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Controller’s Comments

Firstly, a big thank you to all the competitors who turn up year after year, who appear to enjoy themselves and who tolerate in good spirit, and with patience, the numerous little blips that appear in the system.

Secondly, an equally big thank you to the helpers, all of whom, are volunteers. Many have been coming for numerous years, in order to be deprived of sleep, often to get cold and wet. They just get on with their job, and when they have finished they go and find another job. It is so much easier to run an event with people like that around. The same faces appear at the Event Centre, the Overnight Campsite and out on the hills, putting out and collecting in the controls. Terrific.

One of the biggest problems in setting up an event is finding an Event Centre with adequate parking, camping, etc. and in the right place. Similarly, a suitable overnight camp. We were very fortunate this year in recruiting Alan Irving as Planner. He knows the area intimately and is acquainted with many of the local landowners and tenant farmers. He negotiated for us, the Event Centre and the Overnight Camp, and then got on with planning good courses. His enthusiasm never faltered. So that’s a third big thank you.

We had one accident which required the Mountain Rescue to attend. A parent in the Bedafell class slipped and fell, dislocating  a shoulder on a low level path only a couple of miles from the Finish. Just one of those things. The team mate ran back to a marshalled control to raise the alarm and in the meantime, several teams stopped to give assistance. The shoulder has been relocated and the casualty is sore but on the mend. SLMM will be making a donation to the Mountain Rescue.

For those of you who went to the top of Mellbreak, only to find that control 114 had been stolen, you will be pleased to know that the kite and SI box have been discovered in a litter bin in Loweswater.

It is very disappointing to get reports of teams cheating, by sending one person to a control, while the other person waits at the bottom or takes a short cut. Those of you who do it, know you are cheating. What enjoyment does it give you? In the future, we will probably move to giving both members of the team an SI dibber and disqualifying anyone who doesn’t have it attached to their wrist at the end of the event. We try to keep costs low, in order to keep entry fees low, and doubling up on dibbers will increase costs.

Finally, a couple of questions for competitors:

  • This has been touched on in the questionnaire that all competitors have received. Currently we ban the carrying of a GPS unit or a phone that is GPS enabled. We insist that competitors only use map and compass (and an altimeter) for navigation. However it could be argued that both GPS and mobile phones add to the safety of competitors. And a lot of people like to track their route. What do you think?
  • Once we have got an event up and running, we need to stick to the Rules that have been set. We can’t bend rules and we can’t change rules at the request of individuals. It isn’t fair on everyone else. But, at the end of the event, we can review the rules and change those that have become outdated, before the next event is begun. Or add new rules to meet changing circumstances. If you have any suggestions, now is the time to pass them over to us.
  • Several people have suggested introducing a score course. Probably, 6 hours on Saturday and 5 hours on Sunday. What do you think?

Roger Smith

2017 Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon