Race Report: The OEM



Regular OMM competitor and fell running doyenne, Wendy Dodds gives an insight into the World’s Highest Marathon

Combining 3 weeks of trekking and travel with one of the most scenic off-road marathons in the world, OEM has been wowing runners for over 30 years

*Please Note: The OEM is not in any way affiliated with OMM – Original Mountain Marathon!

Perhaps it is a quote from one of the 2019 runners that links the OEM with the OMM. When I asked him after the race how he found it, particularly the cold at the start (-15*C -compared with +15*C at the finish), he said that ‘After getting into wet clothes after a poor night’s sleep at an OMM and then going out into more rain on day 2, this was a doddle’. I am not sure that all runners would agree, but then most of them had not done an OMM!

Looking North to Everest from Tengboche Campsite, Ama Dablam to the right - Copyright: Wendy Dodds 2019

The Everest Marathon is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest marathon in the world. It’s not just the race that is demanding: reaching the start line at 5184m, the original Everest Base Camp, is a challenge in itself.

It was first organised by Diana Penny-Sherpani in 1987 and she continued with this every 2 years (except from 1999-2004 when it was held every 18 months) until 2017.

For 2019, the 18th Everest Marathon, the organisation was taken over by Ali Bramall (first female to do a winter Bob Graham Round and previous organiser of the Lake District Mountain Trial) and it became the ‘Original Everest Marathon’.

The run goes across glacial moraine, down scree, along narrow tracks and wire suspension bridges, through rhododendron forest and along trails high above the river, to finish at the Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar at 3446m. Although there is a descent of 1738m it is by no means a ‘downhill’ race as there are numerous ups and downs.

Although there is a descent of 1738m it is by no means a ‘downhill’ race as there are numerous ups and downs.

The non-Nepalese participants meet in Kathmandu where there are 2 nights of luxury at the Hotel Shanker, when everyone has a chance to meet other runners, do last minute shopping, have medicals and reduce trekking luggage down to 10kg for the flight to Lukla. The departure to Lukla involves an early start to the airport but inexplicably includes a long wait before eventually flying out. A magnificent panorama is enjoyed before the ‘interesting’ uphill landing onto the short runway on arrival. The return flight is already anticipated as we watch the very rapid turn round of planes descending the runway, taking off over an abyss (this departure from Lukla airport can be found on Youtube for those interested)

Statue of Tenzing Norgay from an Everest viewpoint above Namche Bazaar - Copyright: Wendy Dodds 2019
Looking North above Namche Bazaar - Copyright: Wendy Dodds 2019

To acclimatise safely and naturally, there is then a 15 day trek uphill to the start, with the opportunity of climbing Gokyo Ri (5357m) and Kala Patthar (5550m), or visiting the current Everest Base Camp. This follows the race route in reverse from Namche Bazaar, but there are two detours, spending 3 nights at Machermo, allowing visits to Gokyo and 2 nights at Dingboche (where there are 2 amazing cafes which not only had the best cakes on route -recommended by one of the doctors (!)- but also have afternoon film showings, which they switched at our request so that we could watch ‘Sherpa’) to aid acclimatisation and minimise problems with altitude.

The first day from Lukla to the overnight camp is relatively short allowing everyone to adapt to trekking before climbing to Namche Bazaar where 2 nights are spent. This allows short or longer outings to get initial views of Everest and final shopping to supplement kit.

To acclimatise safely and naturally, there is a then a 15 day trek uphill to the start

I was privileged to be one of 2 team leaders at the 2019 Original Everest Marathon. For logistical reasons (particularly camping, and eating) the group is loosely divided into teams mingling freely while trekking and running and the number of runners determines the number of teams. Two volunteer doctors are allocated to each team ensuring that any medical needs are appropriately looked after and that there is adequate safety on race day. There are also volunteer marshals who note intermediate times at checkpoints on race day, which are approximately 5-6km apart and provide refreshments.

Until Gorak Shep we stay in tents but this year it was much colder so there was a large exodus into lodges at Lobuche. Cooking is done by the team’s own ‘Cook Team’ to ensure adequate hygienic standards, but eaten in a lodge for comfort and warmth.

