So, ever the glutton (for punishment, that is!), I decided to reattempt the OMM this year. After all, last year turned out ok; my running partner, Eddie, and I came back with the Military Trophy, so what did we have to lose?! Apart from the trophy, of course. And ourselves. Ok, poor turn of phrase.
In eager anticipation we awaited the announcement of where this year’s event was to be held, only to be socked with the behemoth of uppercuts when the organisers confirmed their absolute lack of humour: Brecon.
So with weather warnings aplenty, we made our way down to the hills made famous for being used to select the Army’s Special Forces. Ok, so we were slightly to the West of the infamous Pen-y-Fan, and I must admit that the terrain this year was more rolling than last year, the contours slightly more forgiving, but this only meant that we were expected to run that much more!
For the uninitiated, the OMM contains several classes. The classic ‘line’ event includes the Elite, A, B, C and D classes, for which runners have to follow a set route of checkpoints, the quickest time winning. The ‘score’ event is different in that the competitors are given a map with various checkpoints on of different values, and they have to choose their own route in order to gather as many points as possible in the time allowed. We were competing for the military trophy in the Long Score event, so we had 7hrs on Day One and 6hrs on Day Two.
Day One was good fun (read: dry!) and we covered approximately 38kms, navigating with good accuracy and not wasting much time. We accumulated 285 pts from 14 checkpoints and reached the overnight campsite in around 33rd place overall, 2nd military team. Day Two was slightly wetter(!) and we went for a more sensible approach, ending up safely inside a reduced time-limit of 5 hours, and dropping slightly to 43rd overall on what ended up a very tight-scoring contest.
I would highly recommend this event as an epic adventure in map-reading and long-distance endurance running, bu certainly not for the faint-hearted! That said, why not have a go at the short score (5 hrs & 4 hrs) or a B or C Class line event…?! I shall see you at the OMM 2014! Maybe… 😉