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The Connoisseurs Mountain Marathon

Feedback 2008


Just a note of thanks for the special atmosphere that you help to create at the LAMM.  My son James & I, value greatly the good work you and your team put in and know that your strength makes it happen each year.  We are both looking forward already to next year, it's been a good one.  Clearly it is only possible with your team, who give so much, they are a credit to you and your highland dreams.

Pete Smith

Dear Martin
 There appears to be no 'feedback' section on the LAMM website so I thought I'd use a proper pen, with a proper card, to write a proper letter of thanks for once again an unforgettable LAMM.

For my money, I did think you overdid it a bit on the midge front this time.  I am, of course, still aching and have hundreds of midge bites and in a few days I shall no doubt be looking forward to next year's event - but I need a bit more time to recover. 

Please pass on my thanks to all the hard-pressed volunteers without whom none of this would have been possible.  We do appreciate their efforts, even if we are too tired to say so at the time!

Best regards
Martin Brice (D course, 4th LAMM)

Hi Martin,
Thanks definitely due for this year's LAMM - what I did of it was brilliant, and when the blisters finally got the better of me on the second day you'd arranged perfect weather for walking back to download!

Stephen Granger-Bevan

First LAMM at Glenfinnan and it was excellent although my feet are still slowly falling off .. there's not much of them left ...
I've caught the bug / fever.  Do you have a date for next year's yet?

Gill Brett

Hello Martin

Firstly thanks for yet another great event. This was our third LAMM having started with Glen Carron, then Assynt. We can only realistically do them every two years as family and training do not always go hand in hand. To enter every year we will just have to wait until our 2 girls can enter themselves or as a partner.

Anyway, feedback. The organisation yet again seemed perfect, from turning up at the car park, going through registration, toilets, being marshalled to the start to finishing. It all seemed to go like clock work.

My only issues well one is an issue the other a plea not to. We did the A course between checkpoint 4 and 5 on the first day we discovered some interesting hillside/rock. Now I know the event notes mentioned that the map would not show all rock faces, but as we went across a slope further on that had as tight a contours if not tighter the drop into the valley was verging on being a tad dangerous (some might say sporting ) We felt comfortable doing it though in the bigger picture………..

The second point is having read the planner/controllers comments please, please, please do not pander to the suggestion of pre-marked maps. The beauty of the LAMM is the fact it is not just about moving fast. It is about your  route choice taking in the terrain, weather and your ability coupled  with the unknown of knowing exactly where the next control is (even though you may  feel very comfortable/confident with your assessment) until it has been dibbed.

This cocktail of elements keeps you always on your toes right until the end.
So thanks again and to all the helpers, who add to the ambience of the event with their constant smiles and helpfulness.

Yours sincerely

Martin and Lisa Bergerud

I just wanted to say thank you for organising a fantastic event. This was my first LAMM and I was really impressed, the course was great, plenty of route choice, and some bits of tricky navigation in more intricate areas. The event also seemed really well organised, so thanks to the marshalls for all their hard work.

Elsie Riley

Just a quick email to say thank you for all the work that has gone into the LAMM2008. I have more to be grateful for as it was my Step Dad that injured his back and i was unaware of all the work that went into making sure he was safe, Until i read an article on your website. Please pass on my thanks to all your workers for not just a great event but also there wiliness to search for and help my Step Dad.  And to you Martin for carrying the stretcher for no reason.
Many, Many Thanks
Ross Lewis

Dear Martin,
I have been meaning to write and thank you, and all your team, for organising LAMM 2008 so smoothly in such a wonderful area.  Having just read the marshal's report I am in awe of the effort that must have gone into arranging everything in such fabulous wild country.  Many, many thanks and I plan to be back next year. 

Can I also add a vote for keeping the mark-up at the start - I think it adds a bit of spice to the event!

Best Wishes



Belated thanks for organising such a great event.  I am not sure how you do this, but if there is some way this message can be posted I would be most grateful.  I ended day 1 in not too good a state.  I had picked up some kind of bug on a recent trip to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and whilst I thought I was fully recovered having got back to running and cycling, I obviously hadn’t.  So when I came into the camp at the end of the first day I was like one of those people you see staggering around at the end of a marathon.  Your marshall kindly sat me down and found a doctor to look after me.  I do not recollect either the marshalls name or the doctors name, but I would like to pass on my grateful thanks to them.  They may remember me as they made me drink flat coke (you make this by pouring sugar into a can of coke – try it).  I was ok the next day thanks to them.

