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The Connoisseurs Mountain Marathon

Saturday am

Saturday Photo Gallery | Competition Map and Courses

For some reason, last year’s initiative to give every competitor a free bottle of specially brewed LAMM ale proved extremely popular amongst competitors. And the donation of even more beer from the Fyne Ales Brewery (given out at the event centre in return for donations from competitors) raised over £2000 towards the cost of a new Landrover for the Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team, which they have since bought, and are now using in their support of this year’s event.

So this year, another local micro-brewery, An Teallach Ales in Dundonell, has been enlisted to help raise even more money for Mountain Rescue (by donating 20% of the price of sales in the event centre), and also to provide another commemorative ale for competitors. This time it is not LAMM Ale though, as coincidentally the company already produces a Beinn Dearg Ale, which shares the name of the event.

Also last year we welcomed a Spanish team to the event, Anna Perez and Ramon Garcia-Catalan to the event but wished that they had made a special effort to come to the LAMM (as opposed to having been in Edinburgh for three months anyway). Well, this year THEY HAVE made a special effort to come all the way from Spain just to do the event, and not only that, they have each brought a different partner (Kathryn Jarvis and Juan Jose Perez Melida respectively, thereby doubling the Spanish involvement in the event (well nearly – one of the partners is actually English). But even so, a good effort, and if they were to continue to divide and multiply each year by bringing different partners, it would only be a matter of 6 more years until half the competitors had a Spanish connection, and we would be obliged to offer commemorative bottles of sherry at the finish and tapas as the post event meal. Bring it on I say.

In terms of the more serious side of the event, we have been speculating as to whom the favourites might be in some of the categories. In the elite we have a thoroughbred pairing of Alec Keith and Jonathan Aylwood who are both previous winners of the event with different partners. Al Anthony and Dan Gay were runners up last year and in fact took the prize of a trip to the BAMM, as the winners, the Symonds Brothers couldn’t make it, so perhaps this could be their year for a win. The Harding brothers are also usually there or thereabouts in the rankings and another good orienteer is Duncan Archer, who is running with Jim Mann. Also last year's A winners, Ian Stewart and Giles Trussell have moved up to the Elite.

In the score event, Kenny Leitch and Keith Masson have good form, but they are up against Steve Fallon and Jon Ashcroft, who have a good record on the elite and A courses in the pass.

As competitors will now have seen their courses for the day, we can reveal that this year there are several more summit controls than usual. In the past, planner Andy Spenceley has tended to put controls on summits for the easier courses, but as they are less of a navigational challenge he has tended to steer away from them on the longer courses. However, by special request of some A and Elite course competitors who felt that they were missing out on some of the spectacular views this year, every linear course takes in at least one Munro summit, and the score course has the opportunity to visit some too. We just have to hope that the cloud stays up so that the competitors actually get to see something.

Jon Brooke



Climate Care

Route planning above Loch Duich

The clouds over mid camp

Racing together - the spirit of the event

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