It is a truly international marathon with a record of participants from 16 countries in 2011 and the largest number of runners being 88 in 1997. As well as those trekking to the start at Gorak Shep, up to 20 Nepalese runners take part, going through the same medicals and kit check at Lobuche, the last habitation before Gorak Shep.

On the Trek - Copyright: Wendy Dodds 2019
Part of the 'Team', en route, with Runner, Sirdar, Sherpa, Doctor, Porter - Copyright: Wendy Dodds 2019

Nowadays the race is won by Nepalese runners though in the past the overall race records were held by non- Nepalese.

Jack Maitland held the men’s record of 3.59.04 from 1989-1999 and Anne Stentiford, 5.16.03, 1997-2007, Angela Mudge, 5.02 in 2007 and Anna Frost the women’s record of 4.35.01 from 2009-present.

In 2019 the first man was Suman Kulung in a new record of 3.39, first woman Rashila Tamang, 5.17, first non-Nepalese man Tom Gibbs, 5.23, first non-Nepalese woman Sabrina Verjee 6.51. Sabrina was obviously just using the OEM as ‘a warm up sprint’, going on to finish 1st woman and 5th overall in the Spine Race (Jan 2020) and explains why she regularly went off to do extra miles and altitude. OMM regular Barry Edwards also set a new V60 record of 6.37 and finished 2nd non-Nepalese man.

One runner was unable to start on account of illness, acting instead as a marshal at one of the check points; 3 started at Pheriche on account of illness and were able to complete a half marathon; a fourth runner was unable to complete the full course having started at Gorak Shep but managing more than a half marathon. It was only 2 of the Nepalese runners who were unable to reach the finish on account of injury, descending to the finish on horseback from Tengboche.

A night in a lodge (and a shower) in Namche Bazaar after the race was luxury. It was then generally downhill all the way to the final night’s camp before an easy day to a lodge in Lukla and a farewell meal before we left the Nepalese staff.

Next morning was an early start, with only a few tempted by breakfast, knowing about the downhill runway, before the return panoramic flight back to Kathmandu.

The return to the Shanker Hotel for 2 nights was another dose of luxury allowing everyone to get truly clean, fed and watered, with a final celebration awards evening where we were fortunate to have Mira Rai women’s winner in 2015 and now well known on the international mountain running circuit and Lakpa Phuti Sherpa from the  Ministry of Tourism, speaking to us about their fascinating lives.

Well done to Ali, with a little help from Steve (Bramall), in keeping this marvellous race going and adding to the foundations built by Diana Penny-Sherpani.

The race will now be held annually with entries for 2020 already open, a perfect challenge for the new decade

Sabrina on her way to the finish - Copyright: Keith MacIntosh Photography/Original Everest Marathon 2019

All those interested and who would like to find out details of this year’s event, 7-29th November, race day 24/11/20, can find out more by clicking HERE


Ed. Our thanks to Wendy for the great words and photos and to Keith (Keith MacIntosh Photography) for more great photos of the event

Marcus Scotney - Copyright: Keith MacIntosh Photography/Original Everest Marathon 2019
Adam Prentis sizing up the task for next day's start, underneath the huge West Face of Nuptse - Copyright: Keith MacIntosh Photography/Original Everest Marathon 2019
Race winner Suman Kulung. The temperature was around -15C until the sun hit the trail - Copyright: Keith MacIntosh Photography/Original Everest Marathon 2019
Early morning wake up bed tea at Toktok camp, delivered by Sar and Nima - Copyright: Keith MacIntosh Photography/Original Everest Marathon 2019
Tom Gibbs, descending the moraine from Gorak Shep - Copyright: Keith MacIntosh Photography/Original Everest Marathon 2019
Steph Wilson and Mel Steventon - Copyright: Keith MacIntosh Photography/Original Everest Marathon 2019

Winter Running

It may seem like the seasons are stuck on shuffle,
with spring almost showing its green shoots and brave first buds down in the valleys but the hill tops are still very much in the grip of winter.  

