Elite Course - Steve Birkinshaw & Neil Talbott
A great event. Very happy to win. Completely knackered. I need some sleep! [Steve]
On my only previous LAMM (Beinn Dearg, 2011) my partner Jon Davies and I finished with more than a kilo of unused food including an entire Jamaica Ginger Cake. Remembering this, I packed more lightly this time. Unfortunately in 2011 we were on the "A" course and ran for nine-and-a-half hours, not fifteen. Today was a hungry day, but we rationed successfully (just) although I had a bit of a wibble on the last climb; tomorrow will involve pork pie. Steve was solid all day and picked some great lines on the (very) craggy descents. This was a strong candidate for the best weekend I've ever had and I can't thank Martin Stone and his team enough for all they've done for the LAMM and especially this year which was a total classic, from the brilliantly planned (and very tough) courses to the picture postcard mid-camp which came with own beach and bagpiper in full regalia at dawn. (PS - Jon, you will be pleased to know that in keeping with tradition we had to sprint to make our Day 2 start time, although this year we were at least not still trying to pin on race numbers en route to the first control.) [Neil]
A Course - Iain Embrey & Andrew Reeve
The anticipation was palpable as the clock struck 7 on day 2. With a 25 minute lead over our next competitors, we were keen to push on and extend our advantage. We moved really well in spite of the muggy conditions, though even the trusty skintight lycra shorts (that appear only when dignity becomes less important than speed) couldn't prevent some minor chafing up the first climb - never have the legs sweated so! A minor nav error in the cloud at the 3rd checkpoint cost us 10 minutes but from there on in we only seemed to accelerate as the day went on. Some inspired route choices from Iain saw us into Tarbert in just over 6 hours, thankfully before the heat of the mid-afternoon sun could be unleashed upon us. Serious damage was done to the coffee and squash supplies at the finish and dehydration was just about kept at bay. Credit to Iain, who's remarkable ability to nav-on-the-run (how on earth does he read the contour heights?!) saved vast amounts of time - and who's enthusiasm for a post-LAMM sea kayak could not be dampened! Fortunately (for me!) the events of the afternoon didn't quite allow sufficient time and we repaired to the beer tent for well earned pints and fish & chips instead!
B Course - Joe Farnell & Hazel Farnell
We had our race faces on today, and from the start put in a big effort. I struggled on the first climb, Hazel dragging me up leading the way to the first couple of controls, but then I found my legs and managed to move a bit quicker. We messed up control 5 causing us at least 15 minutes, and were convinced B2 had gone past. As it got hotter, I struggled more and more, finding the final climb a nightmare. Hazel skipped on finding the controls. We were surprised, and delighted, to find ourselves keeping first position when we got to the finish. What an incredible mountain marathon, certainly one to remember.
C Course - Sam Gomersall & Jack Gomersall
Chasing start at 07:00 (a lie in compared to the usual time). We started into the mist straight up from the campsite. I am sure the view was great but we forgot to look! Some careful navigation up and over the summit ridge and we were at no 1. Then a few downhill controls felt a lot better, and runable(ish). After a few more controls, one on a stone beehive we dropped to the road and a timed out section. Rest. Drink. Eat. Look at map. All too soon we were provided with the 'transfer' to Part 2. Run back on. Another big hill. Some traversing and a few more controls and we were back. The later part of the run was exceptionally hot, with little water, so we were parched. Overall a super event, thanks to Martin and the team for a truly memorable event on Harris.
D Course - Adam Forrest & Jack Forrest
Still reeling from a fantastic weekend in the Hebrides. As Father/Son this was our second mountain marathon but I suspect the one that will linger in our memories for the longest. The truth be told Jack took control of the navigation and set a cracking pace that I just about managed to match. There was a moment on the second day that I realised I was the limiting factor. We very nearly lost the lead with a mistake running into control number 5, but we didn't realise the danger as there was no sign of D2 at the bus. Confident that we must have it in the bag, and feeling weary, we backed off and only managed to hold on by 4 mins.
That however is only secondary to what will forever be a privileged glimpse of one of the most dramatic landscapes in the land. We feel blessed and I would like to express our gratitude to all the team for putting in a tremendous effort to make it possible.
Score Course - Konrad Rawlik & Jasmin Paris
It was very hot. You wouldn't believe how hot it was. Either way, having unexpectantly ended up in in a tight 5 point lead over night, we set out with the aim to keep it that way and hopefully extend it. Some clouds in the morning made it seem like day two might be navigationally more challenging and maybe not as hot. Alas this proved deceptive with temperatures remaining high (did I mention it was hot?). We meandered our way back towards Tarbet picking up some good points, with the aim being getting back to an attractive (depending on whether you like steep 600m climbs) 50-60-35 pointer combo over An Cliseam with enough time. Getting there with 3 hours to go meant (to Konrad's disappointment) it was on. Some of us thought we had done enough at that point and could head back more or less directly picking up the odd control, others however thought we should try a bit more. And so we tried a bit more and a nav error on the penultimate control meant while we reached the final obligatory control just under 7 hours, so a few points were lost on the final run in. It was a lovely weekend maybe a bit hot at times but who am I to complain.