The race is instilled in the UK outdoors community and it’s likely you’ll know someone who has completed an OMM or KIMM, as it was known previously, at some point.
For those who don’t know, “the OMM” is a two day race through the UK mountains. Competitors try to find the best possible route to an overnight wild camp whilst carrying a tent, sleeping kit and everything they need for 2 days of running. Held at the end of October to guarantee bad weather the OMM has a well-earned reputation.
For those who make the yearly pilgrimage, the enjoyable suffering of wading through bogs & heather in search of illusive checkpoints is un-missable.
This October the OMM celebrates it’s 50th Anniversary, an impressive milestone for any event. But with this years race full at 2000 competitors and a waiting list of 300 it’s good to see the OMM’s appeal continues across generations; “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 + 4500m ascent in a blistering 10 hours over the 2 days. Returning champions Shane Ohly & Duncan Archer are keen to claim the 50th Race title but with competitors coming from as far a field as Australia & Japan it will be a closely fought race.
“The 50th Anniversary is about celebrating the competitors & 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. This year we’re pleased to be holding the event at the head of the Langdale Valley in the Lake District and stretching 400km2 into the central Lakes.
OMM said “We’d like to thank the Lake District National Park, National Trust & 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 around £200,000 for the local economy this approach has added to the longevity and popularity of the race.”
You can watch the coverage of the 50th Anniversary of the OMM through their website and social media channels on the 28-29 October.