LAST OF THE LAMM
Last weekend it was announced that it was the end of the LAMM.
The treasured Mountain Marathon, held for the past 24 years among the Highlands & Islands of Scotland, this highlight of the racing calendar will be sadly missed.
But there is hope!….will there be another Highlands & Islands MM?
We look back at the history of the event and the future of Mountain Marathons as a whole.
This year sees the end of a 24 year era, as the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon, or LAMM, announces this to be its final year. With a fittingly dramatic swan song on the Isle of Harris earlier this month, organiser Martin Stone declared that this was to be it and with it, nearly a quarter of a century of Scottish Highland and Island adventure.
a gentle breeze, pristine beaches, flat dry grass and the sound of the pipes reverberating around the glen
The LAMM followed a similar structure as the OMM, with an overnight camp and self-supported navigation but always held in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
Being held on the first weekend in June ensured there was a (slightly) better chance of (slightly) better weather than in October’s OMM but did mean there was a high likelihood of losing several pints of blood to the infamous midge.
Each year of the LAMM felt like a classic, thanks to the stunning Scottish landscapes that competitors passed through. From its inception in 1994, held among the spectacular Arrochar Alps, the quality of venues and course setting has always been of the highest standard.
Notably among the 23 editions, the 1997 event was held on the island of Paps, whirlpools, Orwell and whisky; Jura. This was a rare treat for mountain marathons and was immortalised in a documentary, available to watch below..
Being held on the first weekend in June ensured there was a (slightly) better chance of (slightly) better weather than in October’s OMM
Founder, Martin Stone, was at the forefront of fell and mountain running and endurance racing for many years, with several podium finishes in the Elite class of the OMM and famously taking the win, along with race partner Helen Whittaker (nee Diamantides), in the inaugural 1992 Dragon’s Back race. Needless to say he know’s a thing or two about what makes a race special.
Whats next for Mountain Marathons in Scotland?
We’re saddened to hear that Martin and the LAMM are calling it a day. The big open wilderness’ of Scotland are some of the best Mountain Marathon territory in the UK. But there’s good news, we spoke to Shane Ohly, organiser of the ROC Mountain Marathon, who has confirmed he will be creating a new Mountain Marathon in the highlands & islands on the same weekend to take the place of the LAMM.
Speaking to Shane he wants to keep a mountain marathon in the Highland. He mentioned that the expansive terrain & large ranges are perfect mountain marathon country. We look forward to hearing more details about the event and will keep everyone informed as information is confirmed.
How we’re growing Mountain Marathon participation.
If you’re reading this then you’ll be as passionate about our sport as we are. We want to see all the Mountain Marathon events growing and the awareness of the ethos behind the events reach the wider outdoor users.
Our approach is two fold. One, to support all the existing Mountain Marathon events and inspire our existing competitors to keep coming back each year.
Secondly to bring new competitors in. Over the last few years we’ve developed the OMM LITE format as a feed series. OMM LITE uses the same basic format as the big MM’s but without some of the gnarly bits. This has been very successful every year which last May culminated in the first ever OMM Festival.
The OMM Festival was attended by over 2000 competitors and spectators with 50% experiencing the Mountain Marathon format for the first time. We’re pleased to see an increased number of first time competitors feeding into the October OMM from the Festival as well as Orienteering, Ultra Running & other activities. Next year will be the second OMM Festival and we hope to build on the success of this years event.
Results from the last ever LAMM
For more information and a great race report of the final LAMM, look no further than Jon Brook’s great write up, we are also indebted to him for these great photos: http://www.lamm.co.uk/2018/saturday.html
The only other medical emergency was a man at the overnight asking for Vaseline, but he didn’t specify what he wanted to do with it.
The calendar ahead has some great racing to come with some places still available in most of the events. Check it out here: http://theomm.com/british-mountain-marathon-calendar-2018/
Thank you Martin!!
On behalf of all the competitors & the Mountain Marathon community who have competed in the LAMM over the years we would like to thank Martin and everyone that has been involved.
If you would like to thank Martin he will be at the October OMM in his other difficult role of processing the 2000 competitors results.