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The Connoisseurs Mountain Marathon

Winners Reports

A course - Ian Stewart and Giles Trussell

Fueled by a breakfast of gloopy porridge, a hot chocolate peppered with midges our chasing start began at 0635. What a great way to start a Sunday off.
Our quarry were two Kiwis who we played cat and mouse with most of the day. The pursuing hounds behind us were baying from quite early on.
Good fast running at times interspersed with some awkward controls and plenty of mist made for good competition. We made a few navigational blips which added pressure and probably cost us about 15 minutes over the day. Fortunately some fast legs between the slow ones kept us ahead.
After Ian's whitey during a lunchtime low he powered up and found his legs again for a storming finish. The last control saw us drop too low by about 50 metres but fortunately we had sufficient time in hand and the final run in was mercifully short
Thanks for another great event...Elite category next year?. ......

C Course - Andy Llewellyn (Navigator) and Sarah O'Neil (Token woman)

With the second place team staring only 5 mins behind us we tried to make a quick getaway up the hill to number 1. Luckily the mist had come in overnight which meant that we would be able to get out of sight pretty quick. After finding the hot weather a bit tough yesterday, Andy was feeling much fresher in the morning. This meant I could offload various pieces off kit along the way! For me, the toughest part of the day was tHe descent from control 5 off Beinn Bhuide - it was petrifying!! The steep grassy slopes were very wet and slippy and I got half way down the slope and refused to go any further (apologies Andy!). I quickly realised that if I wanted to get off the mountain I ought to get a move on!!

All in all, it has been a fantastic weekend. Thanks to the Organisers, planners, control hangers, mountain rescue and Wilfs for the amazing food at the end!

D course - Alex Bedwell and Jack Oakshatt

The day began with a 5.15am wake up call, always a delight, then followed by SMASH and a somewhat 'hurried' run to start line in time for the 6.30am start. Keen to keep the trailing teams of our 'scent' we went for a fast start - and it seemed to work - with the fog nicely hiding us from them for the first 1hr 30mins.

We continued slowly but steadily, knowing (roughly) where we were most of the time, and eventually bagged our second Munro of the marathon. Upon attempting to find a route off the Munro we were intially quite petrified and concerned about how we would leave this drizzly peak - with all routes seeming to offer a good chance of fatality! We soon bumped into the C-race leaders and made a shared descent with them, which (though slow) did the job - and enabled Alex to learn an appreciation for the word 'Graciass').

Continuing to the next control point we (I - Jack) felt confident of victory, with the other teams well out of view. The last two checkpoints were both downhill (niiice) - and halfway through we met up with our friends the C-race leaders again and put a fairly speedy end to the race.

A great end to a great race (not least because of the complimentary beer greeting the finishers)! We'd also like to say a big thank you to the organisers, marshals, planner and controllers for an awesome weekend.

Score Course - Tim & Stephen Martin

(A Comedy of Errors)

On day one, we like almost all the leading teams had avoided the stunning Arrochar Alps and enjoyed fast running up through the centre of the competition area. Our i-pods kept us motivated and helped avoided any arguments, that we are well known for. In hindsight avoiding the control on Beinn Luibhean was our error as we were above the overnight camp with 1h to spare, just enough time for a hard out and back for 30 points.

Having no chasing start was a relief as teenagers like to lie in bed. We like most of the top teams had already decided that the controls to the east of the camp-site where too far out, so we aimed to loop out west and over Beinn Bhuidhe. As we marked up the map it became clear that the controls were ordered from west to east and didn't mark up any of the eastern controls. This meant we didn't mark up two controls worth 70 points on Beinn Bhuidhe as these appeared after the most eastern controls (our error for the day), this cost use at 25-40 points, as we slogged over the summit of Beinn Bhuidhe (Tims first Munro) for a pitiful 15 points. Sometime after this point our only watch stopped working so it was a worrying final run in as we had no idea what time we had started and the re-entry on Newton Hill was much further than appeared on the map, although the final 4km+ run in was fast.

The overnight leading team punched the wrong control on Newton Hill, which cost them the win, and a very strong run by Kenny and Keith almost got them the win if only they had been 3 minutes faster despite a gallant effort on the run-in. That is the beauty of well planned score events like this, its not the fastest team but the one that makes the least errors and between us all there was plenty made.

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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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