This winter, as every winter before it, came with dire warning of arctic conditions, weather bombs, polar vortices and other apocalyptic tabloidal terminology designed to put folk off from venturing further than the 24hr garage for emergency milk and wine supplies. 

Last winter even saw a major national park all but close its doors to visitors, issuing a statement to the effect that even just crossing the park boundary was tantamount to death on a stick (a statement soundly rebuffed by Mountain Rescue Teams, the BMC and most outdoors folk in general). 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a little bit of planning, the right equipment and most importantly, training; the winter hills and fells can become your playground and allow you to train all year round.  

First and foremost, any decision about going out in the hills in winter needs to be informed by a few key things, everything else then follows from these: 

It sounds simple, but it cannot be stated enough that the root of all else in the mountains comes from the conditions. Check the forecast, check a different forecast and another, now check the first one again to see if it’s changed. Look at the weather in the build-up to your day out. Heavy snowfall in the week leading up to it, heavy rain, hard freezes. All these will go on to inform the later stages of your planning. 

There are a few weather sites and apps that we regularly use here at OMM, these are updated regularly and by those that know what they are doing.

MWIS (Mountain Weather Information Service)
This gives detailed forecasts for the main mountain areas of the UK with details specifically relevant to runners, walkers and climbers such as “Effect of wind on me” and “Chances of cloud free summits”. The detailed forecasts and videos are a great too for planning where to head and make the most of your winter run.

This is another very detailed forecast with weather maps and a choice of heights to look at. So you can zero in on the mountain or area of choice, then check out the conditions at its base, middle and top. The information on windspeed and direction is particularly useful when looking at where accumulations of snow or wind slab are likely.

YR – Norwegian Meteorlogical Institute
This website and very nifty app gives accurate and easily understandable forecasts for the UK and rest of the world. It is used by sailors and shipping companies as well as us on dry land. Whilst it is not specifically geared towards the mountains, it is regularly updated and easy to understand with enough detail to make informed decisions about which direction to head in. The app in particular is well worth having.

SAIS – Scottish Avalanche Information Service
For those heading to the Highlands in winter, this is an invaluable service used by winter mountaineers, rescue teams and winter hill goers. Detailed, reliable and thorough; these forecasts are an important part of any route planning as avalanche poses a very real risk in the Scottish mountains. There are several sites in the rest of the UK that are also prone to avalanche, it is worth looking into a winter skills or avalanche awareness course if you plan on heading to these sorts of areas.

Winter running covers a large range of conditions. There are days where you’re headed out for your local lowlevel loop, in 10oC and drizzle where you might look a little odd with ice axe and balaclava (top tip, don’t do it, the police don’t find it funny). And there are days where you’re headed for some winter Munro-bagging over large tracts of remote mountain in –15oC windchill, spindrift and 60mph winds where a pair of postman crampons and slightly thicker Buff might be deemed slightly underdressed.  

Snow: The big one. This is what turns our hills from brown lumps to alpine wonderlands. Everything looks better in the snow. But it shouldn’t be underestimated. At the very least it is going to slow you down. This is one of the biggest factors in people overshooting their estimated finish times and being out for longer than expected. Not necessarily an issue but if you factor in fatigue and deteriorating conditions, it can be very serious. 

Many people are unaware of the avalanche risk present in the UK’s hills, associating them instead with the Alps and bigger mountains. But avalanche is a very real danger, even in the modest Lake District. Get yourself booked on a winter skills course and learn how to read the slopes for danger signs. Better yet, plan your route to avoid any potential danger spots. Find out more here 

Snow depth and condition are a major factor in how your day is going to go. A powdery dusting just makes everything magical, deep slush is going to be hell and your feet are going to get wet and cold.  

Rain: Let’s be honest, winter in the UK isn’t all rainbows and puppy dogsfor the majority of us, the majority of the time it is just going to mean a slightly colder brand of rain for 4 months. But once again, don’t underestimate the impact this can have. Getting soaked through and then being exposed to cold winds can rapidly reduce your core temperature, far quicker than if you were out in much colder but drier conditions.  

