The Original Mountain Marathon started in 1968 and was created by two guys in a pub who wanted bragging rights over who was the most capable in the UK mountains.
Nearly 50 years later "The OMM" is the pinnacle of UK mountain trials. Next weekend 2000 hardy runners will disappear into the Lake District mountains for two days. The teams of two will carry a tent, sleeping bag and everything they need for two days all in search of checkpoints spread across 100 square miles of the Lake District.
The competitors are a special breed who relish the enjoyable suffering of clambering through bogs, river and anything the UK weather can throw at them. Wendy Dodds will be completing her 47th edition of the race this year. Two hundred under-21s will start their first event, some running with a parent, while brave competitors running with their partners will be heard arguing their way around the course.
In the elite Class the 50-year old rivalry between Scandinavian orienteers and British fell runners continues after Shane Ohly and Duncan Archer beat Bjorn Rydvall and Sebastian Ljungdahl in the 2016 race in Galloway. With many of the previous eite class winners returning for the 50th title it will be an interesting race.
OMM says: "The OMM is an excuse for a load of like-minded people who love the mountains to get together. It's a special event, the sight of 1000 tiny tents at the halfway camp surrounded by competitors sharing stories in the pouring rain. It's some serious type-two fun."
The OMM promotes self-reliance and taking responsibility for your actions, so no GPS, no phones - just you, a map and your team-mate trying to figure out a route across the mountains.
To commemorate the 50th Anniversary the team behind the OMM have invited everyone who has been involved over the years to the event. Given the events pedigree this includes most of the great running legends, product creators & influential people that have made the UK outdoors what it is today.
The 50th edition of the Original Mountain Marathon will be held in Great Langdale on October 28-29.