Storm in a tea cup?

Posted in The Sweat by Matt Ward on Sun 26 Oct '08


Now that's what I call off road running

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.


Organisers stay calm under fire

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.


One of these is handy...

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.

Reactions so far
  1. Matt Beardshall Oct 27, 05:19 AM

    I agree wholeheartedly with your article. The media, as usual, sensationalised what happened without ever understanding the event or its competitors. Not only were all those taking part prepared for bad conditions, but many expected them. And that is part of the challenge for which many people signed up. Long may the OMM continue, and long may it be a true test of mountain running endurance, in all conditions.

  2. Craig Wilson Oct 29, 10:29 AM

    Let’s just all pray this media-driven paranoia that someone might get hurt while living on planet Earth can be kept out of our sport and won’t jeapordize the willingness of organizers to put on great events like the OMM. The pictures looked awesome and I wished I was there. Participants must have the greatest memories and stories to tell (Hi Matt. This looks like a website up our alley).

  3. MST Oct 30, 01:07 AM

    Funny how it completely disappeared from the news when they realised that all were safe…

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