Outdoor specialists Lowe Alpine are behind the world-famous Mourne Mountain Marathon – one of the greatest two-day adventure races in the UK.
With the spectacular scenery of Northern Ireland’s Mountains of Mourne as the backdrop, this ultimate test of stamina and endurance is in its 34th year, and has become one of the greatest fast and light races around.
This is a classic two-day navigation and endurance event for teams of two, who travel on foot carrying minimum weight for an overnight stop.
At the start of each day, entrants are given a map of their course with a list of control points they must check into in a prescribed order; the route between checkpoints is decided by competitors themselves.
All teams must be totally self-sufficient, carrying everything they need including food rations and shelter.
Travelling light is definitely one of the secrets of success – ultra-lightweight tents or bivi bags are recommended, as even in September temperatures in the mountains can drop dramatically.
Wild Country’s Zephryros 2, the Nemo Obi 2P, and the Terra Nova Laser Photon 2 are all excellent choices to sleep two-people looking for reliable, weather-proof shelter at the lightest possible weight.
If individual bivi bags are preferred, Terra Nova’s Saturn and Titan models are popula amongst fast & light adventurers.
Energy and stamina are obviously reliant on sustenance, and at least one hot meal is recommended during the competition to provide the necessary nutrients – lightweight cooking gear is therefore a must.
The Coleman F1 Power Pz Camping Stove and the MSR Pocket Rocket are two of the lightest, most powerful camping stoves on the market, and cooksets from Trangia and Optimus will do the rest on an overnight stop.
We’re talking about Ireland in autumn – so waterproof clothing is also essential.
Montane’s Fireball Smock, their Featherlite Marathon Jacket and Rab’s Tempo Jacket all fit the bill in lightweight weather protection, along with the Mammut Albaron and the OMM Cypher Smock.
- The Mourne Mountain Marathon starts on September 21st. Other major endurance events across the globe this year include the Killimanjaro Adventure Challenge on February 21st, the Monster Dash in Toronto, Canada, on October 27th, and the Patagonia Running Adventure in Chile on December 19th.
Closer to home there’s the Snakes Pit Challenge in Borley, Essex, on March 23rd, and the 16th Caythorpe Canter in Grantham, Lincolnshire, on April 6th.
Sports and outdoor correspondent Nicki Williams writes for Gear-Zone, on-line stockists of all the major brands including Lowe Alpine, Rab, The North Face and Berghaus
Picture source: Compfight