Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) 2008
Gary & I had bit of an epic, we finished OK and made it over to Seatoller in spite of Fell Rescue & Police trying to turn everyone back against what the organisers were saying. Gary & I got to a bar in the Outdoor centre and then slept , correction laid down upstairs in a corridor.
My car was in one of the worst places and had to be left. It got flooded past the seats lost approx. £500 worth electronic type gear. The AA won’t pick it up unless there is someone there to sign for it. The river crossings near the finish were real scary, we went over as a group of 6 and nearly got swept away, it was so close. The 2-young girls in the group, were off their feet and the other 2-guys were too upright. Gary & I propped them up down stream and just managed to edge over. The girls were nearly crying and later elated at having made it. The finish went to rat shit, no dibbing and only a half heart attempt to collect race numbers, not that would be putting that info into the public domain.
Anyway, what an event that will be remembered for a few years to come. Lets pray no one croaked. I just hope this does not end up dumbing down events to come.
We finished day one at the farm around 3.30 then got told like others to walk back, we start only to see all the others walking back having been told by the MR/Police to do so, Peter in his wisdom suggested we head up the hill out the way then carry on over Honistor pass.
The walk back over was a real battle we got back to the car only to find it flooded up to the windows, we then ended up in a private hostel with around 60 others including Kirsten, I guess we were very lucky, the hostel had a bar and served Guiness, and provided soup/tea plus a warm (hard) floor to sleep on, Luxury!!
We had to abandon the car and hitch a ride to Penrith to collect mine on the Sunday, could not believe how quick the water went down in the morning, I understand from Pete his new BMW is possible a right off!
Had a great adventure, Great end to Broad crag at 45 degrees, blown off feet on haystacks, 4 mile detour to cross Black Beck, then slept like a flock of sheep in the barn. Great time, shame it was cancelled. Is the OMM 08 sticker a badge of honour? And what will it bring on ebay?
What a one to pick for my first mountain marathon. I’ve got to say it was enjoyable and quite an experience. The walk over Honister pass to try and get back to the cars on Saturday evening was way worse than any weather on the fells, I have a nice egg on the back of my head where the wind picked me off my feet and threw me against a wall. Hannah and I had a very cosy night at Glaramara Activity Centre, and were very fortunate that the car wasn’t in the flood line, started and got off the field. I’ve suggested we tackle our next MM in the summer months. Great fun.
We were the last out on the long score, had a good nights sleep on Friday in the camper and were away at 9.48.
Up onto Glaramara and not too bad, although I missed the navigational expertise that Oz gave me last year as we missed a checkpoint!
Down to Esk Hause and things really started to deteriorate, winds were howling, a lady walker nearby blew, she was Ok though. Then down to Styhead and then huddling behind the rescue box it was decision time, pack in or continue. We decided to carry on, god knows why and started heading down to Wasdale, after 5 minutes I had taken the executive decision to turn around and then back behind the rescue box we decided to go for a checkpoint up towards Base Brown.
Running down the valley, I saw the same lady walker go flying, literally! Went to her and she was OK again, so we battled on and up Base Brown. At this point, the thoughts of further points was a long way away, my hands had given up operating, I couldn’t open food bags of operate my compass so we opted to get back towards the camp, up towards the top of Green Gable and then pick up the Borrowdale Route to Brandreth. Nearly lost my partner here as he was taken by the wind 3 times!
Picked up another 20 points between Brandreth and Grey Knotts then thought thats it, and followed Dubbs Beck( torrent) to the quarry workings in the valley and then down the path (river) to overnight camp.
So, we managed to complete day 1 which was an achievement, just what to do next.
Decided to try and get back to Seathwaite and battled with the winds and rain up Honister to within 5 minutes of the top, only to get told to go back by mountain rescue.
Back down to camp, cold and wet by now and were revived with a cup a soup prepared by Mandy Goth and Sue Roberts. Then heard we had to stay the night and heard Phil Hodgson say that he was off to put his tent up as the barn would not be a pleasant place to spend the night and I thought if its good enough for him, its good enough for me!
So we were in our tent from 5.30pm, along with about 20 other tents, god only knows how it survived the onslaught that followed, for about 4 hours we were sat upright keeping hold of what we could, pushing against the wind as the tent buckled under the strain. Kept getting out to check the pegs were secure as they were in what could only be described as blamange by now. When I went out at about 10.30pm, I was surprised to see the remnants of Phil’s tent nearby so i went and nicked the pegs and double pegged mine to try to secure it.
By 11.30 the winds were abating, so out came the whisky as I was sure by now we would not have to pack up our gear and run for the barn, the next thing I remember is waking up about 6.00am.
Phil’s tent was not the only one that gave up the ghost that night, there were bits of about half a dozen around the field. Mine survived, apart from a couple of severely bent poles which are replaceable. The only reason I bought that tent was that I spent a bad night in one last year with Oz on last years OMM and it held up brilliantly. If in doubt, buy a Vaude Ferret Ultralight!
What a day!
Sunday was a better day, just walked over Honister and back to Seathwaite, thought we would be there for a while stuck in mud but got the camper out of the field without any issues and home by 12.00pm.
Photos by Alex Pilkington