Glorious sunshine and near-clear
blue sky welcomed us to the start line of this year's RAB Mountain Marathon
held in The Cheviots, Northumberland National Park.
Using a pre-printed map ( approx 20Km x 20Km), teams visit as many check
points (a small, well hidden red/white flag about the size of a hankie) in the
allotted time limit (7 hours day 1, 6 hours day 2) to accrue as many points as
possible (winner decided by most points in shortest time). Checkpoints carry
points based on distance/difficulty and tend to be 15 to 25 points each: the
furthest/highest at 40 points.
Countryside is open access and very
often there is no discernable path (heather, bog and rough grassland) so
ability to use a compass and run on a bearing is important. It takes approx
1hr of hard slog to get 40-50 points with severe penalties if you are late
finishing at each stage: 50 point penalty if 10mins late to the maximum of all stage
points lost if 30mins late. The last hour of each stage is always frantic.
It is two-day self-supported event so
tent and cooking kit etc is light weight and minimal. No water stops but fresh
drink from the nearest burn (with a steriliser popped in for good measure)
A great weekend out: thoroughly
Race Results :