For the first time in years the weather was warm sunny and clear, wonderful views of the surrounding mountains. This year only 3 made it passed the new online entry procedure; Tarbo Fukuzawa, Ian Marshall and Alan Black. Tarbo & Alan running their first Ben.
By the way that is Tarbo’s bum bag giving the slight bulge! The walk to registration in the morning showed some first time nerves but it was a lovely day what was there to worry about! Before the race started at 1pm the 502 runners were walked around the stadium led by the local pipe band, there followed a random kit check before we were allowed into the start pen. Once away the traditional scramble along the mile of road with people chattering away, this soon dies down as we start the mountain path. Lots of support up the hill until we turned off directly across the mountain to the Red Burn halfway point. Most runners then decide to turn left and go straight up the mountain but I and few others stayed on the path which is longer but easier going and in some parts runnable, some think that it is a tad quicker.
Tarbo did get jelly legs at the bottom but we all finished without incident. The amazing Finlay Wild won the race for the 8th successive year but still hasn’t broken Kenny Stuart’s record of 1hr 25mins set in 1985, an incredible time to climb 4400’ and return. Diane Wilson, Dromore AC was first lady in 2:01:21.
Here is a Facebook link to a short video of this year’s race. Starting by initially showing Finlay Wild, the winner (yet again) on the climb from the path directly across the mountain to the halfway point, the Red Burn stream.