Fog/Mist/Cloud: As with rain, the clag is definitely a defining factor in most people’s winter running. If you are heading into the clouds, even on fairly well-defined paths, you are likely to need to stop and take a bearing and to do so more than once. If the ground is also then covered in snow, this can make route finding a challenge and will, again, slow you down.  

Wind: On a recent foray into the Far Eastern Fells of the Lake District, I had the unique experience of being blown backwards down a section of frozen path in the face of a 65mph headwind. Wind can not only slow you down but significantly tire you. So, when checking the forecast; look at the windspeeds and get to know what those speeds feel like, then start to learn what effect that will have on your running. There is then the problem of windchill; even on days when the ambient temperature is above freezing, windchill can plunge it to well below zero. Think about your layering and how to cover as much skin as possible. 

Terrain: We are blessed in the UK with a wide variety of landscapes to play in. From low level plains to rolling moors, broad mountain slopes and craggy outcrops. Ice, rain, snow and wind can alter how we move in these spaces and you will need to think how a coating of hoare frost or an extra metre of snow is going to transform your chosen route. Not to mention potentially disguising landmarks, covering paths and generally getting in the way.  

Here are a few of our top tips, gleaned over the years of wading through slush and generally falling over in an undignified manner in the mountains:

  • You are likely to be carrying a larger and heavier pack than in summer, thanks to all these extra cheese butties and clothing. Once again, you need to consider this when planning your route. How will that 1 in 5 slope feel when weighed down and fighting slush underfoot?
  • Carry extra calories and make sure you fuel up beforehand. Even if you are doing a shorter route than normal, the very fact you are out in the cold and the wind and the snow or rain, will mean you are burning more calories than normal. It might feel like you are only moving at half speed but as far as your metabolism is concerned, it is in overtime.  Fatigue can set in very quickly when battling headwinds and deep snow and once you start to slow down, you will start to cool down too. Ensure you have enough in the tank to not only get you round but also keep you warm.
  • Nothing beats a brew. If you are carrying a pack, consider whether there’s room for a small flask or sealed insulated cup. Its a luxury and weighs heavy but on a long winter run, there is nothing better than a brew to warm you through.
  • You may have noticed we are quite keen on navigation here at OMM. Consider taking a navigation course from a specialist provider. Explain you wish to run in winter and they will tailor the tuition towards those specific needs. Don’t wait until you’re high on a Munro in a whiteout to realise you don’t know an easting from a bearing; get ahead of the game and book on before you start your winter season, its a great way to kick it off. You can find a list of OMM recommended providers here
  • Tie everything to you; though more of a kit consideration which we will discuss below, its worth repeating. If you are heading out into truly wild conditions and carrying lots of kit, it is very easy to drop and lose your map, compass or mitts. use lightweight cord to tether it to you or your pack.
  • And on the subject of kit; carry spares. Spare everything! Gloves, hat, buffs, map, headtorch, batteries… If you’re out for a long time, say on a winter Paddy Buckley, you will lose, drop, break or forget something.
  • Cold kills batteries so consider where you are going to carry them. Keep your phone and GPS unit etc close to your body and minimise how much you have them out in the open. Using a neoprene pouch or similar will help too.
  • Set off early. It will still be dark but it is better to start in the dark, when you are fresh and up for the challenge, than finish in it; when you are tired and cold. The last thing you want to do is get lost looking for the carpark!
  • Short strides and soft knees. Don’t be afraid to run on frozen terrain and snow. Just be ready for any little slips and slides that can (and most likely will) happen and think about investing in some lightweight running crampons, discussed below). You will most likely be moving slower anyway so a slip isn’t necessarily that serious, just be aware of your surroundings and take it easy on steep slopes or near any drops. What starts as a small slip can accelerate to an uncontrolled slide. Think about how you would stop a slide, should you be carrying poles or an axe? Do you know how to use one?
  • Snow crust can be a real pain (literally) if running through it for prolonged periods. Bare shins can end up frost-burnt from repeated pushing against frozen snow. Consider full length tights or high socks.
  • Water can easily freeze in a bladder hose, consider insulating with neoprene. Similarly water bottles and soft flasks can freeze up when kept on the outside of a pack or vest. Consider moving them inside or else find a way of wrapping them up! Soft flasks carried on the front of a vest are often kept warmest and you can keep an eye on them to prevent it happening.
  • Large map sheets are susceptible to being blown away, try photocopying or scanning the area you need and then laminating to create a durable route card. Many mapping services now offer a subscription where you can download and print the sheets you need.
  • There are a number of mobile apps worth having as a back up; though electronic devices are not necessarily to be relied on in cold conditions, some are worth looking in to. In particular the OS Locate App gives a grid reference and bearing that can help you pinpoint your position on the paper map and so speed up nav. OS Maps is another mapping App that uses digital mapping to locate you and plan routes. It requires a subscription but again, does not replace a real map and compass or ability to use them!

