Runners approach Glenfinnan in the 2008 event. Photo: Felicity Martin

Runners approach Glenfinnan in the 2008 event. Photo: Felicity Martin

Organisers of a tough Highland event are promising surprises for up to 1,000 athletes at a secret location next month.

The Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon will be run for the 20th time this year, at a venue that will only be revealed to participants a day before the event.

The challenge was first run at Arrochar in 1994 and has since gained a reputation as a tough mountain marathon.

Organisers said a runner who had competed in the elite category in each event would by now have traversed 1,260km of unforgiving terrain over the years. The same runner would also have ascended and descended 80,000m of Scottish mountainside.

Outdoor brand Lowe Alpine has supported the marathon since its inception.

A spokesperson for the organisers said: “The location is always kept secret until 24 hours before the event, mainly to ensure teams cannot reconnoitre the area beforehand, but it also ups the tension.

“The event has a reputation for providing novel surprises, such as teams being transported to their start points by historic steam trains or boats.

LAMM competitors must carry their own gear for the midway camp

LAMM competitors must carry their own gear for the midway camp

“It has also generated its share of drama such as the occasion when Phil Ham, then Lowe Alpine sales director, turned up at the midway camp covered in blood having headbutted a rock.”

This year’s event will take place on 7 and 8 June in the Highlands. The only clue to its venue is that it is four hours’ drive from Glasgow and Edinburgh and 1½ hours from Inverness.

Teams run in pairs and carry lightweight camping equipment, clothes and food to sustain themselves for 36 hours. There are six courses ranging from elite to novice depending on ability and fitness.

Organiser Martin Stone said: “As usual, the venue will be a fine and undisclosed location in keeping with 20 years of the LAMM.

“The event offers an unforgettable experience and draws people back year after year – indeed we have at least one competitor who has attended every event.

“This year we’re in a superb location with a beautiful midway camp, so it’ll certainly live up to expectations.”

More details are on the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon website.

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