Two thousand hardy competitors endured sub-zero temperatures and blizzards in the 51st Original Mountain Marathon held at the weekend.
The event, in the Black Mountains in south Wales, attracted 300 new entrants. The mountain marathon has been running for 50 years and is held at the end of October to guarantee challenging weather to test the skills needed on the UK’s mountains and exceptional early low temperatures of -12C ensured runners’ mettle was tested this year.
Teams of two have to plan a route to find a series of checkpoints and undertake an overnight wild camp before returning the following day. All the necessary gear and camping equipment has to be carried with the competitors. By the end of the first day, after 6hrs 35mins on the hills, skyrunning world champion Jonathan Albon and his champion triathlete partner Gudmund Viljo Arponen Snilstveit led the elite course by two minutes over seasoned elite OMM runners Nicholas Barber and Jim Mann.
The rest of the 2,000 competitors completed their routes to the overnight campsite near the hamlet of Capel-y-ffin, close to the Wales-England border. The runners spent a bitterly cold night under a clear sky before racing back to the event centre the following day. Albon and Snilstveit extended their lead over Barber and Mann as the newcomers quickly gained confidence to take the elite win, with an impressive third place for Edinburgh University team Alistair Masson and Tim Morgan.
Top elite mixed team was Hannah Moulton and Chris Jones, who were 10th overall. In the A-class, Yasha and Lova Chechik took the trophy, with top women Megan Wilson and Chloe Haines in eighth place. B-class winners were Edd Charlton-Weedy and Paul Horsfall. Rose Watson and Hannah Bradley were highest-placed women in 10th position.
Long-score victors were Tim and Rob Patterson; the mixed team of Brony Halcrow and Jon Davies took first place in the medium-score category and Timothy Rutland and Harry Middleton took the honours in the short score.
Phil Ward completed his 100th mountain marathon and Calvin Routledge and Robert Ashton won the Hutton Military Trophy.
We are encouraged by the increasing interest in the event. “It’s great to see the event still growing after 50 years and we’re pleased that the OMM is still inspiring new people to access wild spaces in the UK. The event fundamentally promotes sound mountain judgement and responsible use of our wild spaces.”The OMM takes two years of planning and involves a number of organisations, including mountain rescue.
Longtown Mountain Rescue Team, in whose area the marathon took place, welcomed competitors to the Brecon Beacons. Team leader Luke Lewis said: “We’re happy to support the event. A lot of people will have seen how great the [Black Mountains] area is. It’s a great event. We’ve had a couple of team members taking part and have finished on the podium.”
Next year’s OMM will take place on 26 and 27 October 2019, with entries opening on 1 December 2018.
LIVE COVERAGE is on our social channels. If we do find signal, usually on a windy hilltop, we will post to our social channels linked below:
Right then everyone, here we have it, the start list for the 51st Original Mountain Marathon. An eclectic mix of people who love being in our stunning UK mountains. You’ve got 1 week to remember how to navigate again before you’ll be sent off into the abyss of clag & boggy heaven. We look forward to catching up with everyone again on the Friday night over a couple of warm up drinks and a bowl of pasta.
In the meantime if you have questions regarding the start list please email Emma who can answer them for you. firstname.lastname@example.org.
LESS THAN 3 WEEKS TO GO!
Not long until we will all be gathering in a field, deep in the Black Mountains of South Wales for the 51st OMM.
We hope your training is going well (or at least going!).
Below you will find some more useful info ahead of the event plus a few friendly reminders.
DOING OUR PART FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!
Events can be heavy on single use items like plates & cups. Our goal is to reduce the environmental impact of the OMM event as much as possible. We need your help to do this….
As with all our events, we will be using a specialist waste management firm to collect, sort and recycle all the waste from the event. They work to keep as much, if not all, of the waste collected, out of landfill plus do all the sorting off site, meaning we don’t have to worry about sorting it at the event!
This will be our first year using a deposit scheme for pint pots at the bar. A £1.50 deposit gets you a reusable pint pot that you can then either return when you’re finished or else keep as a memento! This will drastically reduce our plastic use and hopefully set the standard for future events.
USE YOUR OWN MUG
You are free to use your own mug for hot drinks at the Event HQ, we will have cups available but we hope by using your own mugs, we can reduce waste further. Keep your mug handy at the finish on Sunday for squash and water!
Note: You are unable to use your own mugs for beer!
You can find out more about our commitment to sustainability at the event in our latest article.
CALLING NEW YEAR CLUB MEMBERS.
To recognise the incredible achievement of competing or being involved in the OMM for 20, 30 or even 40 years! The OMM year clubs highlight these committed (or need committing) individuals.
If you think you may qualify to become a member of this elite group email email@example.com and let us know!
TEAM CHANGES & CANCELLATIONS
Changes to your team or to the course you have entered can be requested up to Friday 12th October, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
After 12th October, amendments to teams can be made at registration.
Note: We can not guarantee course changes but will do our best to accommodate any requests.
+UPDATE 12th OCT+ We have no further teams on the waiting list and the list is now closed. Our usual cancellation policy now applies (see below)
For any cancellations received up to 1 Aug 18, a refund (-10% admin fee) is made. After this date we cannot offer a refund as we have already paid for your attendance. The event is run on a not for profit basis and one of the ways of keeping the costs as low as possible is to agree numbers as far in advance of the event as possible, hence why it becomes more expensive to enter as we get closer to the event. For these reasons we are also unable to defer entries to future events.