Old forum > 2013 Mountain Marathons

The Mountain Marathon calendar is taking shape for 2013. Seems only fair to share as someone who discovered MMs c/o Les Croups, and has subsequently enjoyed many great weekends with clubmates (Graeme, Wouter, Mike & Denis to name but a few). Here are few worth considering:

Entries for the Highlander MM are open (Saturday and Sunday 27th/28th April - details here. To quote:

“the scale of the event means we are able to gain access to some of the most dramatic and unspoilt areas that the north of Scotland has to offer such as Torridon, Dundonnell and Strathfarrar, we also favour wee quirks that make taking part in the Highlander a memorable experience and then there’s the Ceilidh.” .

The LAMM (‘the technical one’) has taken a sabbatical and been deferred for 2014. See http://www.lamm.co.uk/.

Entries for The Saunders (SLMM), 6th/7th July (as ever to be held somewhere deep in the Lake District) are open but filling up fast, maybe because the LAMM has been cancelled. For details look here. A few of us have already entered - one of the highlights of the year...

And then there is the OMM France 17th and 18th August 2013 being held in The Jura Mountains (NW Alps). This looks a real treat, as indeed does the famous Mourne MM 21st/22nd September 2013. To quote:

“2013 will mark our 34th event and we hope to make it every bit as challenging and memorable as the last 33. The Mourne MM is Ireland's only two day endurance and navigation event held each year in the beautiful mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland”

The 7th Rab Mountain Marathon will be held in the Lake District 28th/29th September 2013. This is unusual in that both pairs or runners and individual solo entries are accepted. Entries open early 2013.

And finally, the biggest of them all in terms on entry, The OMM, which will be held from the October 26th - 27th, venue this year Wales! Details here

But which one/s to do? Tricky as they are all so well organised, and fun. Graeme and I have entered The Highlander and are looking forward to being woken at some ungodly hour on both days by 'The Piper' - and arguing over who gets to be Christopher Lambert... I'm also doing the Saunders with Wouter and am aiming to actually finish this year (as well as drink beer after, and during). The RAB and OMM are also non negotiable. I also need a trip abroad. In short I want to do them all..

Happy to share any experiences, maybe even 'advice', although as someone who treats MMs as long distance eating events with lots of nice scenery thrown in (to quote !) I'm not best qualified. Luckily there are many in the club with greater pedigree :@)

January 20, 2013 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan


any reviews on ACE we should look at for these..and any of those which have a b and b type overnight option.. i just cannot face a cold tent overnight.. too many memorys of childhood or maybe i just whimp..! the concept of running in the highlands or country side sounds really good over two days.. .. plus i like a pint or two of beer..

I bet these are the kind of races that you cannot enter on the day..

January 20, 2013 at 10:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Bruce

Hi James - I can see where your coming from, but it's probably best not to suggest overnight B&B alternatives to those who live & breath MMs. The traditional inadequate, wet and/or cold MM tent (mine was ice lined at last year's RAB - the water bottle also froze...) is something of a pre-requisite. MM organisers also tend to be Cumbrian/Yorkshire types of pure fell running/orienteering stock who are already a little wary of those, like me, who sometimes stay in a Travellodge the night before the race.

The rule of thumb seems to be that if you are not hungry, cold & miserable at overnight camp you are probably (i) carrying too much kit, or (ii) not trying hard enough. I once made the mistake of packing a small pillow - the pre-race kit check that followed I've never live down. Needless to say I'm keen to lower the bar...

Re ACE etc, if you browse through the Race Reports section you'll find a couple on MMs (eg three by me, of limited practical use (or literary merit) but may help with sleeping difficulties). Hope this helps :@)

January 21, 2013 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

Entries for the RAB MM are now open - venue for 2013, somewhere in the Lake District (exact details only published in the run-up to the race in order to prevent requi-ing of the course).

I should have also mentioned that there is also a series of one day 'mini Mountain Marathon' events organised by RAB and Dark & White. A fairly recent innovation these, ideal for big fat softies like me. Details of both the RAB and the mini-series can be seen here.

