Original Mountain Marathon
Over the weekend of 28/29th October, around 2000 competitors took part in the 50th anniversary Original Mountain Marathon, centred around Langdale.
The event involves 2 days of mountain orienteering racing, in teams of 2, carrying full overnight camping and mountain safety equipment. The weather on Saturday was not as severe as the 2008 Borrowdale OMM cancellation which hit the national news, but was still very wet and windy – 400 or so teams retired at the overnight (waterlogged) camp. On Sunday, however, those who survived day 1 and a very long uncomfortable camp, enjoyed a glorious cloud free day thanks to a cold clear northerly wind.
Keswick AC’s Owen Mills and Mike Mallen both took part, and are regular competitors in the world-renowned event, which started in 1968 as the Karrimor Mountain Marathon. Mike yet again was going for the Elite course – a 75-mile fixed route navigation course which only 42 teams entered. Many very high class athletes had to retire from the Elite course, with only 10 teams completing it. Local Wainwright record holder and 7 times OMM Elite winner Steve Birkinshaw (Borrowdale FR) completed his 20th OMM in style, coming 2nd in the Elite course with Andrew Berry from Durham Fell Runners. Owen, running with Keighley & Craven’s Stef Kitts, completed his 16th OMM, finishing 57th out of 194 teams in the Long Score class (7 hours on day 1, 6 hours on day 2, totalling around 27.5miles and over 13000ft climbing.
Full details and race reports with video links are available at https://www.theomm.com/news/omm-50th-anniversary-updates/