Great Langdale, venue for the mountain marathon. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Great Langdale, venue for the mountain marathon. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The 50th running of the Original Mountain Marathon will take place in Langdale in the Lake District.

Organisers revealed the venue for the event, which celebrates its half century this year.

The two-day race, which started life as the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon, sees competitors battle for titles as they navigate the upland terrain to find checkpoints. Runners have to camp overnight and carry all they need, including tent, sleeping kit and two days’ running equipment and clothing.

The event is always held at the end of October with the promise of bad weather. In 2008 the marathon had to be abandoned after torrential rain lashed the Lake District fells and the event base in Borrowdale was flooded.

Organisers said: “For those who make the yearly pilgrimage, the enjoyable suffering of wading through bogs and heather in search of elusive checkpoints is unmissable.”

This year’s race is already oversubscribed with a waiting list of 300 and 2,000 competitors scheduled to start.

The OMM team said: “OMM is a community of people passionate about being in the mountains. The race is passed down through generations and it’s great to see so many mixed family teams running together for the 50th.”

At the top of the field is an elite class. The leaders will complete the course of 120km (75 miles) and 4,500m (14,765ft) of ascent in a blistering 10 hours over the two days.

Organisers said: “The 50th Anniversary is about celebrating the competitors and volunteers from over the years, all of whom have made the race the success that it is today.

“We wanted to hold the event in a special location that would have meaning for everyone. There have been so many iconic OMM race locations over the years: the first in Muker back in 1968, the ‘Howling Howgills’ or the infamous 2008 event in Borrowdale. It was really tough to decide where it should be.

“After much discussion we chose the Lake District. Firstly, because the race hadn’t been there for 10 years, secondly because it provides us with excellent courses to navigate and thirdly because Gerry Charnley, who started the race, has a memorial below Esk Pike, which felt very appropriate.

Competitors in last year's OMM

Competitors in last year's OMM

“This year we’re pleased to be holding the event at the head of the Langdale valley in the Lake District and stretching 400 sq km into the central Lakes.

“We’d like to thank the Lake District national park, National Trust and all the land owners involved for their overwhelming support of the event.

“We’re pleased to always be welcomed by the national parks. This is partly due to the extensive work our ecologist does to ensure the OMM is the gold standard in operating ecologically responsible events in our wild spaces.

“The OMM is a not-for-profit event and prides itself on being the example of how events should be run in the outdoors. With each OMM event bringing in about £200,000 for the local economy this approach has added to the longevity and popularity of the race.”

The 50th OMM will take place on 28-29 October.

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