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Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh it was snowy, cold and 'orrible

Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh it was snowy, cold and 'orrible

Myself and some Scouting chums [and the Mrs] marshalled on a night run on Dartmoor on Saturday night. My duty, along with my ex-navy commander chum, was to man a water and jelly baby station at 1/3 distance for the 10 milers.

Duly stationed at our table, with what should be glorious Dartmoor scenery all around us, we hunkered down as the snow started blowing with such ferocity that I was nearly blown over as the wind caught my rucksac. Tightening our Paramo's against the ensuing wind and horizontal snow we waited for the first runners....and waited...and waited as we filled water cups and broke open the jelly babes and beans...

Far off in the distance a small light gradually grew bigger and bigger and split into 3 distinct head torches. The first runners, facing fully into the fully seasonal elements, and dresses on shorts and t shirts came trotting through to out applause and [refused] offers of refreshments. Our shouts of 'turn right and up the hill', was met met with a wave of the hand as they disappeared up on the moor imaginings were of the rescue team recovering their weakened and hypoththermic bidies from the high(er) moor later that evening....'shorts', I uttered under my breath as the words were taken away by the gusting snow.

The rest came through in various states of undress, with a mix of compression leggings and long and short sleeve tops, with an occasional wind-proof thrown in for good measure.

The 'back-marker' came past and gave the all clear. We packed up, looked at the now remarkably still and clear night before r retracing our 2 miles back to the cars and the sanctuary they offered.

An excellent night and one to highlight just how different it is running to standing still.

My lesson to us all from the night...running WILL keep you warm, and you really can run in very cold conditions wearing very little....but if you do, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE tell some one where you are going, and for God's sake, take a bag with a fleece and leggings...and if you have reception, a phone and a whistle. They could easily save your life. This was a marshalled run, and all booked out and back in...when we go out, do the same.

Lastly, if you are lost injures ect, and you do have a torch or whistle, the recognised call is 6 good blasts/flashes, followed by a minutes silence; then repeated.The acknowledgement is 3 good blasts followed my a minutes silence.

Use a whistle [plastic -metal may well freeze to your lips, and if you have a compass may affect it]/torch, shout.wave a bright coat etc...

Stay safe.

9 Replies

Sounds like you had runners made of really tough stuff there Sally. I'm sure they were thrilled to see you and the water station. Amazing what dedication and commitment can get people to do.

Thanks for the reminder about safety precuations. You're absolutely right - it coud be a matter of life and death when you get just a tiny bit away from civilisation.


It was a v hard graded run, and one I know very well....from walking, not running!

My thanks go [as always] to the local Mountain Rescue Teams [MRT], for all they do in all weathers.


Thanks for this post. It is very important to keep warm and safe during the run.


These 'guys' are tough-nut runners who go out regardless. it was a fully marshalled run and faithfully only the odd tumble happened.


Great advice Sally! I think I have to put my whistle on the dog's collar so that I won't forget it - I used to have it always with me but fell into bad habits!


Some running bags, Osprey, Salomon, Camelbak, OMM etc, etc, may have one built-in. If you are getting a new bag, then see if it has.

Also, you can get little info tags that fasten to your shoes [ICE ~ In Case of Emergency] with important info on. I bought some, but guess which ninny can't fine them?!


Blimey, had no idea there was a whistle code. Sometimes when the longnosedog goes off after a critter I stand there like a lemon tooting my whistle with no idea I might be summoning the not-quite-a-hill rescue service. Good to know what to do in a real emergency though. Thanks.

Well done for facing the elements. Not even the thought of orphaned Jelly Babies would tempt me to do that in the dark, in January. Brrrrrrrrrr.


You have my sympathy! I don't know how you do it. I don't mind running in the cold but standing still. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh, no way Jose


Thanks for posting Sallycycle. Really important stuff there. I can't believe people were running in this weather in shorts and t shirts! Makes you proud to be a member of the same species!


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