(Apologies to those not interested for me harping on about such things)

January 27, 2013 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

Just to add the Saunders MM is 6th & 7th July and entries are open for this too - Al Jones are going to enter and smash it!

January 28, 2013 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRob Sage

Very sensible thing Rob - but which Saunders class will you be smashing?! Nick and Caroline have entered pithy Kirkfell - Wouter and myself benign (hopefully..) Harter. details here.

The entry fee is the same whatever category of suffering you go for. Its hard to put a price on pain :@)

January 28, 2013 at 2:17 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

Saunders for me again this after failing to finish the first day last year due to, crap navagation / slow pace / to much kit / sight seeing / compass upside down or was that map upside down! what ever it was I will be there.

January 28, 2013 at 5:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterroy silver

Cheers Tim, after 7 omm's I thought it wad time to branch out! We will I think take on the top category whose name I can't remember! Although Al doesn't know it yet.

January 28, 2013 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterrob sage

Good luck Roy

G&I also failed to finish last year (my partner's partner was rubbish...). Too much kit is the devil's own work (my pack wt down to ~5'5kg inc water/food, which is still far too heavy by the standards of 'the elite'). Sight seeing more fun without a monkey on your back!

Talking of the elite, @Rob, that'll be Scafell!! Al looked v.strong in 2012 (his first MM?). Any probs and get him to carry the tent...

Those Saunders categories described here in detail. Note the new/revised 2013 Bedafell class for parent + teenage child. Great idea..

January 28, 2013 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

Tim last year a some of the local runners carried a collapsable cup with them at the end of a piece of string, and at the streams filled it as they went along, so cutting down on the weight,

February 18, 2013 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterroy silver

Hi Roy - I'm one of the worst offenders here. Being lazy, very unfit and keen to carry as little as possible, I always drink from streams, starting the race with a 500ml or 750ml bottle (normally filled with a diluted sport drink) that I top-up on route. Risky (some say) and not to everyone's taste, but I've been doing this for decades now - no doubt tempting fate big time by admitting this now.

Wouter also introduced me to the sensible practice of carrying a small bottle of something 'medicinal' for the overnight camp - 75m of Polish cherry vodka / Taliska works best for me. Oddly this is never on the official 'kit check' list...

February 18, 2013 at 10:43 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

Well, commited to the saunders now, Bowfell catagory this year, was told its easier than the Scarfell, LoL

March 9, 2013 at 4:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterroy silver

Roy, i chickened out of Rob's challenge to enter Scafell so Rob and I are also on the Bowfell course. Can't wait.

March 9, 2013 at 8:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterAl jones

Going to be great (my 7th SLMM)

And lots of 'warm-up' events coming-up... G&I toying with doing the Black Mountains Roundabout (13th April) in prep for The Highlander

£10 to enter (inc food) - 25m of bog and at times seemingly sadistic up and downs. But stunningly scenery and a good test of kit and navigation. A large bunch of us from the club did it a few years back and it was HOT! Happy days...

March 10, 2013 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

Well I'm glad "toying with doing" is not the same as committing to doing it!

I've just cycled from Cowbridge into a mighty strong easterly and passed by a certain Andrew S running from Rhoose to Cardiff and back! Now that's commitment for you!

March 10, 2013 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterGraeme Donnan

Maybe "toying with the idea of doing it"?

One can never have too many caveats..

March 10, 2013 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

Have had an email from Ian Kerr (the organiser) confirming that entries on the day are being taken for this Saturday's 25m Black Mountains Roundabout. The entry form (which includes kit requirements and route details) can be viewed here. Open to runners and walkers. With just two weeks to go to the HMM (and me with this terrible pain in my l.ankle/diodes etc...) I'm hoping to come to my senses and not enter.

Pity though as it is a great event..

April 9, 2013 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

Did this about 20 years ago and with 3 miles to go, felt strong so ran off and left my mate, got lost and came in 1 hour behind him, great day out tho.

