The Scottish Mountain Marathon™ is a new two-day mountain marathon that is carrying on the tradition of the LAMM after its last edition on the Isle of Harris in 2018.
A classic two-day hill running and navigation challenge held in the Scottish Highlands and Islands each year, the event is open to pairs who must compete as self-sufficient teams, and is suitable for novice participants and elite competitors alike. There are seven different courses, offering something for everyone who enjoys navigating through wild and challenging terrain.
The first edition took place on the weekend of June 8-9th 2019 and the event centre was the beautiful Attadale Gardens in the north-west highlands. Many orienteers were in attendance to enjoy the excellent courses over the rough and wild terrain in the Attadale forest, but also the friendly atmosphere at the event centre and the scenic overnight campsite. Louis MacMillan from Loch Eck Orienteers was on hand with his bagpipes to provide a very appropriate wake-up call on both mornings. It was a busy weekend for Louis as he also placed 1st overall on the C course with his partner Alex Toomey.
Father and son team Jon and Oscar Shepherd from Inverness Orienteering Club placed 2nd overall on the C course. This was their first Mountain Marathon together. Jon said: “It was great to leave the roads behind and get into wild territory and explore some new places”. For Oscar, this was a new but very enjoyable challenge, “especially with the weight of the rucksack and a different map scale”. However, Jon said his son was still dragging him along towards the end, was Oscar annoyed? “A wee bit” he added jokingly. When asked where the next edition of the Scottish Mountain Marathon™ should take place, Jon suggested Assynt or an island location, in the meantime they are off to the Saunders Mountain Marathon together in July.
Alistair Masson and Tim Morgan from Edinburgh University Orienteering Club were running their 4th Mountain Marathon together and took their first win in the Elite Class. On day one they enjoyed some high ridge running and steep climbs. After some discussion on the optimal route choice, they pushed on to finish day one in 1st position, arriving into the overnight camp in high spirits. Day two brought some more runnable terrain after getting the big climbs out of the way early on in the day. A few bog swims later they arrived into camp very muddy but extremely happy with their win. The prize for the Elite winners of the Scottish Mountain Marathon™? A beautiful Scottish Claymore sword. We hope to see the pair return next year to defend their title!
Graham and Morag McIntyre from Interlopers Orienteering Club were the 1st mixed team on the short score course and 3rd overall. They enjoyed the good mix of rough and more runnable terrain combined with some great control setting. They described the map as “excellent quality, very clear with only the necessary detail and a suitable scale.” As for the location, they said: “It has to be remote and basic, the overnight camp really added to the experience, very atmospheric and a lovely location, but it was slightly wet and boggy due to the Saturday afternoon showers!”
It was Morag’s first Mountain Marathon and she observed: “This event was on a much bigger scale, you are totally on your own and must make big route choices, always thinking about your on-going journey, making adjustments where necessary, many of the controls were tucked away. Your running ability is also key”. Overall? Their skills complemented each other very well and good teamwork led to a very enjoyable and positive experience.
Many thanks to all the orienteers who came out to enjoy the first Scottish Mountain Marathon™ - We look forward to welcoming you back next year to a brand-new location somewhere in the Scottish Highlands and Islands!