Definitely be back next year – any chance of no midges?

Jim Walker

Hi Martin

A suggestion for next year - have a "clear box" at registration for people who have brought their own Si cards to use when registering - this serves two purposes:
1) gives them a reason they understand for being asked to bring their Si card to registration (a lot of people who had forgotten their cards just rattled off the number and expected us to accept that)
2) will help on Saturday morning at the "check" stage - there seemed to be a lot more people this year with their own cards - and I wonder if the time spent sending those people towards the clear box allowed un-checked competitors to slip past

And finally, I realise that circumstances dictate where the map issue is sited; but I wonder if it would be useful to make it clear (on final details, start card etc) that the team's journey to the start must begin a) when both team members are ready to go and b) at the marquee so that they don't miss map issue etc.

We had a few complaints when we turned away single competitors and people clearly not ready to go that other teams were stood in the toilet queue etc looking at their maps. Also a few teams had deliberately arranged for one competitor to return items to the car and meet their partners at the assembly points whilst the other team member collected the maps - we let those through proving they had the SI card - but again added to the confusion when we had a crowd.

All in all it was a brilliant event - and people are still amazed at my Scottish sun tan - just a shame my control collecting on Monday was in the cloud and rain!

Sue Hawker

Hi Martin,

What a Fan-Tast-ic event yet again. You and your team really do put an immense amount of work into making the LAMM such a fabulous event.  "The Connoisseurs Mountain Marathon" is a fitting description to describe the LAMM.
On behalf of myself and running partner.... Thanks go to you Martin and your dedicated helpers !!!!!!!!

See you next year hopefully.
Many Thanks

Mark Britten and Heather Elston.

Hi Martin,
Thanks again for a great events, our thrid year. Finally managed to get a prize!  Could I have a copy of out Prize winning photo, our team was: Mark Evans & Jeff Marshall. We were 3rd in the D course.
Many thanks
Jeff Marshall

Hi Martin
Thanks for another great event this year.  I realise it’s early but do you have an idea of which weekend you plan to run the event over next year?  My friends and I are shift workers and need to book the time off 12 months in advance to secure what we feel is the highlight of the year!
Kind Regards and Best Wishes
Glyn McGann

Hello Martin

Just a quick note to say a big thank you for another great LAMM - lovely weather and great location/routes. After a good start we made a bad route choice on the first day of C course (well apart from some fine ridge running!). Had a far better second day (fastest by a decent bit) to come in sixth overall....which all means that I get to call in my pals commitment to move up to the B course next year - looking forward to it already.

Thanks again to you and your team for all your hard work

Phil Williams

Please pass on our thanks to everyone involved behind the scenes for their friendly and efficient service with a smile despite the midges!!
Rachel Scott
Many thanks for a great event - we really enjoyed it
Sophie Brown

Hi Martin,
Congratulations on another excellent event (the weather certainly helped) but everything seemed to run very smoothly. I hope it was the case at your end. The strip of mown grass by the river for the midcamp was truly magical.

Could the Final Details (details of which were mailed out on 3rd June) be mailed a little earlier before the event, a group of us go on a week's holiday prior to the LAMM somewhere in the highlands and due to the remote area that we were in we could not access the info. Please keep the actual event venue a secret until noon on the Thursday, it keeps everyone competing in the event guessing right up to the release. We made a telephone call on Thursday midday back home to find the venue.

In addition, I've entered the Saunders for the first time this year and they have already released the venue which somewhat has spoiled the build up and suspense. They are even giving out Day 2 control descriptions early in the morning of the Day 2 start (well before you dib start) if in the non chasing group. A leisurely map mark up goes against the tense plotting that the LAMM is famous for. Please keep the current format, it is a winning formula.

See you at LAMM 2009 somewhere in Scotland.
Darren Baker (stalwart D class competitor)

Dear Martin

Glenfinnan 08 was only my second LAMM. Having survived the snow at Glen Carron it had taken me four years to believe that one day it might be fun. I’m now wishing I hadn’t left it so long…………….

What a superb event. Right from the point that the venue was released (enough to get the pulse rising) to the drive up Glen Coe on the way home, the whole weekend was absolutely fabulous. The Glenfinnan campsite was an inspired choice, and the scenery on day 1 of the C Course was so outstanding that we gave up racing to do the ridge run between the two Munros, with views to Skye and the Cuillins in one direction, and Ben Nevis in the other, interspersed with tantalising glimpses of both the Glenfinnan viaduct and the mid camp.

