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The Connoisseurs Mountain Marathon

Saturday

Sun, sweat and sore feet

Photo Gallery | Map of Competition Area

Out on the courseHere in the download tent the feedback from finishing teams is that they’ve had a great Day 1 and enjoyed super views. The weather forecast proved accurate and teams were sweltering on the hill. Sunburn and blisters were the main problems – along with a seemingly never-ending succession of big hills.

Almost all the teams entered turned up for the event, with 490 pairs starting this morning. At the event centre campers were woken in traditional fashion at 6am by Niall Watson on the bagpipes. The sun was already up with the small wreaths of mist quickly burning off.

The Elite, A and B teams started above Auchtertyre, a short walk from the event centre and immediately faced a trio of hulky Corbetts. A couple of easterly controls meant that the Elites also had to tackle the Munro of Creag Mhor. After that all three courses had killer legs, dropping steeply into a glen then climbing 450m back up the far side. Then they were all up, over or round three further Munros – Beinn Dorain, Beinn Achaladair and Beinn a’ Chreachain.

The C, D and Novice teams were bussed up to Bridge of Orchy, where they all set off towards the twin Munros of Beinn Dorain and Beinn an Dothaidh before the courses diverged around the hills. All six courses came back together over the final, slightly lower set of hills on the north side of Glen Lyon.

The mid camp is located at Pubil in Glen Lyon, just below the Loch Lyon dam, with the final control on the bridge across the River Lyon. Unfortunately, one team spotted a small bridge over a stream by the mid camp and forded the wide river, only to find they had to run 0.5km back up to the road bridge.

Race director Martin Stone described the mid camp, “This is one of the biggest, flattest camping areas we’ve ever had for the LAMM”. Tents are spread out over a vast area, many pitched looking out over the river.

With temperature around 20 degrees C, the mid camp has a decidedly relaxed atmosphere. During the afternoon, the banks of the River Lyon resembled Blackpool beach, with lots of semi-clothed bodies wallowing in the water.

It’s been such a good day that there are few incidents to report. A number of ‘walking wounded’ retired, including one with a severe cut to his arm, but they all managed to get themselves off the hills.

Tomorrow there will be some fierce racing, especially on the Elite course where the first 6 teams are lying with 16 minutes of each other. After Day 1, Jonathon Aylward and Stephen Bottomley are in the lead, just 1 minute 18 seconds ahead of Kenny Riddle and Alec Keith. Dan Gay and Murray Strain are leading by 7 minutes 40 seconds on the A course, while Matthew Davis and Chris Beadle have a more comfortable 13 minute 23 second lead on the B.

Watch this space to see what happens tomorrow!

Felicity Martin

 

 

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Route planning above Loch Duich

The clouds over mid camp

Racing together - the spirit of the event

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