Full details of the 2014 courses are available HERE>>>
- Full details of the 2015 courses are available HERE>>>
- Full details of the 2016 courses are available HERE>>>
- Full details of the 2017 courses are available HERE>>>
- Full details of the 2018 courses are available HERE>>>
- Full details of the 2019 courses are available HERE>>>
Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2019
Event area: The eastern fells of the Lake District
The course planner, Gary Tompsett and course controller, Graham Gristwood, shared the following in the course planner's insights:
Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2019 is all set to wow you from the outset! With an atmospheric venue at Lowther Castle, some stunning terrain, and with ‘escalating’ variety too: i.e. The further you go from the event base, the more vertiginous the terrain becomes! This part of the Lake District should be considered as fairly standard in form. Generic Lakeland mountain terrain as it were, with deep valleys, craggy mountains and some moorland: Beautiful in daylight, and strangely beautiful at night! There are no special hazards or characteristics to mention here. Suffice to say that there is steep ground, crags/cliffs, bodies of water, rivers and becks, rough and boggy ground. If there is snow and/or ice, then you will need to exercise considerable caution on steep ground.
Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2018
Event area: The Forest of Bowland
The event centre was in Slaidburn at the village hall, an absolutely excellent venue with great access onto the fells beyond and participants even got the opportunity to visit the geographical centre of Great Britain!
We believe that this venue was a first for Mountain Marathons in the UK featuring delights such as blanket bog, peat haggs and grips, various bird species such as raptors AND Lesser Black-backed Gulls, all in a much lower altitude than previous years. The courses were, however, equally as challenging as in previous years with highly engaging navigation due to the numerous river valleys and irregular hill shapes.
The 2018 course planner was four-time British Night Orienteering Champion, Graham Gristwood.
Find out more details about the 2018 courses.
The race director's report is worth a read.
Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2017
Race Director, Shane Ohly introduced the 2017 event area, “We are delighted to announce that Marmot Dark Mountains 2017 will be held in the Dufton Fells, The Pennines, with the event based out of Warcop. The area is characterised by exposed high moorland, steep-sided incised valleys and areas of intricate contour detail, and mining curiosities. Certainly, it offers a superb challenge for mountain running and navigation. As in previous years we have planned the courses carefully considering the unique challenges offered by a winter running event held through the night.”
The planner's insights are worth a read.
Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2016
Race Director, Shane Ohly describes the 2016 event area, “The Northern Fells are a great mountain marathon area that have hosted a number of events over the years" said race director, Shane Ohly, "They are guarded on their southern flank by the massive Blencathra and Skiddaw mountains but moving north they are typified by sweeping slopes that lend themselves to mountain running just fine! The ground is generally less rocky than the main Lake District area to the south and subsequently there are less crags and tarns, but there are plenty of technical features, intricate contour detail and route choice..”
Information on all the courses for 2016 can be found in the 2016 Course Maps Revealed news article.
Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2015
Race Director, Shane Ohly describes the 2015 event area, “The Howgills provide a superb setting for Marmot Dark Mountains™. The terrain is definitely more runable than previous editions of the race but with the steep sided valleys that are typical, there is significant height gain, and the course are sure to provide a suitable test of endurance.” He continued, “The Howgills also seem to catch more than their fair share of winter weather and we are anticipating a tough challenge for those competitors brave enough to enter.”
Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2014
The location for Marmot Dark Mountains 2014 was the stunning Peak District National Park and the Event Centre was at Glossop Leisure Centre. Race Director, Shane Ohly, from Ourea Events, elaborated on the special allure of this area. "The Peak District has the perfect blend of high moorland areas, challenging terrain and a wonderful sense of wilderness... especially at night. Precisely because of the superb nature of the area, we have had to negotiate over a two-year period with the National Trust, National Park and other agencies to secure permission for this event. We have six different courses on offer and they all take advantage of some of the best parts of Bleaklow and Kinder Scout. It promises to a superb test of competitors' mountain running skills".
Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2013
The inaugural Marmot Dark Mountains™ was held in the south-west Lake District based at the spectacular Muncaster Castle. Most of the event area has a remote and mountainous moorland nature but is below 500m. Although the area is low in elevation, it more than compensates for this with some very technical terrain with complex contours, rocky crags and areas of featureless moorland. Indeed, the 2012 British Orienteering Champs used some of this area to test the best navigators in the country!