OMM location revealed

Epic coastal views, virtually no paths, visibility…three metres. It’s the 52nd OMM.

Stunning vistas of the great Lochs and the inspiring Arran peaks behind while you slog up pathless, boggy, heather clad coastal hills. All of which you can imagine (as you probably won’t be able to see them) while you’re fighting through the clag on your way to the overnight camp.

That’s right for the 52nd OMM we’re all off to Largs and the Clyde MuirShiel Regional Park.

There are 400 square km of remote glens featuring countless raging waterfalls and stunningly wild heather moors which you’ll look at on the map and utter the immortal words “it doesn’t look that bad, we can get through there.” We will see!

What is the OMM?

With decision making and fitness at its core, the OMM pitches teams of two against the elements to search for checkpoints spread across the 400 square km course area. Route choice is key and checkpoints will drag tired feet well off the paths to face decisions of whether to straight line and cross bog and bracken filled glen or add distance to skirt around the summits. Young legs against experienced heads suddenly become a fair fight.

Another decision for the teams will be what kit to carry. Go lighter and faster is a good idea but go too far and you risk freezing joints overnight and not being able to run. For two days teams are on their own and with the event intentionally held at the end of October “to guarantee bad weather” the event is not for the inexperienced.

Considered a right of passage by those who love the UK mountains

The course planner’s advice is, “Practice your Nav, you’re going to need it. Stay flexible too as speed across the ground will be massively impacted by vegetation and boggy ground. This is real wild running and route choice should show off competitors’ individual running strengths (and weaknesses he muttered under his breath).”

As always they’ve booked the traditional OMM weather; 50mph winds and driving rain on the Saturday clearing up on Sunday for those who find the overnight camp.

Stuart Hamilton (OMM Event Director) said; “We all wish we could compete as well in such a stunning location and look forward to welcoming everyone to the event centre at Kelburn Castle. I’m really grateful to Clyde MuirShiel Regional Park for enabling us to hold our event on such perfect terrain.”

Championing responsible use of our mountains for 52 years

The fundamentals of the event haven’t changed over the 52 years – a wild test of navigation, kit selection & mountain skills within the safety net of an event. In a world of thrill seeking and instant gratification, the OMM bucks the trend in saying that all mountain users should invest in their knowledge to be a responsible member of the mountain and hill going community. As with anyone entering the UK mountains, they need to understand the condition and terrain they’re heading into and how to behave in it.

In the coming weeks there will be updates and all the information you will need ahead of the event. All of the information is available here.

Next month their ecologist will be surveying this year’s event area to ensure we all cause no lasting damage to the area. You can read the previous pre and post ecological assessments from past events here.

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