Original Mountain Marathon

October 27-28th 2012

Howgill Fells, Yorkshire, UK

by Marcus Pinker (Cork O)

OMM Day 1, Medium Score (6 hours), Howgill Fells. 

Didn't know what to expect from this; haven't done a MM in quite a few years, haven't done any long training, have never run in a mixed team or with Ciara and the last time I did a score at a MM ('96?) it was a disaster... 

Headed up into the steep and very cold hills straight from the start and was struggling with a sore back and to keep up with Ciara. Felt much better after the first decent though and we settled into quite a good rhythm. The hills were brutally steep though and it didn't take us long to chose a route that avoided as many of them as possible but still visited the big pointers.

Ciara was going well until about half way, but then had a minor foot problem, which was sorted out with a bit of adjustment, so we continued on at a slightly slower pace. I wasn't complaining; though I was feeling stronger it wasn't by a whole lot! 

There was a tempting high scoring control after we crossed the road for the last loop but by this time Ciara was really starting to feel the effort and we decided it better to finish early and save some energy rather than push ourselves to hard and risk time penalties. 

Thought we'd done okay, at least well enough to be contention in the Mixed class, but we very surprised (and happy!) to find ourselves in the lead overall. Appears that a non-greedy route, no navigation mistakes and being sensible with the pace was a good plan!

Below is a snippet from their day one route. See the full route here.

OMM Day 2, Medium Score (5 hours), Howgill Fells. 

After one of the most cozy nights I've ever had at a MM (nice new sleeping bag proving it was worth the expense!) we had to wake earlier than planner. Due to leading we got a new start time, thankfully 7.30 for leading the Mixed, rather than 7.00 for the overall lead which at least meant that we could do everything in the light, only just made the start on time though. 

Only really two route options to chose from today and as we were feeling the aftereffects of yesterdays hills we opted for the rougher but less severe choice. A heavy mist made much of the navigating trickier today, which was much welcomed as once we'd chosen our route yesterday the navigation was straightforward. 

So a long slog through the rain and mist it was, never moving all that quickly but keeping the points stacking up at the same time. Didn't think we'd the best route but were quite confident that it would be hard to get many more points with any other option. 

Realised after 3 hours that we were going to be tight on time so worked out a back-up option to get to the finish ASAP. This was good as we needed it and the last hour was a race to get to the finish in time (the last control being the only points we collected in this time!). Ciara was really hurting here but did amazingly well to maintain a fast pace and a positive outlook despite her tiredness and we very nearly made it back in time (4 seconds!). 

So forth on the day, but ahead of all of our close competition which gave us a relatively comfortable overall win. Very please with this, especially considering the original expectations, but it was how enjoyable it was and how good a partner Ciara was that made it a great weekend. 

Below is a snapshot of their Day 2 route. See their full Day 2 route here.