Nov 09 02
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When we got into the car this morning it was one of those days where you ran to the door and got in very quickly! The rain was torrential. Unfortunately we’d already paid our entry fee to the first “Dark and White Mini Mountain Marathon” event, so we had to brave the weather and not sit in front of a warm fire all day.

The event centre was Edale Village Hall and the event was a 3 hour score with controls placed around Kinder and the Rushup Edge area. The aim was to find as many of these controls as possible in 3 hours. We set out in pretty torrential rain and wind with Kinder Scout surrounded in cloud. As I made my way up to Grindslow Knoll however occasionally the cloud would lift leaving the sun beaming through into the adjacent valleys and it was spectacular. I often appreciate the views much more on a day like today when you only get to see them momentarily. I continued collecting controls along the edge, visiting Wool Packs (a cool place with amazing stones), Noe Stool and Kinder Low. I then descended past the Swine’s Back and then realised that I had some difficult decisions to make with 1 hour left on the clock. I could take the safe option (time-wise) and head down the valley back to Edale, or I could take the high level option over Horsehill Tor with the descent down Chapel Gate. I decided that I would much rather be late back and have had tried to get round the tops (with high points on offer), than chicken out, be early back and freeze until Richard came back with the key.

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So I set off on the high level route, the ground was pretty rough in places and I wondered a few times whether or not I had made the smart decision. This crossed my mind again when I was nearing the valley floor and realised that the roads leading straight to the events centre were out of bounds and that I had to take detours on footpaths! Nevertheless, I managed to get back only 4 minutes late, which is a good thing according to the Dearden Oracle, who tells me that as there is only 1 point per minute lost for the first 5 minutes of lateness, it is better to be 4 minutes late than to have collected less controls and have been on time, because the 1 point is often worth the same as 5 or 10 because people who aren’t late get score with round numbers.

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It turned out that Richard won the mens (<40) and I won the ladies (<40). This is the last time we’ll manage that!

The tea and biscuits put on by Dark and White were much appreciated and eventually we pulled ourselves away from the nice warm village hall into the car where we devoured two-third of the pear rolypoly that we made with left-over puff pastry the night before. Yum!

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We got back home just in time to watch the Polesworth fireworks, which were excellent considering the size of the village!

Series - Dark & White '09

  1. A day for sitting by the fire
  2. Tree planting, a pub crawl, dinner with friends and a mountain marathon
  3. Dark and White – Event 3 of 3
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