LAMM 2004

Whilst everyone else was enjoying the Club Sprint Champs I was up in (Bonnie) Scotland for the LAMM. This was based in Glen Carron just south of Torridon. Over dinner on the Friday night my partner (Alan) and I agreed to move up a class to A as we’d both been running well recently and reckoned a longer course would be more fun !

Saturday morning the A Class and Elite were all put on a train to the start. There was a river crossing prior to getting to the start so that everyone had wet feet right from the off. We were one of the last start times by which time it was raining and we were unable to mark our map so we just headed off planning to mark up as we went. Throughout the day the weather got worse and worse. Turns out it was some of the worst weather they’d had on the LAMM. Route choices were influenced by this – trying to avoid ridges and exposed places but on our course this wasn’t always possible. The wind was extremely strong and the rain hitting us almost horizontally. My hands were losing function when we decided we need to cover up more. I couldn’t get gloves on properly so initially wore them as mitts. As we crossed a plateau it was a blizzard, I was running in tights, thermal top, fleece, fleece lined waterproof cap, gloves and full waterproofs and I was still cold. We were glad to get down off there and finally to the overnight camp.

We finished in 7hours 37 mins in 11th place some 57 minutes behind the leaders on the course. We quickly got the tent up and spent the next hour in sleeping bags shivering doing situps to warm up before we could face cooking. I spent a pretty cold night waking regularly and having to move my legs / do sit-ups to keep warm.

The bagpiper next morning was a welcome sound as it indicated getting up and warming up. The weather had improved and improved throughout the next day. We set off aiming to pick up a top 10 finish and soon were passing 9th place. Then we had a major cock-up and spent 20-30 minutes searching a hillside for a checkpoint … we’re still not sure what went wrong … but looking at the splits it cost us 30 minutes at least. The rest of the course was great and we were flying. We repassed 9th place guys but our combined time ended up 7 seconds slower so we were 10th overall. The second day despite our mess up on checkpoint two saw us only 33 minutes behind the best time for the day so we were very pleased.

The approximate distances and ascents we did were:

Day 1 40km 1,850m ascent, 7 hours 37 minutes running

Day 2 32km 1,050m ascent, 5 hours 24 minutes running

Been buzzing every since ;o)

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