Original Mountain Marathon
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The Original Mountain Marathon (OMM), formerly known as the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon (or KIMM), is a 2-day Mountain event, held in a different region across the UK every year. It was first held in 1968 and continues today. Gerry Charnley, a skilled mountaineer and orienteer, designed the KIMM to test orienteering skills in extreme circumstances; the full-length KIMM course is a double-marathon length race. Each team must carry all their gear, including equipment for an overnight camp. Moreover, the course is not disclosed until the race begins, so each team must have good navigation skills. Some have called the KIMM the forerunner of modern adventure racing.
In January 2010 the ownership of OMM, the event and the products was bought by Ark Consultants UK Ltd. (www.arkconsultants.co.uk).
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The 2008 OMM was abandoned, for the first time in the race's history, due to ill-informed media coverage which suggested that the very challenging weather conditions (100 mph winds and extremely heavy rain) placed competitors and potential rescuers in danger. Reference was made to '1,700 people unaccounted for in the hills' though in fact all of these were still competing and unaware that anyone was concerned for them; as usual a significant number of competitors were current or former Mountain Rescue Team members. In fact only one competitor needed to be rescued after being swept away in a torrent, slightly injured and stranded on an island, though there were other unconnected rescues in the Lake District at the time which were widely assumed to be connected to the OMM. Flooding did cause considerable disruption and damage at the base camps and the high winds resulted in the abandonment of some of the manned radio checkpoints; this and the genuine risk at river crossings were the principal reasons for cancelling the second day's competition.
List of event locations
|2013||Brecon Beacons||South Wales|
|2012||Howgill Fells||North West England|
|2010||Dartmoor||South West England|
|2006||Galloway Forest Park||Scotland|
|2004||Brecon Beacons||South Wales|
|2001||Clydes MuirSheil Regional Park||Scotland|
|1999||Cowal Peninsula Argyll||Scotland|
|1998||Howgill Fells||North Pennines|
|1997||Kielder Forest||North East England|
|1996||Galloway Forest Park and Hills||Scotland|
|1995||Brecon Beacons||South Wales|
|1994||St Mary's Loch and Manor||Scotland|
|1993||Upper Nithsdale & Queensberry Hills||Scotland|
|1992||Northern Lake District||Cumbria|
|1989||Howgill Fells||North Pennines|
|1987||Ffestiniog Snowdonia||North Wales|
|1985||Langdale (Lake District)||Cumbria|
|1982||Dartmoor||South West England|
|1980||Isle of Arran||Scotland|
|1977||Howgill Fells||North Pennines|
|1974||College Valley, Cheviot||Northumberland|
|1973||Plas Gwynant||North Wales|
|1972||Tibbie Shiels (Selkirk)||Scottish Borders|
Classes of competition
OMM currently comprises seven competition classes (four line events and three score courses) which vary in length and severity, approximately as follows:
- Elite 80 km 12 hrs
- A class 65 km 11 hrs
- B class 50 km 10 hrs
- C class 45 km 9 hrs
- D class 40 km 8 hrs
- Long Score 7+6 hrs (day 1/2)
- Medium Score 6+5hrs
- Short Score 5+4hrs
Compulsory kit list
- Warm Trousers or Leggings
- Shirt or Thermal Top
- Sweater or Fleece Top
- Waterproof Over Trousers (taped seams)
- Waterproof Jacket (taped seams)
- Socks, gloves & hat
- Head Torch
- Food For 36 Hours
- Additional Emergency Rations
- Compass (GPS Not Allowed)
- Sleeping Bag
- Footwear With Adequate Grip For Fell Conditions
- Space Blanket or large heavy gauge polythene bag
- First-Aid, a minimum of a crepe bandage and small wound dressings.
- Pen Or Pencil
- Tent With Sewn-In Groundsheet
- Cooking Stove with enough fuel at the end of day 2 to make a hot drink
OMM have also started producing their own branded outdoor clothing and equipment. Items required on the event, such as waterproof jackets and trousers, backpacks and sleeping bags, have been produced, specially adapted for the event. The Kamleika (from the Aleutian word for a long robe) range of jackets, smocks and trousers have become famous amongst mountain marathon runners and hikers alike. They are unique in that they are specially developed to be stretchy and produce minimal noise when running. OMM are currently planning a larger range of clothing and equipment, also specially created for mountain marathons.
1976 Swiss Orienteer Dieter Wolf brought the Karrimor Internationl Mountain Marathon idea from England to Switzerland: 47 teams were at the start of the first Swiss Karrimor 2-day Mountain Marathon in Muothatal in 1976. Over the years several thousand lovers of the mountains, nature, orienteering and adventure sports from more than twenty countries have been able to participate in many different regions of the Swiss Alps.
After some structural and personal changes at Karrimor ltd. in England and Salewa Sport ltd. in Switzerland a new partner had to be found for the event in 1997 so as to achieve a balanced account. Arova-Mammut, a Swiss firm manufacturing mountain sport equipment, stepped in spontaneously, so that the event had to be changed only little; under a new name its organisation would be secure for the next few years. The long cooperation with Arova-Mammut ltd. came to an end in 2002.
This Mountain Marathon is unique in Switzerland.