COURSES

In general

All our courses are designed to provide a test of fitness and navigational skills and also to take runners into remote and interesting parts of the chosen area. As a general rule, the longer the course, the more difficult it is to navigate to controls (checkpoints), the rougher the terrain becomes and the more difficult it becomes to select the best route between controls.

As most teams will be travelling home on the Sunday, we have designed the courses with the aim that teams would have a shorter second day.

When choosing which course to go for, we would ask you to look carefully at the descriptions below.  The distances below are the Course Planner’s best calculation of the routes. We would encourage you to be cautious if this is your first event. We feel it is much better for you to finish successfully, having enjoyed the weekend and thinking you could have coped with more, than fail to complete the course.

To those used to running on the road, or even in trail races, the distances covered each day may look short but there are some important factors to consider that may slow you down:

  • Ascending and descending on rough terrain particularly on day 2 when your legs have stiffened up and you may have some niggling injuries
  • Going the wrong way or poor route choice can add extra miles to the optimal course that was planned
  • Poor visibility / stormy weather conditions and then not being able to locate a checkpoint (especially on a linear course)
  • Time taken to eat, adjust your clothing, read the map, etc. 
  • Remember you are a team so the course needs to be chosen so the slowest team member can complete it

Bearing in mind the above points here’s a quick overview of the different courses on offer. A linear course requires you to visit a set number of controls in a given order and the winner is the team that completes the course in the shortest time. With a score course you are given a specific set of controls each with a points value allocated to it. The objective is to gain maximum points by choosing which controls to visit in any order in a set number of hours; penalties will be incurred should the time limit be exceeded.

Competitors who wish to enter any course will be required to provide details of prior experience at the time of entry.

Linear courses

CourseExperienceAppr. Distance (km)
Over 2 days
Appr. Climb (m)
Over 2 days
Appr. Winner’s time
Over 2 days
A courseSkilled Navigators
Very fit runners
65-75 km3000-3500m10-11 hours (avg 13-14 hours)
B courseGood Navigators
Good level of fitness
45-55 km2000-2500m9 hours (avg 12 hours)
C courseIntermediate Navigators
Runners and strong walkers
Suitable for first timers
35-45 km1500-2000m8 hours (avg 10 hours)
  • A course – Both team members must have substantial mountain experience and one person at least from the pair must, within the last 5 years, have completed a similar course or have finished in the top 50% of a lower course in a Mountain Marathon – e.g. Marmot Dark Mountains, SLMM (Saunders), OMM, ROC, LAMM, Mourne Mountain Marathon or equivalent or have proven experience and finish regularly in the top 50% in long fell races. Entrants must be over 18
  • B course – Both team members should have good mountain navigation experience and at least one participant must have completed a Mountain Marathons in the past 5 years – e.g. Marmot Dark Mountains, SLMM (Saunders), OMM, ROC, LAMM, Mourne Mountain Marathon or equivalent or have proven experience in long fell races. Entrants must be over 18.
  • C course – Both team members should have mountain walking or running experience and have decent mountain navigation experience. The course is open for strong walkers and suitable for first timers. Entrants must be over 14. Where one of the two runners is under 18, the other runner must be over 21 and be the parent, guardian or “accompanying adult” of the junior runner

Score courses

CourseExperienceTime Limit
Day 1 + Day 2
Long ScoreGood Navigators
Good level of fitness
7 hours + 6 hours
Short ScoreIntermediate Navigators
Runners and strong walkers
Suitable for first timers
6 hours + 5 hours
  • Long score course – Both team members should have mountain navigation experience and at least one participant must have completed a Mountain Marathons in the past 5 years – e.g. Marmot Dark Mountains, SLMM (Saunders), OMM, ROC, LAMM, Mourne Mountain Marathon or equivalent or have proven experience in long fell races. Entrants must be over 16. Where one of the two runners is under 18, the other runner must be over 21 and be the parent, guardian or “accompanying adult” of the junior runner
  • Short score course Both team members should have mountain walking or running experience and have decent mountain navigation experience. The course is open for strong walkers and suitable for first timers. Entrants must be over 14. Where one of the two runners is under 18, the other runner must be over 21 and be the parent, guardian or “accompanying adult” of the junior runner

Time Penalties (Score courses only)

The time limits on the score courses are automatically enforced by the SI timing system. Teams who are late finishing will rapidly lose the points built up during the day.

Lateness time penalties each day are as follows:

  • 0-5 mins late = lose 1 point per min or part min
  • 5-15 mins late = then lose 2 points per min or part min
  • 15-30 mins late = then lose 5 points per min or part min
  • 30 mins or over late = all points lost

Course Closure Time  (Score AND linear courses)

Both Score and Linear courses close at 8 pm on Saturday and 4 pm on Sunday. Any finishers after these times will be disqualified, and it is the participants’ responsibility to adjust their plans – such as cutting their day short – should they be running late. The control sheet will give some guidance when you are running behind and are likely to miss the course closure time. Please do not continue on your course knowing that you will finish after the Course Closure Time.