It turned out that our 2005 outing to the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon (KIMM) would be our last because next year it will be called the Original Mountain Marathon (OMM). The association with Karrimor is at an end.
Mick Wrench and I were competing for the third time. We had entered the 'Elite' course for the first time Simon Valence and partner were also going for the E course.
It was raining at the start and this continued off and on throughout the day. We set off well but made some route choice errors which cost us time and effort. As the day went on it became clear that we weren't moving fast enough. Simon had passed us but wasn't going well. By 17:00 we had run for 8 hours and climbed the height of Snowdon on top of Ben Nevis, the weather was deteriorating. We were on a high ridge in 50-60 mph winds, in driving heavy rain, very wet, cold and tired we knew we couldn't complete the course and it would be dark in an hour. We decided to head straight for the over-night camp and call it a day. Simon was about 30 minutes ahead and was advised to retire at the next control, it now being virtually impossible to complete the day. They dropped down to the valley and camped in some woods; a good decision.
We struggled to the camp across awful boggy ground for a couple of hours, the last one in the dark. We checked in after 10 hours non-stop, we had run 29 miles and climbed 7500ft. We said to the marshal that we were 'retiring' and asked what we should do now. He replied "Go home?"
The campsite was a very wind swept, bleak mountainside. We got the tent up and sorted ourselves out. The night was really windy and we got little sleep. In the morning it was still windy and still very wet. We had to make our way back to the start which was 11 miles away. After a slow jog home we got back to the car by mid morning.
We knew it was going to be an epic event. In the end we just weren't quick enough. To complete the E class you need to be very quick and make perfect route choices in often difficult weather conditions. If you slow down you run out of day light, then it gets really tough!
The winners completed the first day in 7:26. This was 30 minutes longer than usual. Only 32 teams completed the course out of 65 starters.