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The Connoisseurs Mountain Marathon

Sunday

Sunday Photo Gallery | Competition Map and Courses

Elite Winners - Duncan Archer and Jim Mann
Elite Winners - Duncan Archer and Jim Mann

The last team has just come off the hill at 5 p.m. which was Pete Westmore and Nick Flynn on the D course, but no shame on them for being last in (even though the course does officially close at 4 p.m.) as 5p.m. is the earliest anyone can ever remember everyone being accounted for. Duncan Archer and Jim Mann won the Elite for the second consecutive year and this year by a convincing margin of 67 minutes

But there are no losers at the LAMM. Once again lots of novices defied their own expectations and made it round, nobody got seriously hurt, and nobody we spoke to admitted to not having had a good time. There’s still a lot of work to be done to pack up the event, but after all of the teams are accounted for a certain amount of demob happiness kicks in and the guys from Mountain Rescue can go home.

This morning was like the Scottish equivalent of Star Wars episode 2 (or 5 if you’re a purist) The Midge Empire Strikes Back – alas the campsite was absolutely swarming, which is no fun at all once you’ve taken off your waterproofs collected your map and then need to sit down and mark up your controls. If you are on one of the linear courses, then it might not be too bad as you at least have the option of simply starting running towards your first control and marking the others up on the fly, but if you are on the score course and need to mark all of your controls and decide a strategy then you have no option but to suffer. Martin Stone, the organiser said that he thought the midges this morning were the worst he could remember at a LAMM. But that said it still wasn’t raining so at least teams didn’t have to pack wet gear.

Happy
Happy finishers

Overnight the details of a couple of other Saturday incidents became clearer. Although thankfully there have been no serious injuries at this year’s LAMM, mountain rescue did need to call in a helicopter to lift out a competitor with a badly sprained ankle yesterday as he was too high and too far off the track to carry out and couldn’t bear any weight on his right foot. Thijs De Jong was on the C course when he got into trouble. Another team luckily had a good phone signal and were able to call in for assistance, and happily Mountain Rescue were only around 20 minutes away at a position along the same ridge. After assessing the situation and telling Thijs that they needed a helicopter he suddenly became agitated - not, it turned out, because he had a fear of flying, but because he had a fear of being landed with a huge bill for the chopper. Being Dutch he didn’t realise that such services are actually, almost uniquely, free in this country. Ahh… it makes one proud to be British.

On the other hand there is a little more to the story as Thijs was flown to Fort William 58 miles away rather than Oban a mere 24 miles down the road, and once he had been X-rayed and discharged a slight breakdown in communications left him in a slight predicament miles away from the event with no clear idea of how he was going to be repatriated. Undaunted however Thijs took matters into his own hands and decided to hitch back to the event, even though he couldn’t walk, or even indeed get his right shoe on. Three hours and three lifts later, Thijs arrived back at the event centre and managed to find one of our marshals at the lodge the event has been using as an HQ and was given tea, and a bed to sleep on. No doubt he will also be able to dine out on the story of his first mountain marathon for years to come.

Another team that had an eventful night were Neil Dowse and Nathanael Booker on the elite. Although Neil has run a few elite courses at various MMs with his regular partner Boris Korzh, Boris is currently on an expedition in Alaska and Nathanael was stepping up to fill the gap from B class – but the day just got a bit too long, particularly as they had a late start and they decided to camp out at the head of Loch Etive where they were fortunate to find a bothy occupied by a group of walkers who gave them soup and pasta, so no dramas, and today they would have made it back under their own steam had they not been luck enough to be crossing a path just as Mountain rescue came along in their Landrover, so another DNF, but also another great story, which is after all what the LAMM is (mostly) all about.

Jon Brooke

Jon took over 2000 pictures over the weekend and they are available to view or buy from his website at www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk or like his Facebook Page and you will get a notification when they are live.

 

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Route planning above Loch Duich

The clouds over mid camp

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