Friday Photo Gallery | Map & RouteGadget
Around 1,000 competitors, who will be competing in teams of two, are now arriving for the 16th Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon, at Morvich in Kintail - ready to spend the next two days, running and walking in the hills to the north of Glen Shiel. The total area of the event is approximately 400 square kilometres and includes 14 Munros (and there is a checkpoint on the summit of one of them) and The Falls of Glomach, which at 370 ft are among the tallest in Britain (and without wanting to give any spoilers it is possible that some competitors could see them). To the south west of the area in particular the hills are very steep with lots of rock, and overall the various courses are a little shorter, but with more climb than usual.
For the first time the event includes a score class which has proved very popular, with 98 entries. Unlike all the other courses that follow a linear route, the score course has a fixed time limit of 7 hours on day one and 6 on day two and competitors can choose which of a host of controls to collect. Because the score course competitors can choose how much or how little to take on, to a layperson it might seem like an easy option. But taking into account that the winning times over the two days for the other courses are estimated to vary between 12 hours for the Elite and 8 hours for the D, clearly there is plenty of opportunity for the best score competitors to test themselves physically.
At lunchtime today there was a slight drizzle around the event centre and since then we’ve had plenty of sunshine, but some of the event crew that have been in the hills have even reported the odd snow flurry. The forecast for the weekend is similar so the teams can expect the weather to be truly Scottish – changeable. But visibility at least is good and the snow should keep the midges off.
As usual the LAMM team are doing their very best to stop a few peoples’ crises turning into disasters. There are always some competitors who lose partners at the last minute, but usually they can be matched up with others in a similar position. On Thursday morning Hans Hedin a regular competitor phoned from Sweden to say that his partner had dropped out but that he was coming anyway. Luckily, for him another B course competitor, Karl Binns from Foyers phoned up a little later in the same predicament and by the time Hans arrived in the UK the LAMM team were able to let him know he had a partner again.
And continuing to do it’s bit for Anglo-Swedish relations, the LAMM this year is able to offer, courtesy of Anders Morell of the BAMM (Bjorkliden Arctic Mountain Marathon) a fantastic prize for one of the Elite teams – a free entry into that race along with accommodation on the nights either side. In addition the LAMM will pay for flights to the event. The prize will go to the leading Elite team that has indicated it will be able to make the race on 14/15th August.