52nd OMM Location

omm 2019

The 52nd OMM Location –  Largs: Scotland. The Vikings hordes couldn’t hold these shores.  Will the relentless terrain beat you?

Epic coastal views, virtually no paths, visibility…3metres. It’s the 52nd OMM. 

Stunning vistas of the great Lochs and the inspiring Arran peaks behind while you slog up pathless, boggy, heather clad coastal hills.  All of which you can imagine (as you probably won’t be able to see them) whilst you’re fighting through the clag on your way to the overnight camp.   

That’s right, for the 52nd OMM we’re all off to Largs and the Clyde MuirShiel Regional Park.  

We have 400km of remote glens featuring countless raging waterfalls and stunningly wild heather moors which you’ll look at on the map and utter the immortal words “it doesn’t look that bad, we can get through there.” We will see! 

For those who don’t know..

With decision making and fitness at its core, the OMM pitches teams of 2 against the elements to search for checkpoints spread across the 400km2 course area. Route choice is key and checkpoints will drag tired feet well off the paths to face decisions of whether to straight line and cross bog and bracken filled glens or add distance to skirt around the summits.  Young legs against experienced heads suddenly becomes a fair fight. 

Another decision for the teams will be what kit to carry. Go lighter and faster is a good idea but go too far and you risk freezing joints overnight and not being able to run.  For 2 days, teams are on their own and with the event intentionally held at the end of October “to guarantee bad weather” the event is not for the inexperienced. 

Advice from the team.

The course planner’s advice is, “Practice your Nav, you’re going to need it.  Stay flexible too as speed across the ground will be massively impacted by vegetation and boggy ground. This is real wild running and route choice should show off competitors individual running strengths (and weaknesses he muttered under his breath).” 

As always we’ve booked the traditional OMM weather; 50mph winds and driving rain on the Saturday clearing up on Sunday for those who find the overnight camp.  

Stuart Hamilton (OMM Event Director) says “We all wish we could compete as well in such a stunning location and look forward to welcoming everyone to the event centre at Kelburn Castle. I’m really grateful to Clyde MuirShiel Regional Park for enabling us to hold our event on such perfect terrain.” 

the omm

The core of OMM.

The fundamentals of the event haven’t changed over the 52 years – a wild test of navigation, kit selection & mountain skills within the safety net of an event. In a world of thrill seeking and instant gratification, OMM bucks the trend in saying that all mountain users should invest in their knowledge to be a responsible member of the mountain and hill going community.  As with anyone entering the UK mountains, they need to understand the condition and terrain they’re heading into and how to behave in it. 

In the coming weeks we will have updates and all the information you will need ahead of the event. All of the information is available on the 52nd event webpage here.

Next month our ecologist David Broom will be surveying this year’s event area to ensure we all cause no lasting damage to the area. You can read the previous pre and post ecological assessments from past events here.  

50th Anniversary Race Location

Location of the 50th Anniversary OMM

The Original Mountain Marathon is turning 50! The legendary race has seen over 150,000 competitors over the start line since 1968 and for those of you who make the yearly pilgrimage, and enjoy wading through bogs & heather in search of illusive checkpoints, this year is going to be un-missable.

This October the OMM celebrates it’s 50th anniversary, an impressive milestone for any event and the appeal continues to stay strong! This community of people passionate are about being in the mountains and it’s fantastic to see the race continuing to be passed down through generations. Looking down the entries there’s an increased number of mixed family teams running together for the 50th and this years’ race is full at 2000 competitors with a waiting list of three hundred.

At the top of the field the Elite Class is looking particularly strong. With a course of around 120km + 4500m ascent the winners will be looking to complete it in a blistering 10 hours over the 2 days. Returning champions Shane Ohly & Duncan Archer are keen to claim the 50th Race title but with friendly rivals Jim Mann & Nick Barber looking to stop them, and other Elite entries from as far a field as Australia & Japan, it will be a closely fought race.

The 50th Anniversary is about celebrating the competitors & volunteers from over the years, all of whom have made the race the success that it is today. We wanted to hold the event in a special location that would have meaning for everyone. There have been so many iconic OMM race locations over the years; the first in Muker back in 1968, the ‘Howling Howgills’ or the infamous 2008 event in Borrowdale. It was really tough to decide where it should be.

After much discussion we chose the Lake District. Firstly, because the race hadn’t been there for 10 years, secondly because it provides us with excellent courses to navigate and thirdly because Gerry Charnley, who started the race, has a memorial below Esk Pike which felt very appropriate. This year we’re pleased to be holding the event at the head of the Langdale Valley in the Lake District with the course stretching 400km2 into the central Lakes.

We’d like to thank the Lake District National Park, National Trust & all the land owners involved for their overwhelming support of the event. We’re pleased to always be welcomed by the National Parks. This is partly due to the extensive work our ecologist does to ensure the OMM is the gold standard in operating ecologically responsible events in our wild spaces. The OMM is a not-for-profit event and prides itself on being the example of how events should be run in the outdoors. Each OMM event brings in around £200,000 for the local economy, this approach has added to the longevity and popularity of the race.

There’s only 12 weeks to go. We look forward to seeing you at the event centre for this very special year. As is tradition the entry list will be published nearer the race weekend but in the meantime we’ll be sending you fortnightly updates on information about the weekend.

If you have questions about your entry please email emma@theomm.com who will be happy to help.

See you in October


Training Opportunities…