Launch of new Scottish Mountain Marathon
Entries have opened for a new event, the Scottish Mountain Marathon. The race, on June 8 and 9, 2019, is a classic two-day fell running and navigation challenge held in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
What is a mountain marathon?
A mountain marathon is a test of:
- Navigation: How efficiently you find the checkpoints
- Fitness: How quickly you travel between the checkpoints.
- Mountain craft: Being self sufficient in the mountains for the weekend with a remote overnight camp.
Find out more: What is a mountain marathon?
New mountain marathon in Scotland
As many keen runners will already know, it was announced earlier this year that the iconic LAMM mountain marathon was to end. Organiser Martin Stone has been in charge of the “connoisseurs mountain marathon” since the first edition held in the Arrochar Alps in 1994.
In 2016, the Highlander Mountain Marathon, held in Scotland for 10 years and organised by Hands On Events, also came to a close.
There was nothing ominous to be reported, simply that the organisers felt the events had run their course. Martin said: “There is no drama to it, it was just time for the party to end. It’s going to be my 60th birthday this year, I’m getting older and so are my volunteers. It’s not cancelled, it’s just that that was the last one.”
So a new mountain marathon in Scotland could well be timely. Shane Ohly, who is already a well-known event organiser and a regular elite competitor, is behind the Scottish Mountain Marathon.
He said: “As a passionate mountain marathon competitor, I believe there is clear demand for an adventurous Scottish mountain marathon each year.”
The Scottish Mountain Marathon will take place over the second weekend of June, historically the same weekend as the LAMM.
The mountain marathon is open to pairs, from novice to elite competitors, who must race as self-sufficient teams.
There will be seven different courses with navigation through wild and challenging terrain.
As well as the traditional “score” formats, there will be four linear courses from 40km to 70km.
The inaugural event will take place in the Attadale Forest in the Highlands.
Shane, who is founder of Ourea Events, said: “With the sad demise of both the Highlander Mountain Marathon in 2016, and then the LAMM in 2018 the mountain marathon community faced not having an event in the iconic Scottish Highlands from 2019 onward, which seemed ridiculous to me given that the most challenging and rewarding terrain for Mountain Marathons is in Scotland. I felt compelled to act.”
As a previous Elite winner of both the Highlander Mountain Marathon and LAMM, and now the Race Director of Marmot Dark Mountains and the ROC Mountain Marathon, Shane is the ideal candidate for organising the Scottish Mountain Marathon.
He continued: “Over the last six years I have built a really great team of staff and volunteers at Ourea Events who have a huge amount of experience and expertise.
“Many are regular and accomplished mountain marathon participants themselves and I am confident that together we will continue organising a really fantastic event in Scotland for many years to come.”
Former World Orienteering Champion Graham Gristwood, who now works for Ourea Events, will take the lead on the planning for the first Scottish Mountain Marathon. Both Graham and Shane have highlighted that a competition area that really embraces the challenge offered by the Scottish Highlands is key, with courses that focus on big journeys, with big route choices.
The remote overnight camp will remain a big part of the event experience.
Ourea Events also organise the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race and the Cape Wrath Ultra, which alternate every other year and take place at the end of May. (Also see 18 things I learned while reporting on the Cape Wrath Ultra.)
The Scottish Mountain Marathon is the second event of three in the 2019 British Mountain Marathon Championship, which also includes Marmot Dark Mountains and the ROC Mountain Marathon, the latter which will also take place in Scotland next year.
Enter new Scottish Mountain Marathon
Entries have opened. See Scottish Mountain Marathon. If you enter before the end of December you can take advantage of the earlybird entry cost of £69 per person, which includes camping and a finisher’s meal.