|Date||Friday 10th June to Sunday 12th June 2011|
|Start Location||Just south of Ullapool|
|Weather||Saturday:Sunny and Blue Skies, Sunday:Sunny and Blue Skies|
|Statistics Day 1||Position: 51/67, Time: 06:51:22|
|Statistics Day 2||Position: 35/65, Time: 05:47:08|
|Overall Statistics||Position: 47/67, Time: 12:38:30|
FridayWith seven mountain marathons ‘under our belts’ in the last two years, we have favoured really well weather-wise with only the odd day less than decent. Probably the worse being day one of the Mourne in 2010 and that was not horrendous. The 2011 LAMM looked just as good with an excellent forecast for the north-west Highlands where the event was taking place this year. As usual, I was running with Scott but this time we were being accompanied up north with Mike, a guy I had met on my Mountain Leader Assessment a couple of years back and his mate Russ. We all met up at my house and set off up to Ullapool mid-afternoon. Unfortunately, a serious car accident on the notorious A9 caused huge delays but we were in no rush so we just took our time and arrived early evening at the event centre just south of Ullapool. We registered and chilled out for an uneventful evening.
SaturdayThe next morning whilst we were getting our kit sorted I pulled my jacket off over my head which in turn also removed the hat I was wearing. Somehow, the elastic cord that secures the hat around your chin stretched and when it was released, the adjustment toggle walloped my in the eye. To say it was painful was an understatement but more concerning was the fact that the vision in my right eye had gone. It was like looking through a steamed up window. Scott thought it was hilarious and took the rip big time but I was less than humoured. Not the start you want before a mountain marathon. (It took a full week before my eyesight returned to normal.) I put on my sunglasses, which alleviated the issue to some extent and then headed for the coach that would be taking us to the start.
This year we were running in Class B so this was a decent ‘step-up’ from Class C the previous year. We arrived at the start, a plantation near Loch Droma. We dibbed in then set off up towards the first checkpoint, a spur located just near the Allt Leacachain. We ‘ran-walked’ up to the checkpoint without any issues, dibbed then set off to checkpoint two’ located on the summit of Beinn Dearg. We discussed route options. We could head up towards the path that runs from Lochdrum towards the Corbett, Beinn Enaiglair then head up over the top, Iorguill and up the north-west ridge to the summit. The other option was to take a direct line to the summit by dropping 150 metres into Mucranaich then follow Allt Beinn Dearg into the Coire Beinn Dearg and then up to the summit. We took the second option, although this would mean some additional height loss and gain but it did look the quickest option. We dropped down to Mucranaich and with blue skies and the sun out, Beinn Dearg looked amazing.
It was a fair old slog to the summit but the views from the top were amazing. The formidable An Teallach to the west, Suilven and Stac Polliadh to the north-west. Amazing! My eye was giving my no end of grief and trying to focus on the map was giving me a headache so Scott took control of route planning and navigation. The third checkpoint was located on a stream-bend on the Allt a’ Chuaille and Scott suggested staying high and rather than dropping down to Loch Tuath where there was potential for slow progress on boggy ground. We would then skirt around Coire Loch Tuath and then head around the top, Cnap Coire Loch Tuath and then down the east shoulder to the checkpoint.