Sunday, October 27, 2013


Yes, two M's. It's not everyday day you run the Original Mountain Marathon. I feel tired and my back aches but my legs feel okay. I suspect it may be more a case of what doesn't ache when I wake up tomorrow morning. One thing you can guarantee tonight is that I will sleep soundly.

The weekend started on a high note, with a visit to Cuoco Neil's Italian eatery and accommodation on Friday night. I've never eaten so fine, the bread was divine. We then got up at five for the drive to the devil centre - I mean, event centre. With our official start time of 8:23 and a 45 minute walk to the start, we timed that about right.

Using a mix of cunning and map reading trickery we managed to not get too far lost on the Medium Score event. Our second control of day 1 went a bit pear shaped and we wasted a bit of time but that may well have helped over the long game as we then focused the mind a little more. The mist was down, the rain intermittent we just drifted too far right and bam, operation faff kicked into operation. Ten or so minutes of further faffing and we eventually found the control before moving on and doing better.

We picked a route with options and ruled out a few and pulled others into play and reaching the finish with twenty minutes spare there wasn't too much more we could have done. There was maybe a control earlier on we could have nabbed for another ten points but that was about it. Day 1, 230 points on the board and 38th place from a field of 200+. We were happy with that.

The over night camp was a mix of sunshine, rain and gales. Having arrived at 14:30 we had plenty of time to kill with nothing better than to dive into the tent when the heavens opened - which they did frequently. Still, at least we were able to get the tent up in the dry and, with fresh clothes donned, warm up a little.

It was a long night, and going hard core, sleeping on gods solid earth - no of this balloon bed funny busines (although I've heard they are excellent and well worth a purchase for the less hard core amongst us). Suffice, I didn't sleep much. At one point the gusts got so strong I thought the tent was going to blow away - but it didn't thankfully.

Day two began with more wind and rain. Neil and I played a ten minute game of find the contact lens after he 'thought' he dropped it. The game was eventually called off after finding said contact lens already in his eye, which he then repositioned so that he could see. After that small interruption, we were again lucky with tent based operations, being able to take the tent down and pack up during a small break in the weather. With the kit packed we made our way to our 9:08 start.

It felt colder and soon it was gusting and raining. That was to be the pattern for the day but with more rain and less gaps in it than yesterday. With the bad weather courses called, we only had four hours of scoring. That meant a fairly linear route with few options. We set our plan and basically followed through - oh, nasty. After a little hiccup at our third control, losing a few minutes, we eventually made it home inside the time with a score of 155 and 29th place - toot toot. That moved us up the score board to scrape into the top thirty in - yes, you guessed it - 30th place!!! Well happy with that and being old bastards we finished 13th of 89 in the old git category - do I hear a whoop whoop? I think I do.

Thanks to Neil who roped me in, although I wasn't entirely chirpy at every moment, with the wind and rain biting, the food at Cuoco Neil's Italian Eatery made up for any lows. Thanks also to all the organisers and the the mud slide finish - which had all the hall marks of 'A Creber Special'.

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