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The Connoisseurs Mountain Marathon


Saturday Photos | Map & RouteGadget


The 2010 LAMM has started and all of the competitors are out on the course.

A development for this year is to have all controls for all courses plotted on the map as unlabelled circles. Once runners pick up their controls for the day they then simply need to connect up the appropriate circles on the map rather than having to plot the entire course from scratch. Not only will this save everyone a bit of time, but it will also spare the few teams that always manage to transpose important digits in a grid reference each year from a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth.

In order to get the most out of the area, planner Andy Spencely has used four different start locations, all a bus ride away from the event centre. And not that anyone has got carried away with the beer theme or anything, but all of the courses have been given names (anything the Saunders can do…) after different types of Fyne Ale, so for this weekend only, the Elite course becomes the Vital Spark, the A course the Avelanche, the B course the Maverick, the C course the Piper’s  Gold, the D course the Highlander and the score course the Uncommonly Fyne Ale.

.In total there are 9 Munros on the map with checkpoints on the summits of three of them. All courses except the D course start with controls in the Arrochar Alps. Courses E and A start in Arrochar, the C and Score courses at Rest and be Thankful, and the B course from the banks of Loch Lomond a few km N of Tarbet at Inveruglas. Meanwhile the D class is starting midway between the bridge of Orchy and Tyndrum, a trip that involves an hour’s bus ride, but which has allowed the planner to give them a control on the summit of Beinn Dubhchraig, which at 978 m. is the highest point on the entire course.

As promised we will do our best to give you some more background on some of the teams taking part.

In the Elite race another team though to have a good chance is that of Dan Gay and Alasdair Anthony. Both have put in good performances over the Paps of Jura in the last few weeks. Alasdair was fourth in the recent Jura Fell Race and Dan did the run as part of the Islands 3 Peaks Race in just 3 hours 19 minutes, an excellent time.

.As part of the LAMM there is also a competition across categories for the Outdoor Industry MM champs. This year sees an excellent entry of 23 teams for the event within an event. One of those teams is that of Sara Hamblin & Claire Maxted representing Trail Runner, a new quarterly magazine and supplement to Trail magazine. Neither of them have done a mountain marathon before, but at the last minute they upgraded from the D to the C class so they must be feeling confident and they plan to tell all about their experience and the tips they pick up on going as light as possible in the September issue of the magazine.

Finally, it is worth remembering that the LAMM is an international event. In the Elite we have the Swedish team of Björn Rydvall and Mattias Nyström. Neither has done a LAMM before, but Bjorn has a pretty good pedigree as a top level adventure racer so shouldn’t be lacking in stamina or navigation skills. As yet we’ve not met Mattias, but we’ll try to correct that over the weekend. In the C class we also have the exotic sounding mixed pair of Ramon Garcia-Catalan and Ana Perez. It would be nice to be able to say that the event had drawn them all the way from Spain, but in fact they are currently living in Edinburgh for a few months, but we can dream…

Jon Brooke



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