2019 Race Director’s Report
By Shane Ohly
This year, I felt that the ROC Mountain Marathon™ had a quiet momentum and confidence of its own. This is largely due to the experience and competency of the Event Team (more below) but also due to our regular participants having an intuitive understanding of the event such that even the new faces quickly get incorporated into the flow of the event.
Last year, I ended up writing a long and wordy Race Director’s Report addressing a number of problems and concerns at the 2018 event. As our regular participants know, we always encourage feedback from our participants and this is always read and carefully considered. At the begining of August we announced a number of adjustments to the ROC rules and format that we hoped would make the weekend run more smoothly and satisfyingly for all involved. They seemed to have worked well and I am really delighted to report that there really isn’t much to report this year! The event ran smoothly with few organisational problems and challenges save for the soggy field and late addition of the track matting to protect the entrance and exit from the field. Thanks to everyone for following our late advice to arrive after 6pm as the matting was put in place.
As a committed Mountain Marathoner myself, it is great to see that we continue to build on the fantastic heritage of the event and are able to offer another full 2-day Mountain Marathon within the annual calendar of events. The specialness of the ROC Mountain Marathon™ is the relaxed, welcoming, fun and friendly atmosphere and I’ll be certain to treasure these characteristics of the event so long as I am organising it.
Happy finisher at the ROC Mountain Marathon ©Steve Ashworth
With the Ourea Events team and many of our regular force of volunteers having come almost directly from Salomon Skyline Scotland™ the weekend before (another one our mountain running events), you could have been forgiven for thinking we’d be in no fit state to deliver another event. If I was to be honest, I had some concerns that the cumulative tiredness might catch up with us all. However, my worries proved ill-founded and the Event Team pulled it all together with efficiency, professionalism and smiles. As always I am incredibly grateful for their dedication and efforts, which are often behind the scenes to the participants.
Volunteering at the ROC Mountain Marathon™ is a fantastic way to see the event from the other side and put something back into the Mountain Marathon community. We are always looking for new Event Team members so perhaps you might be interested to help at the ROC in 2020 or our other Mountain Marathon events like Marmot Dark Mountains™ (January 2020) and the Scottish Mountain Marathon™ (June 2020)? If you are interested to help, please check the information on the Ourea Events website.
We all owe the Event Team a huge Thank You and I am already looking forward to Marmot Dark Mountains™ in January 2020 when many of us will be working together again. The Team for the 13th ROC Mountain Marathon was:
- Abbi Forsyth
- Alex Chesters
- Ben Holmes
- Charlotte Hattersley
- Eleanor Mackenzie
- Ella Bennett
- Fiona Mackenzie
- Fiona Murphy
- Gary Tompsett
- Graham Gristwood
- Hannah Phelan
- Helen Samson
- Ian Brandreth
- Ian Cowie
- Janie Oates
- Karen ‘Kaz’ Kemish
- Keith Montgomery
- Lawrie Jones
- Lucy Scrase
- Michael Murray
- Michelle Creed
- Paul Imrie
- Sandra Williams
- Shane Ohly
- Sorrel Cosens
- Steve Ashworth
- Stuart Smith
- Sue Dowker
- Susan Nash
- Tim Glasby
- Tom Hecht
The crew tent – what better way to spend your Saturday night out? ©Steve Ashworth
I would like to extend a special thank you to many members of the local rural community, farmers, gamekeepers, sheperds and estates who have welcomed the ROC Mountain Marathon™ to the Lowther Hills this year. In particular:
- Queensberry (Buccleuch) Estate
- Leadhills (Hopetoun) Estate
- Troloss Estate
- Durisdeer Community
- Castlehill Farm
Additionally I would like to thank Westmorland Showground for the last minute loan of thier track matting and Harvey Maps for thier last minute replacement of a large number of maps that came from the printer with a faded overprint. A superb effort all round to help maintain our own high standards.
Thanks to everyone who allowed us to explore this fantastic location ©Steve Ashworth
2019 British Mountain Marathon Championship
The ROC Mountain Marathon™ was the final counter in the 2019 British Mountain Marathon Championships, and it was an honour to present Steve Birkinshaw with his British Champion trophy. A full report about the 2019 British Mountain Marathon Championships, and our plans for 2020 will shortly be available on MountainMarathon.com.
Steve Birkinshaw – British Mountain Marathon Champion 2019 © Steve Ashworth
Feedback is very important to us, and any comments you have – good or bad – are very much appreciated. Please can you send these to us via our website contact form, we’ll be delighted to read them.
We hope you loved our overnight camp! ©Steve Ashworth
The finalised results are now available on the 2019 results page. With the ROC being the final race of the 2019 British Mountain Marathon Championship, the series rankings are now live on MountainMarathon.com.
Satisfied Mountain Marathoners at the Day Two finish ©Steve Ashworth
GPX files for each of the teams are now available for download (zip archive only suitable for desktop, sorry not mobile). Sorry, we can not help with any technical query on use of this raw GPS data which is extracted out of the GPS tracker worn by each of the teams out on the course over the weekend.
1% For The Planet Donation
As usual, we will be donating 1% of the entire event revenue from the 2019 ROC Mountain Marathon™ to organisations involved in environmental sustainability and protection.
ROC 2019 Photos
Take a look at more fantastic photos from the 2019 event.
The 2020 Event
The 2020 date will be 26-27th September. This year most of the courses sold out. This is not because the event is ‘at capacity’ but because we needed to commit to the final number of maps being printed long in advance of the actual event date, and therefore once all the maps for a certain course are allocated we are definitely full! In 2020 we will plan for a small increase in the overall size of the event, but again it is likely that some/all of the courses will sell out. This year we disappointed a small number of participants who were unable to enter in the weeks before the event, and we would strongly encourage participants to enter early.
In The Meantime
We’d hate to leave it a whole year until we meet again. Perhaps you are brave enough to enter Marmot Dark Mountains™, our winter overnight mountain marathon, in January? Marmot Dark Mountains™ will kick off the 2020 British Mountain Championship, there is likely to be yet more depth of competition in 2020. Or perhaps you fancy the leisurely (think beer, cake, overnight camp kit transported for you, more paths than bee-lining…) Silva Great Lakeland 3Day™ in early May? The 2020 event is already filling up fast!