The planners may hope for low cloud, but I can assure you that for a ‘wish I could get to the highlands more often’ person, this was as good as it gets.

The legendary organisation was fully in evidence again, together with a real friendly atmosphere around both camps that was missing due to poor weather in 2004.

Well done and thanks to you and your team for organising a brilliant event. Congratulations to all those who move over such terrain at phenomenal speed. We have to make do with mid table finishes, but for most of us, that’s not the point. The point is recorded on my map, mind and digital camera.

Matching it next year might be tricky though!

Yours sincerely
Gareth Wrathall


I'd just like to congratulate and thank you and the LAMM team for your fantastic efforts in planning, organising and running the LAMM the other weekend. It was my first one but I plan on returning next year to explore some more Scottish wilderness such was pleasure I had participating in it, which in no small part was down to the efforts of the organising team.

In terms of feedback I don't have anything negative to say. I have heard that maybe portaloos aren't always present at the mid-camp so maybe I was spoiled this time but I certainly appreciated it. The weather wasn't too bad either!

Thanks again, keep up the great work.

Colin Russell

Hi Martin

We both had a great time and were dead chuffed with our result. The terrain was very rough, but it is a beautiful area (Martin (my husband) and I had been up walking the 3 Munros accessible from end Loch Arkaig a few weeks before and vowed that we would go back on a sunny day!). The weather was very kind to us and this is the first MM that I have done when I have not been absolutely soaked on one of the days! I may even come back and do another one! On day 1 the classes were really well split up and so there was no danger of processions to checkpoints. If the clag had been down, the courses would have been very long and even more challenging.

At times it would have been nice to have a bit more detail than the 1:50,000 maps give. We decided to go down towards Loch Monar on Day 1 and the descent was a very hairy, but the crags were not really visible on the map. Luckily it was dry so we managed to slide and slither down! I think there were a few others who felt the same.

The organisation worked well and the midcamp was in a great location. Thank you and the team for organising another great event.

Mandy Calvert

Please pass on our appreciation of all the excellent organisation for a great event (it was our first, but hopefully not last). - Ruth Love

Thanks to all the LAMM team for a great event - my first taste of orienteering on a mountain scale (just a pity we were not up to finishing - oh well maybe next year).
Simon Fitzpatrick

What a fantastic weekend!
Stephanie French

Thanks for a really great event, very well organised and a good challenge. We will certainly be back.
Nick McLean

Hi! Just a quick note to say a huge thank you for the event in Glenfinnan this year!!!!  It's obvious there has been an immense amount of planning gone into it and it's a credit to you and your team that everything went so well.  You even managed to organise a bog fest despite the dry conditions, and so from one D team (D152) a massive thanks for that!!!!! It wouldn't be LAMM without a bit of acrobatics!

Hopefully see you next year wherever that may be.....
Best wishes,
Kathy Haddow

Hi Martin and Debbie 

Glenfinnan was a great event – the LAMM always succeeds in providing challenging terrain, stunning campsites and unequalled atmosphere – a true mountain marathon experience.

Feedback on the B course
Day one - the valley options were the best routes and so there was not enough high level running as perhaps we would have liked. One control proved difficult to those without an altimeter (us).
Day two - a good day in the mountains with more up and over options. Generally easier running made the day enjoyable despite tired legs from day one.

Thanks for putting on a great event and I hope I can return next year for more of the same.
Simon Lloyds

another great weekend.Haven’t done it for a few years but said I would do it when I was 60. Hope to be back next year now..Lovely area-courses generally great- The 2 bridges we had to punch on the end of the D course seemed a bit contrived.Route choices excellent.
Steve Beresford 63 D course

Hi Martin

Just a quick note to say thank you for an absolutely fantastic weekend. Impeccable organisation matched by a stunning area and beautiful weather. The course (D) was the best LAMM I've done so far.

Thanks to you and everyone involved for a most enjoyable two days in the hills (apart from the bog at the end of day 1).

Looking forward to next year's challenge.

Many thanks and kind regards
Denise Neild

Hi Martin

Many thanks for an excellent weekend.  The Saturday campsite was great!

