27 October 2008


The most controversial race in recent history, or just the most misreported?

There has been much lively debate on forums (FRA, Sleepmonsters and OMM). Most of these comments have been written by people far more knowledgeable and experienced than me. However, the event does raise some important and interesting questions for anyone interest in the fells.

I would never doubt that any competitor taking part in this event or similar expects anyone but themselves to be responsible for their own safety. There is also no doubt that the BBC completely misrepresented the situation and even neglected to get basic facts right.

For me the main concern would be whether resources were diverted from local needs to that of the racers. However, it seems that reading between the lines this did not happen. And no inappropriate calls were made to MRT by the racers themselves.

Most importantly all runners were accounted for. I love being in the mountains and get a real sense of satisfaction 'competing' in that environment. I just hope that the vacuous and self promoting coverage of this event isn't going to be too damaging for future competitions and the image of fell running in general.


jumbly said...

I was down South in the sunshine visiting friends for the weekend when we saw the news and we all came to the same conclusion. I agree with you the BBC coverage was clearly so out of proportion to what was happening. I'm planning on doing this event next year so I hope there are no repercussions.

kate said...

Richard Askwith has written a really good article in the independent about the event.

i'd like to do the omm too, but don't feel quiet ready for a winter mm just yet. but maybe i just need a better sleeping bag!!!

jumbly said...

I read the Richard Askwith article, I just got his book today too! I was defending the whole thing last night at run club, one of the members was outraged that the event hadn't been cancelled and that mountain rescue were out etc. I pointed out that everyone is equipped with tents, sleeping bags stoves etc and is anticipating spending the night on the hills, that it wasn't like a normal marathon with people dressed as Pudsey Bear out there on the hills. I mentioned some of what was in that article, that none of the competitors thought they were lost etc. She wasn't convinced!

kate said...

pudsey bear lol!
i know what you mean i've been having similar conversations as well. it's not like you can believe the press at the best of times anyway!
RA book is an excellent read by the way.