I ave just arrived back from the snowy Lake District after taking part in the Kong Mini Mountain Marathon around Borrowdale.
The mini mountain marathon series is a timed four hour event in which you aim to locate as many of the electronic controls, accruing relevant score points as possible, and return to the start point. The further in distance, or the harder to locate the control is situated away from the start/finish the more points it is worth. If you arrive back after the four hours allocated a time penalty is incurred losing you points.
So running in the mountains solely or in pairs, using a map and compass to navigate from control to control and finish within the allocated four hours. What could go wrong?
As lovely as the Lake District looked from the valley it was a different kettle of fish in the mountains. Limited visibility, a smattering of snow and cold temperatures meant that you have to be on your best game during the four hours. With poor vision running on a compass bearing is difficult. With a slight covering of snow the rocks under foot were hazardous at best. Over multiple hours this can be quite taxing under your own steam. Deciding which controls to aim for (a rough plan of attack) is crucial.
For this event i decided to keep my chosen route (you are handed the map at the start-point so the clock is already ticking) to a short distance this time. Ok, it would mean that i would not get as many valuable 50 points for hitting further distanced controls but i may be able to get more controls under a shorter distance, accruing more points.
It paid dividends and i arrived back at the start point with five minutes to spare. No penalty incurred and good day out on the fells of the Lake District.
A great opportunity to practice navigation in mountains under testing conditions and getting in a dose of exercise. The Kong mini mountain marathons are open to everyone. A broad range of people take part. The range of cake and tea/coffee at the end of the event is a good motivator to spur you on.
Go and enjoy.