This all leads us (so neatly, its almost like we planned it!) to what kit to take. This decision is very personal and a lot of it will come from experience. Expect to take too much the first time you head out and then whittle it down to what you actually need and use (in addition to those just-in-case extras).  

A couple of good starting questions when deciding what kit to take are: 

How long am I planning on being out? 

How long will it take for someone to reach me if it goes wrong? 

How badly will this reflect on me when they find my body? 

If the answer to the first two is: half an hour and about 5 minutes, then you can probably leave the emergency shelter at home.  

But if you are heading far from the road and into the high hills, you need to consider the above questions very carefully.  

Clothing: As with your route choice, the speed at which you able to move will influence what you will want to wear. Soft snow and high winds will see you moving much slower and so not generating as much heat as when moving quickly but then slogging up a snowy slope can see your temperature rise as you put way more effort than usual into your forward progress.  

In winter, the difference between your temperature when moving and when static is most pronounced. A layering system that is perfect while moving quickly could see you dangerously exposed if you had to stop for any reason. 

Spare layers are an essential back up in winter mountains but think about which you take. Are you likely to strip to the skin to change your baselayer, even if it is soaked, or is it better to carry additional midlayers that can be added under a shell, in addition to insulation? The weight penalty of carrying an extra midlayer is far outweighed by not getting hypothermic. 

Insulating pieces are not normally part of the running arsenal, except when back at the car or overnight camp but in winterinsulation pieces can form an important part of your clothing system. The main choice in insulation is between synthetic or down fill; down is warmest for its weight and pack size but loses its insulating properties when wet; synthetic insulation is more durable than down and keeps its warmth even when wet but is slightly heavier and bulkier. Insulation pieces are often not as breathable as fleece or polyester layers and so you will need to consider this when using them. They are often best kept in the pack until you hit the tops or slow down later in the day. 

It is tempting to layer up at the car, when you are cold and static but as soon as you set off and hit the first uphill, you will rapidly overheat, soaking your baselayer with sweat and will probably need to stop to take off a few layers. The old adagesdress for 15 minutes time’ and ‘be bold, start cold’, really do still hold true.  

Baselayers are still an important consideration in winter. Though you may be moving slower over some sections, there are also going to be parts that make you sweat, especially fighting wind and snow. If your baselayer does not wick away sweat or dry quickly, you will soon get cold and wet. Use a quick-drying layer that will respond to a variety of outputs throughout the day. 

Even in relatively benign conditions, if there is snow on the ground or it is saturated with winter rain and meltwater, it is likely your socks and gloves are going to get wet and cold. You should always think about carrying spares of both (it is quite normal to head out with 3 pairs of gloves). It may also be worth looking into waterproof socks, though they may not keep you 100% dry, they tend to be much warmer than alternatives. This is also a good time to give mitts a shout out. Keeping all your fingers grouped together means they’ll be a lot warmer than in just gloves. An overmitt allows you to swap and change gloves then cover everything up and keep them warm and dry, leaving fingers free when needed.  

See below for our ideal winter layering system along with the rest of our winter kit list.  

Equipment: Yet again, the conditions will decide what you need to take but you can expect to need a few extra bits to make yourself safe and comfortable. And as ever, any piece of equipment is only as useful as the abilities of the person using it. Below are a few key pieces that can make all the difference, you can find a full winter running kit list at the end. 

