News Archive


Tweet Monday 4th November 2019

2019 ROC Mountain Marathon - Lowther Hills in Southern Uplands

Standing for Running, Orienteering, & Camping, the ROC Mountain Marathon™ is a two-day fell running and navigation challenge for solos and pairs with an overnight camp.

It takes place in a different mountainous destination in the UK each year and promotes self-sufficiency, adventure, and mountain craft.

In 2019 the event went to Scotland, with an event centre in the village of Durisdeer and courses that explored the beautiful Lowther hills.

Participants collected their map at the start of day one to begin their exploration of this fantastic mountain running area.

Freya Shepherd and Arianne Holland on the B Course ©Steve Ashworth

What was in store for them?

Steep climbs, long runnable ridges, areas of complex contour detail, some rough tussock and heather areas, and plenty of river crossings.

Each of the 7 courses on offer would eventually take participants to a secret and remote overnight campsite tucked away in a hidden valley.
The perfect way to spend a Saturday evening!  

Local orienteers also came along to enjoy the event, which was also the third and final counter in the 2019 British Mountain Marathon Championship, following on from the Scottish Mountain Marathon in June and the Marmot Dark Mountains in January.  

Freya Shepherd, from Inverness Orienteering Club and Edinburgh University Orienteering Club, along with partner Arianne Holland were the 1st Ladies team on the B course.

They enjoyed working well as a team, getting stuck into some tough but exciting courses and hanging out with friends from other teams at the overnight campsite.  

Friends from Edinburgh University, they had both enjoyed a busy September with Freya taking part in the Mourne Mountain Marathon the weekend before and Arianne racing at the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace.

A seasoned Mountain Marathoner already, Freya also received the trophy for Female B course British Mountain Marathon Champion following on from her 1st position at the Scottish Mountain Marathon earlier in the year.

Robbie Peal and Gregor Malcolm on the A Course.  ©Steve Ashworth

Any tips for success? …packing plenty of your favourite food and also thinking your equipment through carefully. Freya’s rucksack, along with all her camping equipment, food and clothing was less then 5kg!    

Robbie Peal and Gregor Malcolm from Edinburgh University had an excellent run to finish 4th overall on the A course in what turned out to be a tightly fought category with only minutes separating some of the leading teams at the end of day one!  

After their 2nd place at the Scottish Mountain Marathon earlier in the year, they were crowned Under 20 British Mountain Marathon Champions.    

Father and daughter team Nick and Gemma Collins from Stonehaven were 5th overall on the C course. Gemma is only 14 but already full of ambition and enthusiasm for Mountain Marathons with plans to run the Elite category one day.

Gemma is a member of the Mar Orienteering Club. She says that she enjoys Mountain Marathons for the challenge and because it is something different.

Gemma described the courses as steeper, longer and harder than what she had previously done but overall the pair were in high spirits and enjoyed working well together as a team.  

It is their second Mountain Marathon running together after having completed the Saunders earlier in the year.  

By the Sunday afternoon, the final checkpoints had been found, many satisfied Mountain Marathoners were enjoying their finishers meal, and the Championship trophies had been handed out.

The 2019 ROC Mountain Marathon was a success with perfect running conditions, lots of smiling faces on the finish line, and some excellent feedback on the quality of the courses thanks to lots of exciting route choice for the linear courses and plenty of choice on the score courses with so many controls. 

Participants setting off for 2 days of running, orienteering and camping fun.  ©Steve Ashworth




Participants enjoyed a lovely sunset at the remote overnight campsite.  ©Steve Ashworth
The overnight campsite from above.  ©Steve Ashworth

Keen to give it a go?

We look forward to seeing more orienteers at our 2020 Mountain Marathons:




Marmot Dark Mountains™


25 - 26 January 2020

SILVA Great Lakeland 3Day™

The Lake District

8 - 10 May 2020

Scottish Mountain Marathon™

Location TBC

13 - 14 June 2020

ROC Mountain Marathon™

Location TBC

26 - 27 September 2020