The Different Courses Explained


Teams (solos or pairs) may choose to enter one of the following seven courses:



This table summarises our Course Planner’s target parameters for each course at the ROC Mountain Marathon™. The Target Winning Time is the most important parameter, and therefore this means that the Total Distance and Ascent will vary from one year to the next depending on the runablity of the terrain. The ‘Overall Difficulty’ is not a target for the Course Planner, rather this indicates what percentage of competitors are likely to complete the full course. However, the weather impacts the Overall Difficultly greatly, potentially making the course easier or much harder to complete in full. As Score Course competitors have their own choice about which checkpoints they visit and no set route to follow there is a much higher percentage of overall finishers, but a portion of these will opt for a much easier day in the hills than the Course Planner expected; this kind of flexibility is what makes the Score Courses an attractive choice for many competitors. For a more detailed explanation of this table please visit

Score Format Courses

These courses give competitors a fixed time in order to score as many points as possible. Each checkpoint out on the course will have a specified points value, and competitors can choose both the order of checkpoints to visit, and also the routes between them. If you are late returning to the finish, penalty points are deducted from your score. Strategy and route planning therefore are as important as fitness. Both days’ points totals will be combined, and overall results produced on this basis. The points value of a checkpoint may be a reflection of the physical or technical difficulty associated with visiting it, or how far away from the start/finish it is.

Long Score – Day 1: up to 7 hours / Day 2: up to 6 hours – A longer challenge for fitter and more competent mountain marathoners who like the challenge of score courses.

Medium Score – Day 1: up to 6 hours / Day 2: up to 5 hours – Ideal for those not wishing to try our longer Score or Linear Courses, but still looking for a quality weekend of challenging mountain marathoning.

Short Score – Day 1: up to 5 hours / Day 2: up to 4 hours – A shorter challenge, ideal for those new to this type of event and/or have limited mountain experience or endurance, or people who want shorter days out in the hills.

Score course example - day 1 2018


Score course example map – ROC Mountain Marathon™ 2018


Linear Format Courses

Competitors must visit a prescribed number and order of checkpoints. The linear courses have less route choice and require less decision making than the score format courses, because the checkpoints (and the order in which they must be visited) are defined by the organisers. Approximate length, height gain, and winning time over both days (roughly 55% day 1, 45% day 2) are shown in the table above.

Elite Course – The hardest course reserved for the fittest and most competent mountain marathoners. This is the longest and toughest course both physically and technically, and entrants are vetted for experience. It is usual for there to be more DNFs than completers on the Elite Course. For your entry to be accepted you must provide evidence that you have completed an Elite or A Course within 50% of the winner’s time within the last 3 years or have other substantial and suitable experience.

A Course – Shorter than the Elite course, but no less physically and technically challenging in terms of the terrain the course will visit. Designed for fit and competent mountain marathoners not yet ready, or wishing for, the extra challenge of the Elite Course, but still keen for a long an challenging day in the mountains.

B Course – Shorter than the A Course, with slightly less physically and technically challenging terrain, but a definite step up from the C Course. The B Course is ideal for those who have previously completed the C class and want a tougher challenge, or experienced mountain marathoners who want the challenge without the extra distance offered by the Elite and A Courses.

C Course – The shortest course, with the least physically and technically challenging terrain of the linear courses. Requires a good level of fitness and navigational ability, but suitable for teams who are either new to this type of event and/or have limited mountain experience or endurance.


Linear course example - B Course Day 2 2018

Linear course example map – B Course Day 2 ROC Mountain Marathon™ 2018


Time Penalties (Score courses only)

The time limits on the score courses are automatically enforced by the digital SI timing system (you can’t argue with the computer!). Competitors who are late finishing will rapidly lose the points built up during the day! Lateness time penalties each day are as follows:

  • 0-5 mins late = lose 1 point per min*
  • 5-15 mins late = then lose 2 points per min*
  • 15-30 mins late = then lose 5 points per min*
  • 30 mins or over late = all points lost

*or part minute

Course Closure Time  (Score AND linear courses)

Both Score and Linear courses close at 20:00 on Saturday and 16:00 on Sunday. Any finishers after these times will be recorded as T/O (Timed Out), and it is the competitors’ responsibility to adjust their plans – such as cutting their day short – should they be running late. Please do not blithely continue on your course knowing that you will finish after the Course Closure Time.


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