Poles: Poles are no longer just for your annual ski holiday or for when you have hurt your knee. Once the sole domain of Euro mountain whippets and elderly ramblers, poles are fast becoming a year-round tool for mountain runners. Poles really come into their own in winter. Like having a pair of stabilizers, they give security over uncertain terrain, serve to push you along over slow ground and generally give you something to wave about in photos. If buying pair with a view to winter use, don’t be tempted to look only at weight; consider their strength too. Uber-light racing poles are great for fast and light summer trailbut might not take too kindly to being hammered through semi-frozen bog and hauled on up snowy slopes. Look, instead, for strength, weight and pack size. You want to be able to easily stow them when not in use and rely on them when you need them. 

Axes: There are a range of super-lightweight axes available on the market, aimed primarily at the ski-touring market but increasingly being taken up by winter and alpine runners looking for a failsafe on snowy slopes. The first thing to say is that just carrying an axe will not keep you safe. You also need to know how to use it. This and myriad other reasons is why we would strongly suggest seeking professional instruction on a winter skills course from a qualified instructor if you are hoping to push yourself over technical terrain in winter. The main reason to carry an ice axe while winter running is to perform an ice axe arrest if you slip on steep ground, they can also provide security on icy stretches; but we are not suggesting you start banging out winter climbing routes in your fell shoes! 

Micro-Spikes/Running Crampons: These are lightweight, flexible spikes that can fit most running shoes and provide traction on ice and frozen snow. There are several different designs available, from so-called postman crampons which are little more than studs on a rubber backer, more suited to icy tarmac and pavements, to coils of metal that run across the bottom of the shoe and give good traction on compacted snow and icy paths, right up to flexible crampons with multiple metal spikes that allow you to run or walk over quite steep frozen ground. Again, as with the axe, a crampon is only as good as your ability to use it and they certainly have their limits, especially on a flexible running shoe. Learn how to use them and learn their limits in a safe environment. Don’t expect to be running Tower Ridge any time soon (even if Finlay Wild can)! 

Snow/Ski Goggles: These can be invaluable in high winds when spindrift can leave you all but blind. They weigh very little and make you look hardcore plus you can read a map without your eyeballs freezing. 

Headtorch: Winter means days are shorter and you will likely be out for longer; this adds up to you probably needing some lighting at some point! Keep your batteries charged (carry spares too) and always have a torch in your pack. Looking through rescue reports from any of the country’s Search & Rescue teams and you will see call out after call out that could have been avoided just by carrying a decent headtorch.  

It is worth mentioning at this point the effect the cold can have on electronics. Headtorches and mobile phone battery life can be drastically reduced by the cold. Keep any electronics or spare batteries close to your body in an inside pocket. Plus, rechargeables tend to have a shorter burn time than disposables but disposables kill baby turtles so…swings and roundabouts. 

Emergency Shelter/Bivi Bag: If it all goes wrong or you just want to get out of the wind to eat your lunch, an emergency shelter will make life a lot better.  

You can go for either a multi-person shelter otherwise known as a ‘Bothy Bag’ which is a bit bigger but provides easy access to shelter for you and your partner/s. Or go for a foil bivvy bag or Blizzard bag. These reflect your body heat back at you and are more of an emergency option. Remember, you may not need it yourself but you may come across someone who does. Go for a bag not a blanket because a blanket will just blow away and then you’ll die. 

Gas: This isn’t a winter camping article but it is worth noting, if you are planning on taking brew making kit or doing an overnight, bear in mind some gas blends are better than others in cold weather. Make sure you get a specific Winter Mix. 

The OMM Recommended Kit List For A Fairly Big Day Out In The Hills* (or OMMRKLFAFBDOITH for short)


Fell or good trail shoe (half a size bigger than normal will allow for thicker socks) 

Long Waterproof Socks (plus spare normal pair) 


Full length Legging  

Waterpoof or windproof shorts (trust us, they make a big difference!) 


