20081019-21 : Lake District – An OMM 2008 comment
We had gone up to The Lakes between 19th-21st October and although we didn’t know it at the time, I’m pleased we hadn’t booked for the week-end later, as we would have been in The Lakes during the OMM race and the horrendous weather conditions they encountered.
OMM stands for Original Mountain Marathon … from what I can gather, the race is a combination of Fell Running, Mountain Hiking and Orienteering. http://www.theomm.com/event/aboutTheEvent.html
There was an awful lot of surface water on the fells whilst we were in The Lakes, just a few days before the race. Some paths were running streams, the boggy areas were … errm … quite boggy and the very full rivers made for some simply spectacular waterfalls. The extra rainfall later in the week obviously just took everything over the edge, so to speak.
I’ll not make any comment on whether the race should have been cancelled in advance, as I can appreciate the arguments on both sides, but what I do know is I’d have taken the personal decision to not go out on the high fells given the forecast and the existing fell conditions … In fact, we did just that during our break, deciding on the Monday that the 60+ mph winds forecast were probably just a bit too risky for us to do Helvellyn. So instead, we decided to walk the much lower Helm Crag to Calf Crag ridge …. A good decision I reckon, as we got a real buffeting from the winds, but we were always within our comfort zone and experience and always felt safe … my word, it was hard work at times though.
Having said that neither Janet nor I are fell-runners, and we’re no way near being extreme sports-persons. Personally, I walk the hills for the views, the solitude, the beauty and grandeur, etc., etc. I’m not into timing how fast I can go up and down again, but, each to his own. What the competitors do in the OMM is a completely different sport to what I enjoy, albeit over the same terrain. Fell-runners, well, they’re a different breed altogether!
What I would say is that the Mountain Rescue Organisations are absolutely fantastic people and if you can, please give generously whenever you see a collection box. If you go on the fells and mountains there is always the risk of an accident requiring outside help and The Mountain Rescue volunteers need all the help and resources they can get. There are lots of useful stuff and links at : http://www.ldsamra.org.uk/
It appears that The OMM organisers have started up a fundraising effort which can be linked to via http://www.justgiving.com/theomm08-mrtdonation , I’m no web-expert but looks genuine, I’ll leave it to you to decide.
Links to my walks diaries :-
I hope you enjoyed my scribblings ….