Thursday, 15 September 2011

Ben Nevis Race 2011

Ben Nevis race weekend has become an annual fixture in both our calendars it seems and something I really look forward to, as much for the weekend spent in the Fort William as the race itself. It was quite a contrast sat eating a sandwich in the warm sunshine outside Stansted to arriving in Fort William Friday teatime in the pouring rain.

I think locally this weather would be known as 'Dreich'

The weather wasn't that much better Saturday morning as we milled around the shops passing the time before the race, Mark looking at 200 quid jackets while I was looking at getting 5 presents for my family for under a tenner.

Mark waiting for the place to open (or stealing their Wi-Fi, I wonder which he will admit to).

It was nice to catch up with a few familiar faces at registration then it was time to line up behind the pipers for the start. I wore my windproof top in the hope that it wouldn't rain too much during the race and as Mark has already mentioned I had bought a new pair of Mudclaw 333s; the older 330s have always been perfect for me but I couldn't get hold of any so had to shell out for some 333s in the hope that they would perform similarly.

On the way back down the lower slopes. Thanks to Richard Cowan for the photo.

I was feeling quite good this year and was hoping to maybe set a PB but the conditions put paid to that. I made it to the top at least 5 minutes quicker but on turning I had to take my glasses off with the weather being so showery, I can usually get away with a cap and maybe my hooded top but not today my glasses were getting wet and it was getting a bit dangerous trying to see the rocks. I really should try some of those disposable contact lenses that various people have been recommending.

As it was I didn't lose too much time on the way back down though I made the mistake for the second year running of going straight through the bracken near the bottom of the path rather than cutting left just after the metal bridge, there were a few runners I ended up passing twice due to this! At the finish my time almost matched last years, I think I was about 10 or 20 seconds slower finishing in just over 2h20m. I couldn't fault the 333s either, let's just see how long they last.
Ian, Mark and myself having a brew at the finish. I must have blinked!
We had a great weekend, not only doing the race itself; the longest climb in the country followed by the longest descent; but the stay in Fort William as well. Thanks to all involved with putting the event on... oh and those back home who put up with my training! I'm already looking forward to next year.


  1. Sounds like it was worth the trip - enjoyed the post! The wife gets on very well with disposable contact lenses if you need any further recommendation...