It would have been nice to get to the top of a hill on the first day, as we did on the second - Goar Bheinn would have been a new Munro for both Gillian and I. But seriously we felt, possibly through poor route choice, that we spent most of the weekend contouring, but that is part of the fun (well I see it that way, not sure Gillian does, suspect I wont persuade her to do another mountain marathon)!

Gwydion Ball

Thank you for organising a fantastic weekend.  The course allowed for some good route choice making an exciting race. Looking forward to another great event next year.

Thanks again
Ian Scott


Your "team" of associate members were great to pitch in for the shout, which fortunately worked out well for the injured runner, but I think we'd have been able to see it through if we'd had to carry him off.  We'll just have to add life vests to our range of kit taken in future!  Please thank all the guys for "volunteering" for the extra duties it was appreciated and saved us calling on the "flying corps".

I've passed on my thanks to this lad who uploaded his photos, which I'd think added a wee bit of extra interest, certainly if that was his biggest catch over the weekend!

We also called in to the Vital Spark skipper and the couple at Murlaggan who also enjoyed the buzz that the event brought to the area. You can certainly pick the locations as I'm sure it'll keep the Hinks going in mealtime conversations for years to come!

I passed on a couple of team action shots to the campers, just in case they thought that MR work was all about shorts, tee shirts and water taxi to uplift our casualties.

Duncan MacLachlan
Arrochar MRT

Thanks for another great LAMM, it was nice to have completed one after a few years break due to injury and other events! A challenging area, weather was good, scenery magnificent, and the midges the worst I have ever seen - well you can't have everything perfect I suppose!

Dear Martin & all the LAMM people,

Just wanted to say that we had a cracking weekend. Loved the  route. Loved the wild-arse area -- which we'd never been to before. Loved the midcamp. Loved the people. Loved the viaduct. Loved the ticks and midges ... errr, I've gone too far.

Thanks very much for all your efforts.
Alex Harrison

Dear all at LAMM
BIG BIG thanks to you all for a truely memorable, and superbly organised event last weekend.

My first foray into the world of mountain marathons - and while it was definitely a home win for the midges (!) it really opened my eyes to the beauty and the challenge of the Scottish Highlands.

I'll take some very special memories with me in my back pocket for a wee while yet, I think!

Best wishes to you all for a successful rest of 2008!
Andy Mouncey

Just a quick e-mail of thanks to you and everyone else involved in organising last weekend's event, as usual the LAMM was brilliant.
Matthew Lawson  (7th, A class)

Firstly, thanks for another great event.  As always, it was well organised, superbly planned and fantastic fun to compete in (midges, ticks and clegs aside).

This year, I took my camera round with me (on the 'B' course) which I've downloaded here:
Steve Field

Hi Martin

Hope you’ve all got home and are recovering after a well deserved deep sleep – before the next event!

Well done on another very successful weekend. I usually find my impressions are coloured by the weather.  As this was pretty much perfect – the drizzle on Sunday am was a godsend after Saturday’s sweatfest – this LAMM to my mind was up in the top 3 of my 13 to date.  But the area and all the other things that go to make up a good event were also there, regardless of the weather – superb area, great overnight camp etc.  (Not mis-marking re-entrants on the map also helps.) So a really good effort by you and all your team.

A few minor things I would say – in the interests of trying to improve the future in a constructive way, rather than knocking with the benefit of hindsight:

Map corrections.  I saw there were some – but perhaps there should have been more.  There are huge amounts of rock in the area, a lot not marked on the map. And that’s fair enough But there were areas – eg descents into Glen Pean which we did both days – which were clearly on likely routes and where – if it was misty – people could have come badly unstuck.  Eg E course day 1 control 5 – head NW from here and descend to Glen Pean and see how many crags there really are!  I have prior knowledge here but some folk will have had more excitement than they’d have been safely bargaining for. I feel these areas should be corrected where reasonably possible.

Course lengths. E course was too long on day 1.  2 teams sub 8 hours in dry sunny conditions says it all.  Probably 45 mins too much.  Day 2 seemed pretty long too, though perhaps just 20 mins or so.  Don’t know how the other courses were.  Last year the courses for E also seemed bigger than before.  Am I just getting older and/or more pathetic, or is there a pattern here? I seem to remember 8 years or so back the LAMM courses were a step down in terms of endurance from the OMM ones – tougher doesn’t equate to better.

