The final Dark and White Mini Mountain Marathon finally took place after two consecutive postponements due to snow. This was third time lucky; the weather was perfect!
The 3 hour score event (format: navigate to as many controls as possible in 3 hours) was centred around Trentabank Reservoir in Macclesfield Forest. To those who haven’t been to this area, the forest is actually quite small, but it is surrounded by fabulous, barren, open fell – great running territory. Richard and I were hoping for good runs as we were in pole position to win the series (in the mens open/M40 and ladies open categories respectively).
I started the race by heading north up Tegg’s Nose. A fine idea I thought, as I saw 4 controls that easily linked together. On reaching them I was less impressed because each one was located with a significant amount of climb between them and lots of out of bounds to prevent easy routes being chosen. So, the start of the race was rather physical, especially on legs that had only just recovered from marathoning last weekend! After these grunty climbs, my chosen way ahead was slightly less hilly and I made good progress down the western side of the map, encountering snow drifts of at least 1 m in places! I carried on south past Shutlingsloe, and into Wildboarclough. With about 1 hour to go, I hastily made my way north through Oakenclough and eventually back to Ridgegate Reservoir which was only a short sprint to the finish (not that I was sprinting!). I arrived back with about 5 minutes to spare and 280 points. A quick interogation of my age category on the results showed that the highest scoring lady so far had won 230 points! Thankfully no later runners changed these results, so I won! Yay!
Unfortunately Richard’s knee/ankle/hip gave up after about 2 hours, so he arrived home (on time) with 260 points, but we await to find out whether his previous performances and changing age categories will make the top three.
A beautiful day, great running and a really well organised, enjoyable series of races!