Mountain Marathon – Mountain Madness

At the end of October (most years!) the OMM – Original Mountain Marathon is run.  This is a two day mountain orienteering competition where teams consist of two people – hopefully of similar ability if they are super competitive.  Many of the skills needed for and developed on these events are those needed by hill walkers and mountaineers.  Join me (a long time AMI member) at Freewill Outdoors for training, coaching or guiding that will give you the skills and confidence to tackle more – and importantly get further off the beaten tourist track.

So back to the OMM!  All equipment for the two days and the overnight is carried in a backpack which, for the top Elite class racers is unfeasibly small.  I have managed 4.4kg on one event – much less is carried by some.  Less weight equals faster more comfortable movement when scampering over the hills and mountains (yup Munros too) but ….. more expense and less comfort at the overnight stop.  Hardship though is relative and it ends on the Sunday afternoon.  I have taken part in 15 of these events and five other mountain marathons, but the most memorable was the 2008 event; not because it was my wife’s introduction to mountain marathons, but there was a little bad weather!  For the first time ever the OMM was cancelled mid flow.  This year for the first time it is completely cancelled 😦  The OMM is strangely addictive due to the incredible atmosphere, camaraderie and stunning parts of the British mountain environment it visits.  Be warned, the last weekend of October attracts one, sometimes two really nasty weather days …………..


Author: Will Manners

Will Manners is a Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (WMCI), and International Mountain Leader, a Nordic Ski Instructor (BASIO 2) and a Mountain Bike Leader. Passionate about all things in the mountains including hill running, ski touring, bike packing and kayaking.