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The Connoisseurs Mountain Marathon

Overnight Leaders Reports



Elite Class - Andy & Joe Symonds

Another cracking route starting in Arrochar and finishing up on a scenic camp spot at the top end of Glen Fyne.

The key today was route choice and Joe was keen to take the steepest options possible, so that's what we did.. and it seemed to work ok.

Bit of a slog for the last few k and joe was sufffering a mini-bonk, but a handful of haribo crocodiles helped and we staggered in at half past two in the afternoon under a scortching sun. No need to even put a thermal on - this is what mountain marathons are about!...

Potato and Tofu hotpot, chow mean noodles, hot choc porridge and several other mountain delicacies and we'll soon be ready for bed. I've blown up seven party balloons and inserted them into the slots to form a queen size bed - i mean a small nobbly mattress...

Looking forward to tomorrow as we head back to Loch Fyne. Just hope the skies clear as we do like running under the sun, where the key is route choice rather than micro nav in the mist.. so just hope it's more of the same. I won't complain if it rains a bit though.

Large plate of Loch Fyne Oysters at 1pm tomorrow?.... (with a bit of luck).

A Class - Richard Dearden and Dennis de Monchy

Starting the race at sea level was a cruel trick, and the 500m climb to the first control was a wake-up call. We ran with the team that ended up second for the first couple of controls, before they decided to go Munro-bagging while we took the lower routes.

It was a warm day as well, especially early, which made life difficult. We're hoping for clouds on the hills tomorrow to keep things a bit cooler, and hopefully keep that quick team on our heels from catching us.

Leg three to four was particularly unpleasant as we took the direct route between Ben Vane and Beinn Dubh, then an awful climb up to the shoulder of Ben Vorlich. Apart from that (and the fact we couldn't run downhill for a while after the steep climb) our only real problem was five to six, where we ran out of steam on the final climb and felt pretty awful for about half an hour.

Coming in to the penultimate control, we spotted the quick team chasing us again. Happily we hared off before they realised it was us, but a full speed four km to the finish over horrible tussocks really took it out of us. It was a great releaf to get into camp.

Time for custard now, and then bed. That 6:30am start is particularly nasty.

B Class - Stuart Dick and Seb Lay

Running in such a beautiful area that i have spent so much time cycling in was a real inspiration to me. I did find it more difficult not having any one to talk to all day but it got better when stuart carried me between some of the check points. Looking forward to tomorrow where i will try not to run off too fast and get injured like i do every year. I dont find it very difficult finding the check points because i am unfeasible tall. Currently enjoying listening to U.S.A. beating England in the football. Can't wait to get back on bicycle for time trial on Tuesday.

Seb Lay.

Feeling good looking forward to tommorrow hope Seb doesn't talk about bicylcles all day and i don't have to carry him as far.

Stuart Dick

C Course - Andrew Llewellyn and Sarah O'Neill

We weren't sure what we were letting ourselves in for when we entered the C Course on the LAMM. However, so far we've climbed a munro, listened to the England Game, run through beautiful scenery and are looking forward to the chasing sprint tomorrow...

Andy adds: ran really strongly for first 2 hours then slowly deteriorated suffering from cramps, stitch, sun and general faffing. Being such a macho-man I'd loaded my bag up with tent and Sarahs food. I was struggling on the last 5k and my legs were giving in - so we swapped rucksacks for the remainder of the course and Sarah piloted the team home with the heavier rucksack and navigating while I plodded behind. Looking back, key leg was 5-6 where we went round via the track rather than straight (as per Planners and 2nd place's choice) - saved us about 5mins. Lets just hope our running tomo is better than Robert Greens handling... 1-1 atm in the football. COME ON ENGLAND!!!!!!

D Class - Alex Bedwell and Jack Oakshatt

An hour's bus ride to the start following a bag piper wake up call led us to the first midge ridden, squelchy climb to the first control. I (Alex) wasn't feeling fantastic so Jack led the way up the big climb of the day up to Beinn Dubhchraig. We happily ignored the planner's optimum route to overtake almost everyone who was out on the hill.

We began to feel the heat which one doesn't normally associate with the Highlands and Jack's lovely sunburn shows just how sunny it was! Again we ignored the optimum route down the hill to control 3 by taking a rather risky descent off the top of the Munro. Luck led us to the stream junction and we met our nemeses (John Pearson and David Bowie - banter) for the rest of the race. We almost messed up control 4 by going too high and then the slog across to control 5 almost ended us. A jaunt down the hill (and an almighty stack from me) finished the day.

With plenty of time to kill at the campsite (we finished at 1pm) we ate chicken pate and biscuits for lunch and enjoyed the sunshine. A lovely dinner of Beef Stroganoff and Steak and mash and several naps later we are now enjoying the England v USA game thanks to a kind marshall who has lent us his car radio.

Score Class - Lawrence Friell and Richard Lawes

Richard's stag do well attended by 1200 close friends and a pay what you can afford bar on friday night. Strictly invite only.

Too short a bus journey to the start! Cold, windy start and we forgot to start our watches - numpties. Soon warmed up climbing to the first checkpoint on Beinn Luibhean. Lawrence was contouring well but my left leg was not enjoying the one shorter than the other game. We saw hardly any teams for the first third of the day which is never good for your confidence in choosing the right route but we enjoyed a beautiful sunny LAMM day without following the usual snake of people. I started to suffer after 3 and a half hours but a firm talking to by the stag organiser sorted out my wimpers of cutting it short and heading for the finish....good job I listened and weakly gave in. A heavily caffeinated powergel had me back in the game and we picked up an extra unplanned checkpoint near the end.

Since finishing we sat in a river to celebrate, had the world's greatest lasagne (except Jo Friell and Alex Brehme-soon to be Lawes' lasagnes) Following this highlight we have run low on gas and have been soaking our rice pudding for the last 2 hours whilst we foraged for a wool pillow. Lawrence found half a sheep fleece and I scavenged little scraps and we now have a very substantial pillow and gained lots of compliments/abuse/dubious looks as we headed back to the tent after our wool gather. So far Lawrence has not produced a wee bottle of malt but we have promised oursleves a Loch Fyne fish and chips meal at the end.

Can't wait to get underway tomorrow and back to our girls and babies. Hello Sean and Isabel be kind to your mother's. Alex - love you and can't wait to get married next Saturday, cheers for letting me go away again.....


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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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