I entered the LAMM some time ago with my friend Rachel Dearden after doing the Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon with her last year. After dropping out of the OMM last year and leaving her to find a replacement last minute I knew I couldn’t let her down again.
I’ve struggled with injuries again this year, and only managed 15 mins of running in the past 10 weeks, but it hasn’t been too bad as it’s given me time to enjoy my other hobbies like climbing and mountain biking.
So I was a bit nervous about my fitness for the LAMM. We were entered in the B and the sensible option would have been to move down a class, but instead I opted to move up, on the grounds that maybe my underlying stamina would get me through and I wouldn’t have to run fast!
This year’s LAMM was in Glen Fyne and we started the first day being bussed to the familar territory of the Arrochar Alps. I enjoyed the first few hours as we did a mini version of the Arrochar Alps race, traversing each of the summits (but in reverse and without actually visiting the summits) as it was a glorious day! The hike up Ben Vorlich from the dam was pretty tough but we made it. We then headed off North, and by this point we were both starting to feel really tired. The terrain was really rough going underfoot, so we made slow progress. By the time we arrived at the mid camp we’d been on the go for nine hours, and had just enough energy left to put up the tent and crawl inside.
I think it rained most of the night and we awoke to the piper on Sunday morning and a midgy misty damp campsite. The second day started off much more runnable and thanks to Rachel’s encouragement we made good progress for the first few controls and even found a sneaky shortcut following a stream through a dense patch of forest But as we headed higher up onto the open fellside the rain and mist closed in and progress slowed a little. We found the navigation tricky in the mist and because we were both so tired by this point. But fortunately we didn’t make any major errors. The organisers cruelly sent us down and back up a 400m climb right at the end of the day, and even the run in was a little too exciting for that stage in the day. We followed a track that had been made by all the earlier runners down a steep hillside, but it ended at a ravine, which we had to cross by swinging on some trees!
The second day turned out to be pretty tough too, with almost a third of teams on the A class retiring.We were out 8 1/2 hours on the second day and I have never been so relieved to finish. We finished 1st (and only) ladies team in the A class and 17th overall.
I didn’t see whether there were any other westies there, due to crawling into my tent immediately on arrival at the midcamp, and finishing so late on Sunday. (We even missed the prizegiving) but I hope that if there were that you managed to enjoy it! I’m sure I will in hindsight maybe in about 2 years time!