OMM 2017 – 28th & 29th October 2017

This year’s two day Original Mountain Marathon (OMM), formally the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon (KIMM), was the 50th running of the event and the organisers arranged a top quality venue in the central Lake District. The event centre was in Langdale and the competition area included High Raise, Haystacks, Scafell and Coniston Old Man.

DFOK only had one team entered this year, formed of Neil Speers and Andrew Pitcher who were doing their 30th KIMM/OMM together. Unfortunately the promising start turned to disaster.

The weather on the Saturday was poor (but ideal for orienteers) with light rain, strong winds and generally visibility less than 100m.  This made navigation very tricky and on a few controls the area had to be circulated to find the control site. The course went south from Langdale and crossed the Wrynose Pass before climbing Great Carrs. Andrew and Neil were aiming for 290 points for the day which would have put them 8th overnight. The next control was at the foot of a crag on the steep slope of Great Carrs and with no attack point, no visibility and potentially dangerous conditions, they couldn’t find the control and elected to move on without it. A few kilometres later having picked up the next control on a stream they were climbing along the side of Grey Friar when Neil slipped. His feet went from under him and he reached up to grab a rock but continued to slide and twist onto his back. In doing this something had to give and unfortunately for Neil it was his shoulder. It was instantly obvious they couldn’t continue competitively and having reviewed their location decided the best place to seek help was the overnight campsite which was just over 3km away. The conditions underfoot were poor with the odd bog, boulder fields and tussocks making the slow plod out more challenging and leading to further falls and the odd expletive, before reaching safety.

The paramedics at the overnight campsite assessed Neil’s shoulder and as expected diagnosed a dislocation. Unfortunately due to the nature of the dislocation they couldn’t put it back in on site and so Neil was transferred to Barrow Hospital where at the second attempt the doctors put it back in place.

Neil’s shoulder is starting is feel a little better and more mobile, but it will be a while before he is running properly again but at least that gives him twelve months to prepare for next year’s OMM.