Father and son conquer one of UK's toughest challenges

James Sutterby and his dad John, at the finish line of the Original Mountain Marathon.
James Sutterby and his dad John, at the finish line of the Original Mountain Marathon.

A father and son team cracked an outdoor challenge that is considered to be one of the toughest in the UK.

And at the age of only 14, James Sutterby was one of the youngest competitors in the event known as the Original Mountain Marathon.

James and his dad, John, formed a generation team for the challenge which took place in Wensleydale and brings together fell runners and mountain bikers in a gruelling two day mountain orienteering event.

Now in its 50th year, the OMM has seen over 100,000 competitors and is considered to be an icon in the outdoor and running commmunity due to how difficult and challenging it is.

As this was James’ first attempt he had no idea how he would manage the challenge of combining fell running, orienteering, hill walking and trail running.

And as the ethos of OMM is self reliance and endurance with competitors left to make their own decisions at the mercy of the elements, he could not be blamed for feeling apprehensive.

But James had no need to worry as he ran a total of 44km over the weekend, an incredible achievement as this is further than a marathon.

But this challenge involved many long and steep climbs on the peaks around Hawes.

A five hour run on the Saturday was followed by a four hour one on the Sunday.

Along with the runs, James and his dad also had to navigate and locate as many control points as possible to build up their team points.

And they had to carry everything they needed, including overnight camping equipment.

James is now the toast of his school, Oakhill in Whalley, where he has just started the new term as a year 10 student.