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The Connoisseurs Mountain Marathon

Friday Night

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Perfect chatting weather

A steady stream of teams have been arriving at the LAMM campsite since registration opened at 3 p.m. For many of them, having driven through varying degrees of precipitation in other parts of the country on the way here, seeing the evening sun lighting up the hills behind the event centre must have come as somewhat of a relief, and given the forecast for the rest of the country over the weekend, it looks like the LAMM couldn’t have been based in a better location this year. And with a slight breeze blowing too the midges have been kept at bay making for almost perfect chatting conditions.

Although the teams won’t get their maps until they start tomorrow (when they will also be available to view online on RouteGadget), if you happen to have a copy of your 1999 Black Mount map handy you will be able to find the event centre at the bottom of the map, just to the East of Ben Cruachan. At least one team this year had already made the connection as I found them poring over the map in the marquee a little while ago. Amazingly they had identified this year’s location through a subtle clue in one of the earlier reports describing the general conditions of the area, which warned about the possibility of adder bites. According to Neville Baker (on the score class with partner John Worth) if you Google the distribution of the adder population of Scotland Ben Cruachan gets a special mention, and given the other information about drive times etc they had pretty much nailed the event centre a couple of weeks ago.

Tuggy pulls a pint
Tuggy pulls a pint

Also mentioned in an earlier report was the fact that there would once again be a “micro brewery” serving beer in the marquee in return for donations, with proceeds once again to Arrochar Mountain Rescue. Well we can now reveal that the “micro brewery” concerned is once again Fyne Ales although as it is based just over the hill we obviously couldn’t mention the name for fear of giving the location away. Once again Tuggy Delap, owner of the brewery and the Achadunan estate (where the Loch Fyne LAMM was based in 2010) is behind the bar pulling pints. Apparently the brewery is going from strength to strength – the range of beers has increased in the last 2 years, and also there is now a tap room at the brewery, so if you find yourself heading round the top end of Loch Fyne in the near future there’s now a very good reason to call in and visit.

So, as well as the weather and the beer, a third good reason to be at the LAMM event centre this evening is good food. Although Wilf’s gave up their event catering business a couple of years ago to concentrate on their café at Staveley they have been coaxed back out of their comfortable, midge free all mod cons kitchen to once more battle in the trenches of outdoor catering. This has involved a major logistical effort on their part as they no longer own suitable equipment and have had to hire in unfamiliar kit for the occasion, but the results are worth it and the LAMM competitors are tucking into delicious old favourites such as Thai Chicken Noodles.

We would like to thank Mrs Sarah Troughton of Ardchattan Estate for allowing the courses to cross her land.  If you are in the area, we recommend a visit to the Ardchattan Priory Garden.

Jon Brooke



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