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Controller’s Comments

Worm Gill has a local reputation of rising rapidly when in spate. The farmer at Scalderskew was so concerned about the level of the water that he phoned us on Thursday. On Friday afternoon we abandoned trying to erect the marquee because of the winds. I eventually persuaded them to return on Saturday morning. Those of us there on early Saturday morning witnessed a transformation. There was not a cloud in the sky, the wind had dropped and the streams were down to crossable depths. So, whilst most of the rest of the country was flooded, we experienced near perfect conditions. The Controller’s, and your, prayers to the Gods had been answered. We even had the bonus of a midge free Mid Camp. So, many thanks to you who braved the elements to join us on what turned out to be a fine weekend.

There is a significant, and increasing, amount of work that goes into getting an event like ours off the ground. In a place like Wasdale, with its proximity to one of the Three Peaks, we have to fight the local dislike of those that arrive in the middle of the night, wake everyone up with their shouting and singing, leave their rubbish strewn all over the place and generally make a nusiance of themselves. It is to the credit of all those involved in the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon that those same locals have asked us to return. So a big ‘Thank You’ to all of you in general, and the marshals in particular, for maintaining our reputation as a responsible organisation.

We have a policy of supporting local organisations and projects whether it be, this year, the Forestry Commission’s Wild Ennerdale or a National Trust wetlands Project, the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team or the local Commoners Associations. All of these, in their different ways, are part of the Event.

So this brings me to the ‘Thank Yous’.

We have a Team that comes together each year to get the Event going.  They are small in number.

The central Team consists of:

  • David Johnstone – The Organiser. He is responsible for all the logistics from the toilets to the food.
  • Brian Dearnaly – The Fields Officer who deals with all matters relating to land clearance and permissions.  He is also a deputy Controller.
  • Mark Hawker – Web Administrator who is responsible for the SLMM web site. Runs Registration. He too, is a deputy Controller.

After our de-brief, we will stand down for about two months and then start the whole process again. It takes about 9 months to get an event like this up and running.

Then we have all the other people who help in the week running up to the event.

  • Rhona – Our resident doctor
  • Karen – Our resident physiotherapist
  • Joe – Helps set up the controls on the hill. Our expert stile builder, car park manager.
  • Paul – with his land rover who delights in taking it to inaccessible places to rescue the injured or tow someone out of the mire.
  • John – Our plumber for setting up your water supply and David’s right hand man
  • Phil & Barbs – Help set up the controls on the hill. Responsible for the starts.
  • The Binks’ – More of David’s support team. Look after the camp when you are on the hill and have everything ready for your return on Sunday.
  • Andrew – from SI who provides competition services over the weekend and is the fount of all information over the weekend.

There are a few others who turn up at the weekend to assist in Registration.  They turn up and we make them welcome and are happy that they should experience an event like this from a different perspective.

Our thanks to the following people and organisations for making this event possible :

  • Colin Lindsey and National Trust West District for access to a large part of the competition area
  • Gareth Browning of Ennerdale Forestry Commission for the forests around the Mid Camp
  • Penny Webb and National Trust North District for the area to the North and West
  • Andrew Naylor of Row Head Farm – The Event Centre
  • Duncan Elwood of Scalderskew – The Mid Camp
  • The Commoners Associations of Kinniside, Stockdale and Nether Wasdale
  • Adam Naylor and staff at the Wasdale Head Inn
  • Hilary and Maria of Fell and Dales Catering
  • Pete Bland and staff of Pete Bland Sports for supplying prizes
  • Jennings Brewery for supplying prizes
  • Cowmire Cider for supplying prizes
  • Wasdale Mountain Rescue

The sharp eyed of you will have noticed a major omission in the list of credits above. There is no mention of a planner. This was quite deliberate. She should have the final credit all to herself. The planner joins the Team for a year with the opportunity to put into practice their ideas for a mountain marathon. This year I asked Jane to perform this task and she attacked it with enthusiasm.

As stated at the beginning, the Gods provided the weather, however, she provided the courses. The combination was to produce a memorable event. So from all of us a big thank you to her.

So to next year.  Put the weekend of 6th/ 7th July 2013 in your calendar and we will meet again.

If you have ever thought of planning a mountain marathon then drop me a line. If you have not thought about it then now is you chance.

Happy Running

Chris Hall

Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon