Mountain marathon is an extended form of fell running, usually over two days and often with a strong orienteering element. Competitors usually participate in teams of two, and have to carry their own food and tent. There are various classes of event (such as, for the Original Mountain Marathon - Elite, A, B, C, D and Long, Medium and Short Score).
The major events are listed below:
- Marmot Dark Mountain s - held on the last weekend of January each year.
- The Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon (LAMM) - held in the Scottish Highlands in June.
- The Saunders Lakeland Mountain Marathon (SLMM) - held in or near the Lake District in early July.
- The Mourne Mountain Marathon held in Mourne Mountains, County Down, Northern Ireland in September.
- The ROC Mountain Marathon - held on the last weekend of September each year
- The Original Mountain Marathon (OMM - Formerly the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon/KIMM) - held in a UK hill or mountain area in the last weekend in October. In 2014 it will be held in the North East of England. For anyone wanting to learn the techniques of competing in these events there is a training event on 6 and 7 September 2014. Go to www.theomm.com for more details.
- The Swiss International Mountain Marathon (since 1976: Formerly Karrimor International Mountain Marathon / KIMM Switzerland / Mammut International Mountain Marathon / MIMM Switzerland / R'adys Mountain Marathon) - held in Switzerland in mid August. In autumn 2013 the event has changed its name again ...
There are also newer events springing up and attracting increasing numbers, including the Highlander Mountain Marathon which began in 2007 and is held in April at a Scottish location 'within a 2 hour drive of Inverness'.
The start arrangements on the two days are usually different (and are designed to encourage navigational independence). For example, on day 1 of the SLMM a staggered start is used, with teams being sent off at 1 or 2 minute intervals, and not getting their way-cards until they are 'on the clock'. On Day 2 the overnight leaders are often sent off half an hour before the others (a 'chasing start') and a mass start, for those more than half an hour behind overnight, then follows.
The races have provided the stimulus for various items of specialist lightweight equipment, for instance lightweight tents and multipouched running rucksacks (the 'OMM Classic Marathon 25 or 32 Sac').
- PlanetFear website, review of equipment
- Competitor's website
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