Long Sleeve Wicking Tee 

Short Sleeve Wicking Tee 

Lightweight Midlayer (plus spare) 

Insulated pullover or vest 

Waterproof Shell (Consider going for something heavier duty than your normal summer shell as you are likely to have rain, sleet and snow pushing against you in high winds. Thin fabrics can then be pressed to the skin or layers underneath and have a cooling effect)

Lightweight Gloves (plus spares) 

Overmitt (tied to you) 

Buff (x2, one for the neck and one for head or down front of leggings if you didn’t bother with the windproof shorts!) 

Hat/Beanie (plus spare) 


Poles (pair) 


Axe (and the knowledge of how to use it) if doing something steep/technical 


Foil Bivvy bag 

Map (in case, tied to you) 

Compass (tied to you) 

GPS as back up 

Mobile phone for epic selfies (and registered to the Emergency SMS Service – just text register to 999 and follow the instructions. In a dry bag, close to the body) 

Headtorch (plus spare batteries in an inside pocket & possibly backup smaller headtorch) 

Food for the day (plus spare) 

Water bottles

Small flask of hot fluid (optional but very nice!) 

Dry bags 

Rucksack big enough to carry it all

Route card left with a responsible adult

*Not to say this is comprehensive or that you have to carry every single bit but these are all bits of kit that we have found to be useful over the years and that we think are worth considering. 

British Mountain Marathon Calendar

We take a look ahead at the 2020 Mountain Marathon line-up.

As ever, there is a fantastic showing from around the hillier corners of these isles and something for everyone, from first-timers through to gnarly veterans.


Event: Great Lakeland 3 Day
Date: 8th – 10th May 2020
Location: Lake District
More informationwww.greatlakeland3day.com

Overview:The SILVA GL3D™ is an adventurous three-day mountain marathon with a unique, relaxed and friendly atmosphere that attracts both runners and long-distance walkers. Over the years the event has built up a dedicated following of participants who enjoy the challenge of three long, consecutive days in the hills. The start and finish is in the same location so that participants can get maximum enjoyment, with competitor’s overnight kit transported between each camp.


Event: Scottish Mountain Marathon
Date: 13th – 14th June 2020
Location:  Western Highlands
More informationwww.scottishmountainmarathon.com

Overview: The Scottish Mountain Marathon™ is a classic two-day hill running and navigation challenge held in the Scottish Highlands and Islands each year.

Open to pairs who must compete as self-sufficient teams, the event is suitable for novice participants and elite competitors alike. There are seven different courses, offering something for everyone who enjoys navigating through wild and challenging terrain.


Event: 42nd SLMM Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon
Date: 4th July – 5th July 2020
Location: North West Lake District
More informationwww.slmm.org.uk

Overview: The Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon (SLMM) is a two-day mountain navigation competition (or race) that is held annually in the Lake District for pairs and experienced solo entrants. The event comprises 8 courses of which 6 are solely for pairs of runners, one is exclusively for solo competitors and one course is open for both pairs and solo entrants.


Event: 41st Mourne Mountain Marathon
Date: 19th – 20th September 2020
Location: The Mournes, Newcastle, Northern Ireland
More informationwww.mourne2day.com

Overview:The Mourne Mountain Marathon is Ireland’s only two day endurance and navigation event held each year in the beautiful mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland.  It is run entirely on a voluntary and non-profit basis by a team with many years experience of organising and competing in this type of event.


Event: ROC Mountain Marathon
Date: 26th – 27th September 2020
Location: Northern England
More informationwww.rocmountainmarathon.com

Overview:The event has proved a popular choice with mountain marathon competitors with its combination of both linear and score courses that provide participants with huge choice and minimise the chance of ‘snakes’ of runners all heading to the same control.


Event: 53rd OMM Original Mountain Marathon
Date: 24th – 25th October 2020
Location: Mountains of Argyll & Bute
More informationwww.theomm.com/the-omm/

Overview: The daddy of Mountain Marathons and the one that started it all. The UK’s biggest mountain race has shaped the UK outdoor community for over 50 years. Since 1968 the UK’s greatest running legends, product creators & influential people have stood on the start line. The 53rd OMM will be held somewhere in the mountains of Argyll & Bute and as is tradition, the exact location will be released in September, though clues may be found before then.