“You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.”

Although the pace isn’t rapid, the challenging terrain and cold water saps energy and can make it a significant undertaking. On average, only 85% of runners complete the Darth Mannion. You need to be fit, healthy and well-prepared. All Regulators run with safety kits and use various ‘drop off’ locations to assist stragglers, but ultimately runners take part at their own risk. Below are some tips on how to prepare for the event…

Endurance:  We recommend you are capable of running the race distance of 13.1 miles on undulating terrain, at least 4 weeks before the event.  Ideally you will be able to run half marathon distance in around 2 hours. There are some excellent training programmes on the internet and we recommend BUPA’s  half-marathon programmes http://www.bupa.co.uk/running/training/training-programmes/intermediate-half-marathon/ .  Please note, this training programme doesn’t take into account hills, river and sand – so try and modify your training appropriately!

River-runs and sea-submersions:  Wading through cold rivers and submerging yourself in sea-water significantly adds to the difficulty of the event.  Legs often seize up immediately after, and are more prone to cramping.  It is difficult to fully prepare for this, short of replicating in a nearby water-feature.  Alternatively, we advise cold showers post-workout, to reduce the shock from when entering the sea.

Clothing:  It is essential that participants wear appropriate attire.  We recommend tight fitting clothing to minimise the impact of water and brambles.  Fell shoes or trainers with good grips are an absolute must.  Previous competitors have attempted to run the course wearing a combination of skater shorts, gangster t-shirts and plimsolls – more often than not they dropped out at an early stage.

Nutrition:  Due to the distance, (runners will complete in approx. 2.5 hours) and potential low temperatures, pre and post-run nutrition is essential. We recommend 48 hours of carb-loading and a light breakfast.  Participants are also encouraged to run with a hydration drink or energy gels.  Hot soup will be available post-race.

Shower facilities: Showers will be provided but if you have a local option we recommend you take it – we only have so much capacity and hot water has been known to run low.  Please remember that the challenge is just part of the event – there’s a whole day of six nations rugby and entertainment to follow.

Team CrossFat Training Video (Darth Mannion VI)
The Darth Mannion Christmas Advert 2015
Some inspirational words from Darth (Christmas 2014 after 9 pints)
Vintage Team CrossFat training footage (Darth Mannion V)
What NOT to wear