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Home » Courses » Mountain Marathon Skills Weekend | Northern Lakes | 7/8 April 2018

Mountain Marathon Skills Weekend | Northern Lakes | 7/8 April 2018

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Specialist training for Mountain Marathon events: featuring guest coach and Mountain Marathon legend Steve Birkinshaw

This blend of mountain marathon theory and practice will give you the tactics and techniques to run your best race ... and keep the competition on their toes! 

£185 | Book now via SIEntries

"A very enjoyable and useful day in the hills. Charlie is a very competent navigator and instructor who is clearly at home in the mountains." Matt P

What to expect

Based at one of the most remote bunkhouses in the UK, the Mountain Marathon skills weekend is a blend of theory and practice that will give you the edge on your competition – whether you’re an experienced mountain marathoner or a complete newbie. You’ll be navigating in the Northern Fells area where the Marmot Dark Mountains 2016 was held, focusing on all of the practical skills and tactical expertise that add up to mountain marathon success. We will cover:

  • Intermediate Navigation for Mountain Marathons, including how to understand contours in detail
  • Tactics and route planning for score and linear classes
  • Navigation and relocation on the move
  • Tips and tricks to outsmart your competition
  • Self-management skills for mountain marathon success
  • Working with actual Mountain Marathon maps.

You'll discover the vital tactics and techniques that will help you run your best race and keep your competition on their toes. You’ll learn how to plan the best route in a linear or score class, discover the ‘dark art’ of accurate navigation on the move, and practice vital skills such as how to re-locate yourself when your navigation goes wrong. Please note: for the majority of this course, we will not be running: we will move at a slower pace to focus on fine-tuning your navigational skills and getting it right. There'll be a chance to put all that you've learned into action on Day 2, when we stage a mock Mountain Marathon with score and linear course options available. 

Who is it for?

The Mountain Marathon Skills weekend is ideal for first-time mountain marathoners, as well as for more experienced participants who want to brush up on tactics or fine-tune navigational skills. Our small coach to client ratio (max 5 clients per coach) means that you’ll be guaranteed the attention and expert advice you need to raise your mountain marathon game.

Some navigational experience is required to get the most out of this course. If you have no experience in this area, a Navigation for Runners course may be better suited to your needs. 

Need to know more? For more details please contact 

What's included

  • One night’s accommodation at Skiddaw Bunk House
  • Two days of Mountain Marathon theory and practice
  • Expert coaching from Mountain Marathon legend and Wainwright record holder, Steve Birkinshaw
  • Insight and insider expertise from Mountain Marathon course planners (we’ve worked on the SLMM, GL3D, Marmot Dark Mountains, Marmot 24 and ROC Mountain Marathon, to name but a few)
  • A mock Mountain Marathon 

Weekend programme

Day 1: Saturday 7 April 

08:30 – Welcome meeting at the Mill Inn, Mungrisedale

08:45 – Session 1: Navigation Theory 

  • We’ll spend two to three hours discussing navigation theory, with a break for food and coffee. 

12:00 – Session 2: Practical Navigation 

  • We’ll spend around four hours on the Northern Fells around Mungrisedale, working with real Mountain Marathon event maps and control kites. 

16:00 – refreshments at Skiddaw Bunk House 

16:30 – Session 3: Practical Navigation 2 

  • A practical session of ‘real’ Mountain Marathon practice, locating controls placed close to the event base 

18:30 – Q&A from the day, beers and debrief

Day 2: Sunday 8 April

08:00 – Refresher & Recap of Day 1 

09:00 – Session 4: Mountain Marathon Tactics & Strategy 

  • A discussion about route choice and tactics of how to plan your course on an event (race maps supplied by Mountain Run), followed by Q & A about clothing and equipment selection for mountain running and mountain marathons. 

10:45 – refreshment break 

11:00 – Session 5: Mock Mountain Marathon 

  • Choose from score or linear courses on our mock Mountain Marathon. We’ll supply actual Mountain Marathon race maps, and you will work in pairs, just as you would on a real Mountain Marathon event. 

15:00 – Debrief and course close.

What to bring

Pack as if for a real Mountain Marathon: the only things you won’t need are your sleeping bag, tent, sleeping mat and stove.

Recommended minimum kit list:

  • Compass
  • Harvey 1:25'000 map of the Northern Fells, we will also supply some race maps to work on.
  • Good quality head torch - 250 lumens minimum; anything more is a bonus.
  • Survival Bag
  • Full waterproof cover (Jacket and Pants) Both must have taped seams: please call to discuss if you’re not sure.
  • Clothing suitable for the mountains & time of year - We will not be moving fast, so please account for that in your clothing selection. If the group is coping well, we will incorporate some easy running towards the end of the practical session.
  • 2 spare warm top, not cotton! Wool or synthetic will be fine, primaloft is the best!
  • Suitable footwear for wet ground, preferably fell shoes or aggressive-soled off-road running shoes. 
  • Light sleeping bag if you desire, but bedding is provided at the Hostel
  • Light over-night clothing.
  • 2 hats and 2 pairs of gloves (1 light, 1 warm of each)
  • All your food for the weekend, including hill-food for 2 days, and overnight food for your stay at Skiddaw House - we suggest dehydrated meals that you can cook yourself. Alternatively, you may choose to buy food from the hostel and cook it there – see full details of the options available on their website

If you're unsure about what to bring, drop us an email or give us a call on 07989 697487.

Please be aware we might be moving at slow speeds at some points during the day: please account for this in your clothing selection. Check the weather forecast in advance of the training weekend and come prepared. 


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