13th June 2012
Carnethy success at Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon - Sat/Sun 9th/10th June

Ben Cruachan was the scene of the 2012 Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon last weekend. It was a lovely hot sunny day for the Saturday, with cloud on the tops for the Sunday. Club Captains' Andy Fallas and Helen Bonsor definitely led from the front as they won the A class outright - a superb performance on a very tough course. Mick James won the D class with a 15 year old son of a friend, who must have dragged Mick round! Ana Perez and Kathy Jervis were 1st women in the D class. Jasmin Paris, running with her brother came very close to winning the B, only losing after a navigational error (not the first to lose like this!). Another Carnethy pair, John Mitchell and Angus Davidson were 3rd in the Score overnight, but had a bit of a disastrous 2nd day! Spanish members, Ana Perez and Ramon Garcia got married on the Friday morning in Spain - Congratuations to you both! - then flew to Scotland and spent their honeymoon running with different partners in the LAMM (Ana with Kathy as mentioned above, won the female D, Ramon ran the B with a Spanish friend).
Results and details
A control on the Score class The impressive Cruachan Dam where the C and D Classes started (at a height of 400m above sea level) Kathy Jervis and newly married Ana Perez mark their map in the D class The remote mid camp in Glen Kinglass
I was running with my brother Vaclav (who arrived from Philadelphia at around the time the location was announced on Thursday) in the B class. Given Vaclav’s complete lack of fell racing experience, the plan was to have a pleasant, non-competitive weekend on the hills. True to plan, Saturday was exactly that; a morning bagpipe roll-call followed by sunshine, a cracking day’s running, and a Munro (Stob Coir an Albannaich) into the bargain. To our surprise, we finished Day 1 in 4th place, just 6 minutes behind the leading team. The following morning was absolutely still, and the racing atmosphere of the 6am chasing starts was somewhat obscured by the intense desire to run – direction not important – in order to escape the clouds of biting midges. A lucky route choice up the first 500m climb of the day brought us to checkpoint 1 just ahead of the overnight leaders and we pushed on with heightened morale. Full of running, I navigated us through the next checkpoints with surprising success, and we reached the halfway checkpoint (4) in good spirits. From there it was just an easy descent into the col before contouring the mountain….
If only it had been the right col…. 40 minutes later we were again level with checkpoint 4, and clearly providing an unexpected and welcome sight for the chasing teams B11 and B12! Still, it was fun trying to catch up the teams in front, and we finished in 5th place overall. Thanks to Andy Spenceley and Angela Mudge for their organisation, and well done to all Carnethies that took part, particularly Helen Bonsor and Andy Fallas for their first place in the A class.

Jasmin Paris
Also Alec Erskine was running in the C-Class with Ian Hamilton of Cosmics.  A good first day left them in 5th (partly due to an extremely sneaky traverse across the steep face of Ben Eunaich) but fatigue kicked in on the second day and they lost 3 places to end up in 8th (4th veterans).  Possibly doing all the training on the previous Wednesday and Thursday (munro-bashing in Torridon) might have been ill-advised.
 It was a good weekend but the midges were excruciating!


LAMM 2012 - A Class
Andy and Helen

The A Class of the LAMM  took us on a tour of stunning and rugged terrain surrounding Loch Etive and the Munros to the east.  Saturday started with a bus to Taynuilt, a boat across the loch and another bus 3km up the road to the start on the remote western side of Loch Etive.  The first half of day 1 involved running over some energy sapping boggy and tussocky ground which made up for the lack of big climbs along this part of the route.  We found a good rhythm as we approached the head of loch Etive and felt stronger as the day progressed.  We were able to set a good pace climbing from near sea level in Glen Etive to the top of Beinn nan Aighenan, then down to the mid camp in Glen Kinglass.  We were amazed to find ourselves in first place with a gap of 16minutes to the next team.

Day 1 route and profile:

The clouds of midges at 6am on the Sunday ensured a speedy start and we quickly found our rhythm climbing and contouring to the first few checkpoints.  Following the clear skies of Saturday, we were mostly running in cloud above 500m for much of the second day.  The route took us over the top of Ben Eunaich and then along a long steep contour in the mist to the southeast of Beinn a Chochuill.  After a bit of difficulty finding CP4 in a re-entrant we had a steep 450m climb with some scrambling up to a top on the ridge between Ben Cruachan and Stob Diamh. A run along the ridge followed and a few breaks in the cloud gave us a glimpse of the spectacular rocky terrain around Ben Cruachan.  Not wishing to spare a few minutes to bag another munro, we passed 30m below the summit of Stob Diamh before a long descent towards the last few checkpoints. We reached the finish with great relief and a feeling of satisfaction having completed a brilliant course and maintaining our lead. Many thanks to Andy S, Angela and all others involved in organising and planning the event.    

Day 2 route and profile:

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