The OEM is an amazing creature devouring much of my time, but it is also bringing me great satisfaction when I get excited about all the new possibilities, see things falling into place and I get to meet such great people, forming relationships that wouldn’t have happened without this role. Thanks to you all.
Here’s a round-up on what’s been happening over the last few months and what’s planned.
We opened entries for this year on 1st August 2018 and now we’re almost at that time of year again. A year ago we were still undecided as to whether the OEM would follow the original biennial pattern but it soon became obvious that it must become an annual event.
TrackersUsing trackers for the marathon was going to be a first for 2019. In May, Keith MacIntosh went out to the Khumbu and did some fast journeys over high cols, talked to lots of people on the way and ran the marathon route. He had two types of tracker with him to test on the marathon route – one didn’t work at all and the other worked for part of the route. It’s a real shame not to be able to use them but the other way of looking at it is that it’s good to be reminded that we’re in the high mountains and we should neither expect or want things to be as they are at home.
Lukla flights updateIn April we heard that Kathmandu Airport was going to stop flights to Lukla as a result of an excess of air traffic using the one runway and the need to carry out maintenance work. At the time I was delighted it wasn’t going to affect us in November! Now we know that the maintenance is going to last all year, so we are now going to be flying from Ramechhap to Lukla. This is a shorter flight and a longer road journey. It means we don’t need to do the early morning chaos of the Kathmandu airport and we’ll get to see far more of this part of Nepal.
The OEM Practice weekendGiggleswick School was a fabulous location –the pretty Dales village with rose-covered cottages and stream running through with easy access onto the fells. The bluebells were very blue and the sun was with us for most of the time. The food that the school dished up was amazing – masses of it and very good.
The two days were spent practicing techniques for uphill, downhill and using poles and Marcus Scotney provided input on the runners mind-set and goal setting. Time out on the fells involved some navigation practice and for the majority there was a good long run, followed by a swim for the brave. The theme for the weekend was sharing best practice and getting to know each other – particularly reassuring for people who are going out to run on their own and wondering what the others will be like. Turns out they’re a really great bunch!
It wasn’t all dashing about – on Saturday evening we sat back to watch Chris Brown’s slides of running the Everest Marathon 30 years ago. His message was clear, ‘Forget your lightweight running gear, it’s cold up there.’ Everyone was charmed and inspired by Chris, who is coming to run again this year.
“A massive thank you for organising such an informative, fun, great value weekend. The food was superb and plentiful as promised. The training was very well delivered by all involved and the session on kit options was really useful. It was really good to meet our fellow runners, marshals and Doctor Hilary, as well as getting to know Ali better too. Because of all this, we’re looking forward to the event even more now than before” Lynda Broadway
Coaching Event 2020Now that we know what sort of input you want, the event for next year will have more time for coaching in the all the different aspects of running to prepare for the OEM. I’ve booked accommodation in Glenridding, on Ullswater, for 3 nights, 7th – 9th May 2020, (Friday 7th is a Bank Holiday). Information about the event will be sent out in the New Year and for now, you can count on good company, good running in the fells around Helvellyn, good food and high quality coaching.
On 10th July, Keith held a presentation, ‘Running on the Roof of the World’, at the Patagonia store in Chamonix. Andy Parkin, a mountaineer and artist, who lives in Chamonix came along and contributed from his role as a trustee of Community Action Nepal. It was a great success with people getting inspired, connections being made and Patagonia and Ravanel donating prizes for the evening. Something to look out for next summer, if you happen to be in Chamonix.