CQ DX Marathon: I have been participating in the DX Marathon for a number of years. I started in 2011 but then took a few years off. I jumped back into the fray again in 2014 and have continued participating since then. The objective of the DX Marathon is to work all the CQ counties and Zones that you can work in one year starting on January 1 and ending on December 31. You add the total CQ Countries and CQ Zones worked for the combined score.
2011 DX Marathon: In 2011, I entered in the Unlimited mixed mode class. I tied for 16th place with a combined score of 310 (270 Countries and all 40 Zones). I lost 3 countries from my claimed score of 313. My Bear Island contact was in reality, Svalbard Is. My European Turkey contacted ended up being in Asia, and my claimed African Italy contact, was not. The moral of the story is to double check each contact and do not believe everything the logging programs tell you.
2014 DX Marathon: I decided to do it again in 2014. The end result of my 2014 mixed unlimited effort was 273 countries, and all 40 zones for a total score of 313. I ended up tied for 13th place I lost one country in the log checking process. Better, but still lost one.
2015 DX Marathon: In 2015 I tried to change it up a bit. I entered the Unlimited CW only class. I claimed 250 countries and all 40 zones for a claimed score of 290. The top five claimed score CW leader board has a low score of 291. If I lose no countries in the log checking process I should come in 6th place in the CW only unlimited class. ( I hope!) In any case, my beginning of the year goal was to work 250 countries, and it appears I did that.
2015 UPDATE: Well the results are in and it appears that I screwed it up again. I did come in 6 place in the CW only class, but I again lost 3 countries during the checking process. I lost one of the Italy/African islands I claimed. I also got stung by my Bear Island claimed contact. You just can’t trust that packet spot info sometimes!! I will do better id 2016… I hope.
2016 DX Marathon: This year I’m sticking with the CW unlimited class. I’m getting too old to scream my brains out in pile ups. My goal is to beat my 2015 totals.
2016 Update: Well the conditions are much worse this year. They are getting harder to work. One needs more persistence, patience and sometimes MORE POWER to get them in the log. As if October 1st, 2016 I have worked 239 countries and all 40 Zones (279 Total). It is clear that by years end I will fall short of my 2015 “CW Only” totals.
The “Year of DX” photo above if the title of a book written by Bob Locher, W9KNI. This book chronicles Bob’s winning effort during the 2010 CQ DX Marathon. It is written in the same style as Bob’s well known book, “The Complete DX’er” which is a must read for all aspiring and serious DX’ers alike.
I suggest that if you are a DXer that you give the DX Marathon a try. I think that you will find it to be a lot of fun. If you can remember the thrill of originally working the DX countries way back when, then you will like it. As other things in life, there is nothing like the “first time”, but when it comes to DX its fun to chase them and get them in the logbook again. A good logging program with a DX Marathon tracking function really reduces the effort needed and greatly adds to the fun. I use DX Labs “DX Keeper” with “Spot Collector”
Hope to hear you in the pileups … NU8Z