April 10, 2013 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterroy silver

Just two weeks to go to MM#2 of the season, the Saunders (my bogey race with just four out of seven finishes).

For those who have entered, today is the deadline for pre-ordering beer, milk etc for the overnight camp :~)

June 23, 2013 at 2:04 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

have tried to order some drinks using my codes and no luck!!!!

June 23, 2013 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterroy silver

Roy - that's serious!! Deadline = midnight tonight. To order your drinks, you need to log-in HERE and edit your entry details needless to say. But if you've forgotten your SiEntry log-on just enter your email address HERE and they will re-issue.

Have another go! Failing that I could order for you, but (having DNFd 3 times) I would'nt trust me arriving to collect on your behalf!

June 23, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

We had trouble too!
Entry deadline for the OMM is 31st July. It is on our doorstep -Beacons so no sitting on motorways for hours to get there.

June 23, 2013 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterCaroline Dallimore

Alas Tim, even with a re-issued number still could not book drinks !!!
Might have to carry some whisky, more weight !

June 24, 2013 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterroy silver

The packing can wait till Thursday (and the training a day or so before that..), but the planning and route speculation well underway. Looking at the Harvey's map for what I guess will be the race area (the relatively tame, low, hills between the start at Whitecome Beck and an overnight camp S of Eskdale - bit of a contrast to the snow and ice of The Highlander MM and the Cairngorms just two months ago!) but there could still be a pub to be had at the halfway point, so don't give up hope Ray - this is, after all, England's biggest (and most scenic) beer garden...

Also some good local pubs for the Friday night and the traditional pre-race scampi and chips. Route options look a bit limited though (Coniston Old Man and Harter Fell maybe for those doing Bowfell Class+?) and the terrain more favorable to runners than those who prefer bumpy stuff (bad news..) and I'm sure we'll still manage to get lost, but who cares. This is a cracking event and never disappoints...

They'll be no excuses come the OMM though!

June 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan

Mini race report from the Saunders. To quote the official web site..

"Starting below Black Combe in the far south west corner of the Lake District competitors headed north onto Corney, Ulpha and Birker Fells. After an initial steep climb the area flattened out to give good running on all courses. The overnight campsite in warm sunshine was its usual mix of relaxing, meeting old friends and making new ones. On the Sunday the courses climbed back out onto the open fells before a fast run back down south to the finish."

The sunshine was a little too warm for some of us (I'm now toast..) but was tempered by the odd, heaven sent, mountain top breeze or gully dwelling stream. The race area reminded me of the Howgills - some big up and downs with the odd rocky stuff on tops, but with much runable (bad news for my l.ankle). The campsites were very comfy (lush grass, nice views, great company, hot and cold biting midges..). All in all, a much overlooked part of The Lakes and a very special weekend

Class Position Names (Day 1 Time Day 2 Time) Overall Time

Bowfell 44th/45 Roy Silver & Steve Harris (6:47:18 6:28:01) 13:15:19
Kirkfell 26th/81 Caroline Dallimore & Nick Dallimore (5:02:17 3:42:50) 8:45:07
Kirkfell 43rd/81 Alun Jones & Tom Jeffery (6:03:09 3:34:20) 9:37:29
Harter 85th/129 Tim O'Sullivan & Wouter Poortinga (5:45:05) 4:25:38 10:10:43
Harter 90th/129 Phil Ward & Jemma Nurse (5:48:00 04:33:08) 10:21:08

Nick and Caroline, as ever, making it look easy - Al and Tom ran well, but were unlucky to gain ~ an hour on Day 1 c/o the perils of navigation. Jemma and her father Phil (a fell/MM legend) were snapping at my/Wouter's heels all weekend. My ‘Pocket Rocket’ gas stove (which I lent to Claire Dallimore) did well - Claire and partner came second in the Elite Pairs event, Scafell, by far the highest ever placing of any item of kit I possess. Special mention though to Roy and Steve who put the rest of us to shame by competing in, and completing, Bowfell. Tom and Al thoughtfully saved a beer for them :~)

July 8, 2013 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered Commentertim o'sullivan