Overnight Leaders Reports
Elite Course - Duncan Archer and Jim Mann
The LAMM never disappoints with an exciting start, and this was no exception – a bus ride, and then into minibuses.... and off the map! The start was thankfully at the top of the hill over to Applecross, with fantastic views of the Skye Ridge in the distance. Armed with a second map, we set off at a good pace through the first few controls, with some great ridge running then down to the road crossing. OK on the first control (#6) after the road, then the first real route choice, a longish leg with a choice of two valleys to go up and cols to go over. We picked the one with a section of path, which was a relief from the rough terrain, and dropped into the control. #8 was fairly straightforward, but clearly used to set up an excellent route choice on to #9. We took a westerly route, starting with a gruelling rising traverse over rough terrain, then a push over the next hill before dropping to some tarns, knowing that the worst of the climbing was over for the day. It will be interesting to see the split times of those taking the easterly route. The last few controls were a welcome break gradually descending, but hard work nevertheless. Overall it was a great day out in absolutely fantastic rocky terrain. It was very warm in the sun at times, although there was some welcome shade and a few spots of rain later on, and a soak in the river was nice at the end! Now it is time to rest, eat, and “look forward” to tomorrow.....
A Course - Tim Laney and Steve Watts
Set off from Bealach na Ba looking forward to a run around the elite course, starting across some extraordinarily rough ground. As we approached Beinn Bhan, we found we’d been given the descriptions for the A course instead. A few moments of standing wondering what to do, asking a couple of teams for a set of Elite descriptions, before deciding to continue with the A class, and enjoy it!
It was an amazing route with some stunning views, and yet more rough terrain to contend with. We circumnavigated An Ruadh Stac and Fuar Tholl with some big descents and climbs.
We got the finish to receive fulsome apologies from Martin and Angela, and to find that we were leading the A class. A bit of inadvertent pot hunting?
A good day – we kept moving in the right direction all day, and hit the controls with no messing about. Considering the speed we were moving, it was possibly a good thing that we found ourselves on the A instead of the Elite!
B Course - Andy Charlton and Bryan Wakeley
The day went surprisingly well considering the last LAMM we did was a C-course, 8 years ago! Awesome course, very run-able and what views!! It’s a good job there was brilliant visibility because the navigation would have been pretty exciting otherwise, especially at the start. The course planner did an awesome job, although I don’t think anyone will thank him for the contouring slog/climb up Fuar Atholl!
Our legs aren’t overly psyched for the chasing start tomorrow but the dip in the river at the end of today, with stunning views of Liatach and Beinn Eighe, has helped a bit we hope. 12 gels and a pepperami into the gourmet food we have between us, with the same to go tomorrow – Bring on Wilfs!
Off for some stretching and a spag bol, to be followed by a great night’s sleep on some bubble-wrap. Bring on the chasing start...
C Course - Patrick Wallace and Paul Williams
The day went pretty well for us with the sunshine making the navigation more straightforward than we expected – it was a rare pleasure to be able to see the hills not just the cloud and the views over to Torridon were stunning. We started a bit slowly not having done a mountain marathon for a couple of years and carrying some worrying injuries: Paul wasn’t even sure he’d be able to start the race two weeks before thanks to a nasty knee cartilage injury in January (playing at an adventure playground with his kids!) but thankfully it has held together so far.
The route took in some great hills, with one fantastic Munro in the middle to give you a view over the area and a tasty 600m climb. The controls were nicely positioned to give us a great tour of the hills and a few interesting route choices. There was a bit of rock hopping in the middle that slowed everything down but the going was mostly quite dry so we missed the usual wading experience. We’re looking forward to the chasing start tomorrow: our first time in the lead.
Score Course - Kenny Leitch and Keith Masson
A day of two halves!
It took us 16 minutes to mark up all the live Score controls and choose our route for the day. Loads of choice but we set off confident that we had picked out the best sequence for us, giving ourselves a couple of options near the end, just in case our widely optimistic best pace actually materialised.....which it didn’t!
We had a great first 3 hours or so but then Keith got cramp, which began to slow him down. We still pushed on with our plan (the reality was we were pretty much committed anyway) but we were increasingly a team of 3...Keith, me and Keith’s cramp. He was in serious pain!
Meanwhile we were navigating well and, if we’re hard on ourselves, we maybe lost about 5 minutes over the whole day. The weather was fabulous; sometimes too fabulous....and very un-Scottish! With the clear skies, the views were absolutely stunning.
With Keith struggling, cramping episodes increasing, and various falls because his legs weren’t working, we knew we were in a little time trouble near the end (mind you...even on our best days, we’re in time trouble!). We were delighted to find that the time penalty was only 1 point per minute, so we only lost 9 points of our hard-fought gains.
All in all, a great day in the big mountains. Just a pity about the imposter!
Now we’re looking forward to a relaxed evening, a banquet of several different flavours of Super Noodles, and a lovely healing night in our luxury tent and sleeping bag – just hope the air conditioning system’s working and we don’t get too hot. It’s all about positive mental attitude apparently.....