Storm in a tea cup?
As the UK media got into a frenzy proclaiming that there were thousands of mad fell runners unaccounted for in the Lakes this weekend, many of those taking part were simply disappointed that they were not able to complete the OMM 2008.
When Race Director Mike Parsons was asked by the BBC, “You mean there was no emergency here?” Mike’s calmly answered , “No, not really.” – after all Mike will have seen some pretty hairy fell conditions in his time. For sure the conditions looked very harsh up there this weekend, however the reports to read are from Rob Howard over at Sleepmonsters who candidly and factually observes the events as they unfold, and at no point do I detect the kind of sensationalism that was rattling around some of the UK’s news desks.
As any experienced mountain runner will tell you preparation and respect for the hills are what’s required, and it seems to me that this is exactly what took place. With no loss of life one can only praise the organisation for also ensuring that that every competitor was prepared, and that the rescue back-up was there when needed – whether or not it was the right decision to start the race on Saturday is another question.
They say that there is no such thing as bad publicity, only publicity, and who would have thought that the Original Mountain Marathon would make headline news across the media this weekend? Thankfully all competitors seem to have survived to tell the tale of how “I was there”. Better still the cotton wool UK media has provided the armchair athletes up and down the country with a vision of how exciting, and sometimes dangerous, mountain running can be.