Saturday Photo Gallery | Saturday Courses
Wake up call
Last night the marquee at the event centre never
seemed so packed, which might partly have been due to the food
and beer, but might also have been partly due to the vast swarms
of midges that finally appeared outside as the sun went down and
the wind dropped. But by 10:45 only the stragglers remained, with
the more level headed competitors awa' tae their beds.
(thanks to whoohoo.co.uk the invaluable English/Scotish
translation site) in good time, knowing that they would be gently
aroused at 5.45 by the lilting sound of the bagpipes across the
This morning, the first Elite and A teams left by
minibus at the unearthly hour of 6.20 to their distant start at
the southwestern end of Loch Etive at Inveresragan essentially
they are going to spend half of their day heading northwest on
the far side of the loch before rounding the northern end and
heading south to the overnight camp at Glenkinglass Lodge halfway
along Glenkinglass. Andy Spencley the event controller described
the route as very committing and there is no doubt
that it is a big day out. Some extremely intricate logistics mean
that once the first minibus has been to the start, subsequent
E and A teams will be ferried across Loch Etive at Taynuilt by
boat before being picked up and taken a couple of miles along
the road on the far side by the same minibus because it is quicker
than having the minibus drive all the way back.
Crossing the dam
The logistical complications continue with the other
courses. The C and D courses are starting at the Cruachan Reservoir
Dam (as depicted by Martin Bagness on the LAMM T-shirts this year)
although, because it is reached by a three mile single
track road there is a complicated bit of marshalling in place
to prevent coaches meeting each other and getting stuck. Of course
it might have been logistically easier to have put the start somewhere
less dramatic but this is the LAMM.
Finally, the B and score classes are being taken
in the opposite direction to everyone else and will start from
Victoria bridge at the western end of Loch Tulla, a full 30 km,
as the crow flies away from the A and E starts.
So far Ive not had much chance to talk to
many competitors but some that I will be trying to catch up with
over the weekend include last years winners of the Elite,
Jim Mann and Duncan Archer who are back to defend their title.
In the meantime Duncan has also gone on to win the OMM Elite race,
though with a different partner, Shane Ohly, the man in charge
of the forthcoming Dragons Back race, which I know at least
one of this weekends competitors is taking part in. Looking
at the other Elite entries it could be that the main challengers
for the title this year are Dan Gay and Alasdair Anthony or Francis
Blunt and Chris Burn, who were 2nd and 3rd place respectively
on the Elite last year.
Finally, one team that we will be watching very
closely is that of Andrew Llewellyn and Sarah ONiell. Two
years ago they entered the LAMM as their first mountain marathon,
and as a mixed pair won the C course outright. Last year they
entered the B course and won that outright too. This year they
are doing the A and we know for a fact that Sarah is in good form
as she won the Three Peaks Race at the end of April.