Summer's finished it seems (or never came?) but still lots of fun to be had - the confusingly named Mountain Marathon and local off-road long distance season 'peaks' in the autumn
First up in the Mourne Mountain Marathon (15-16th September), the 33rd running of an event that few of us from the club have done (even though it gets excellent write-ups and is relatively accessible c/o flights from Cardiff to Belfast).
The Newport Outdoor Group's excellent (and 33th?) Talybont Trial is on the 6th October 2012 - popular with walkers and runners (especially those training for the OMM), this friendly but challenging 20 miler (more if I'm navigating) only costs £10 and includes tea and biscuits.
The route starts and finishes at Talybont and takes in the high expanse of Craig Pwllfa and the smaller yet in some ways more beautiful Tor y Foel. Between these the walker may be able to trace the course of an ancient industrial tramway, long since gone and barely discernable, or may choose to lunch at the cave where it is said Chartists kept an arms cache before marching down to the valleys to Newport to demand free elections to Parliament. Others will be more interested in getting their heads down and beating last years time, and indeed many of this years entrants will have taken part at least once before.
Sadly it clashes with the 6th running of the RAB Mountain Marathon (6-7th October 2012, Northern England - exact details of the location as ever kept secret until ~ 1 month before the race). The RAB is unusual in being open to both solo entries and pairs of runners and has two score class categories ('Elite' and 'Open'). Finishers also get a goody bag (unheard of amongst MMers?) care of a big sponsor and the organisers have a nack of finding great venues in wilder, overlooked, places. An ideal choice for a fist time MMer...
And then there's the biggest and, arguably, most commercial event in the calendar - the OMM. Improved in 2011 (or so those of us from the club who did thought) after two dodgy years in relatively dull locations.
2012 will be our 44th Event. Set in Northern England. The last week-end in October 27th and 28th 2012. In a different area from last year, it will present challenges for everyone who takes part. It is still, internationally the largest and most prestigious Mountain Marathon event. THE OMM tests teamwork, self-reliance, endurance, outdoor and navigational skills.
This event is not suitable for novices to British mountains. Both team members must have some Mountain experience: It is the responsibility of all entrants to choose a course commensurate with their ability and experience. The organisers reserve the right to refuse entry if, in their judgement, insufficient ability and experience is demonstrated in the entry form.
Then on the 24th November there's the infamous Sleepwalker Night Race (which bravely featured in our Off Road Champs series a few years back, and always seems to invite artic weather) and a week after that, and for the strictly hard-core, the Ultra Brecon Winter 40 'Winter Edition', 1st December.
Post below if you know of others..