Control cards.  The OMM has phased these out. In the HMM we at least put circles on the map even though we still rely on the paper cards too.  However the days of scratty little pieces of paper are over, surely! Get them damp and you’re utterly stuffed.  The event is about navigation and running in pairs, not keeping bits of paper the size of loo roll dry.  Can the wretched things not be laminated or printed on water resistant paper or something? Your challenge for next year.  And if you work out an easy way, let us know pre-Highlander!

Event area. Superb.  Also enormous.  Andy Spenceley and team must have spent aeons tramping over it.  In fact, I feel it was unnecessarily big.  I didn’t see the need to go north of the Mam na Cloich Airde – fantastic scenery, but we dropped down from Garbh Cioch Mhor and skirted it for efficiency reasons, so didn’t bag any hills. Surely the ground south of here provided enough challenges to last a month for the fastest teams? I’d have happily spent more time on the hills around Glen Pean and Gleann Eanaiche  Also our day 2 took us back over quite a bit of day 1 ground, and I was puzzled by the repetition when we could no doubt have had a superb and novel route in the Streap area.

Minor points – everything else worked so well, top effort.

Best wishes as ever
Alec Keith


Many, many thanks to you and all others involved in organising another fantastic LAMM. Brilliant area, impeccable logistics and overall, a very fine way to spend the weekend. Running down the top part of the ridge south of Streap back towards Glenfinnan on Day 2 was very special!

Mark Roberts

Would just like to say thank you very much for another great LAMM.  We, the competitors, don't take the time to thank you and your team enough for the huge amount of time and effort you very obviously put in to make this event appear to happen as smooth as clockwork.

This was our 13th LAMM together and we hope to be able to continue for many more years to come.  Although our competitive edge has waned a little we still enjoy the challenge and adventure that comes with every LAMM.

A really big thank you to you and all of your wonderful team. Already looking forward to LAMM 2009.

Dave Thompson.  PS I'm the guy who at the finish said "Stone I have a bone to pick with you. Thanks for a great event + two Munros"

Hi Martin
Just a quick note to thank you and your team for another tremendous event. We certainly had enough time to appreciate it...Thank goodness we didn't have to catch a bus, as we now live in the Cairngorms. Even so ,we were too knackered to drive all the way home on Sunday and camped on the Glen Nevis site, where there is ,of course, a pub next door. Missed piper at 5.30 the next morning though.
This was probably our last LAMM (unless you put on a special supervets course!) so it was good to end on a sunny note- I think the demons from Balquidder (where I was ignominously stretchered off by the wonderfully cheerful Killin MRT) are finally slain.
Best wishes
Val and Dave Machin

Many thanks for a great weekend - i did not manage to catch you at the end - another well organised event in a great area.
Alistair Morris

Hi Martin,
Thanks again for another great event. It was a truly fantastic location and as usual the organisation was superb, that alone does not make this event - it is a real social occasion, this year especialy so, with the excellent weather. It was a shame to go home on the Sunday, we normally stop and enjoy the local hospitality but where unable to this year.

The route planning was realy good (elite couse), some strategic route choices to make - thanks to Mr spencley here - he did seem really excited about the routes he had in store for us when he was letting us know on the train ride about all his weeks of planning adventures.

My partner lost the will to live trying to get to cp6 on day 1 (it was his first MM - I guess a baptism of fire - but he wanted it!)

Thanks again and thanks to the marshalls and helpers too.

Alex Pilkington

Hi Debbie & Martin,

Just got back - thanks very much for a very enjoyable event. Alison and I both had a great experience in some wonderful locations this weekend ... despite midges, slow times and blisters!!

I don't know the statistics, but looking back over the last four LAMMs it seems to me that you're not only hanging on to the old timers like us, but you're also attracting increasing numbers of much younger runners. In a sport that's often said to be steadily getting older, this is very encouraging indeed.

I don't know what your secret is (and I suspect that it's a combination of several factors) but your formula is obviously spot on, and you and your team have a lot to be proud of.

Thanks again - already looking forward to next year.

Best regards,
Alan Brentnall

I would just like to let you know that Glenfinnan was my first mountain marathon and I thought it was a fantastic event. I know competitors only see a fraction of the work that the organisers, marshals and everyone else involved put in but the whole event seemed to run so well, and I appreciate that takes a lot of effort to achieve. The race was harder than I thought it would be, but I'm sure everyone thinks that about their first one. We are already talking about next years. event.
Derren Thomson


Climate Care

Route planning above Loch Duich

The clouds over mid camp

Racing together - the spirit of the event

Lowe Alpine Mourne Mountain Marathon