Nature of the Event
The Mourne Mountain Marathon is a competitive event for teams of two. At the start of each day teams are presented with a course of varying numbers of control markers which are identified by 6-figure map references. They must visit each control in the prescribed order but may choose their own route between each marker. A feature of the event is the overnight camp at which all teams must be self-sufficient with everything being carried throughout the two days of competition.
There are prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams in the Elite Class – Open category. Other classes and categories will be awarded equipment and clothing prizes. Our thanks again to our main sponsors, Jackson Sports for their support in this regard.
Classes and Categories
The event is limited to an entry of 300 teams, which is necessary in order to preserve the essential character of the Mountain Marathon and to ensure that the success of any team should be dependent on their own navigation and judgement.
The C Class is always very popular (to the point of being full) and we would encourage anyone who has performed well at this level before to move up into the B Class. If you are going to invest a whole weekend to this event you may as well get a good run for your money!
The main competitive class for competent and experienced mountain marathoners, orienteers and hill runners who have shown ability in similar endurance events. Entrants should have completed an Elite or A or B course at a recent mountain marathon or they should have achieved a fast time in a long fell navigation race or similar event.
Distance – 55km over 2 days
This class is slightly less difficult & arduous than the Elite class and is designed for those who have successfully completed similar courses or have previously done well at a lower level and feel ready to move up. While still a stern challenge this class does not attract the same high level of commitment and competition as the Elite class. Entrants should have very good navigation skills and significant experience of mountaineering or long days moving quickly in the hills.
Distance – 45 km over 2 days.
The C-Class is suitable for teams who have, perhaps some mountain marathon experience or who are good hill walkers who want to stretch themselves and their navigational capabilities on a 2 day event. We do not expect the same high level of competition as in the other classes but there has always been a strong comradeship between the teams at this level – especially at the overnight camp.
Distance – 35km over 2 days.
The D-Class is intended for teams who are either new to this type of event and/or have limited mountain experience or endurance. Although the overall length is the same as the C Class, the total climb is lower, the course terrain less arduous and route choices are easier. Mountain navigation and safety skills are still required.
Distance – 35km over 2 days.
Each class is broken down into the individual race categories. We have standardised with other mountain marathons in that Veteran teams will be defined as combined ages of 90 or over. Minimum age for entry is 18 years old on the day or 16 years old if partnered by their parent or guardian in the C and D classes only. Places are awarded to categories in the order below:
|O||Open||The overall competition for teams of any age or sex combination|
|F||Female||Both team members must be women|
|Mix||Mixed||Team composed of one man and one woman|
|Vet||Veteran||Combined team age of 90 or more.|
|FV||Female Veteran||Both team members must be women whose combined age is 90 or over.|
|MixV||Mixed Veteran||Team composed of a man and a woman whose combined age is 90 or over.|
|PJ||Parent & Junior||Team with 16/17yr old junior running with their parent or guardian (C & D class only).|
Winners of Vet categories will be based on handicapped times. The team time is reduced by 1 minute for each 2 years over 90 for each hour the team was out e.g. 90-91 : 1 minute/hour, 92-93 : 2 minutes/hour, 94-95 : 3 minutes/hour. This is line with other MM events.
It is up to each entrant to assess his or her own ability against their experience and the information provided here and elsewhere on this website. Entrants will not be vetted on grounds of safety (except for Parent/Junior teams) but may be vetted on grounds of competitive fairness (in B or C classes). Those we deem to have entered a class well below their abilities may be advised to move up a class or run non-competitively. N.B. When comparing events you should look at the previous course descriptions and winning times rather than rely on course names (eg: “Elite” or “B Class”) as these differ from event to event.