The OMM race is also known as the Original Mountain Marathon. The 2011 OMM race will be the 43rd event and is scheduled to take place in Central Scotland in the last weekend in October.
The OMM race is for teams of two (Men, Women or Mixed Teams) and will provide a challenge for everyone who takes part. It is still considered the largest and most prestigious mountain marathon event on the adventure racing calendar.
According to the organizers, the OMM race tests teamwork, self-reliance, endurance, outdoor and navigational skills, and is therefore not suitable for novices to British mountains. The entry form requires you to demonstrate that both team members have mountain experience, and recommends that you choose a course that reflects your skills and fitness. There are plenty of options to choose from, including:
Elite (E): 80km, approximately 12hrs. The Elite Course is designed for the most competent and experienced competitors – only those with proven ability can be accepted for this class.
A class: 65km, approximately 11hrs. The A Course is also extremely demanding, and will cover the same hazardous terrain as the Elite, but with a reduced distance and less climbing. It is for experienced mountain marathon competitors.
B class: 55km, approximately 10hrs. The B Course is a little less demanding, but is nonetheless for those with previous mountain marathon experience.
C class: 45km, approximately 9hrs. The C Course was introduced in 2009 and is intended as a transition between linear courses and Score courses. At certain points on the course teams will have to select which controls they visit.
D class: 40km, approximately 8hrs: The D Course is a great way to get to know what these races are like, and are suitable if you have good hill walking experience but limited Mountain Marathon experience.
There are also three score courses of different lengths:
Long Score (LS) 7 + 6hrs (day 1 / 2)
Medium Score (MS) 6 + 5hrs
Short Score (SS) 5 + 4hrs
Whichever class you enter, you will find the same mix of demanding wilderness terrain, extensive climbing, and navigational challenges. Training and preparing for these races therefore includes not simply fitness, but also experience moving over rough, hilly ground, plus a high level of skill in navigating across open country.