Ben Nevis Race 10 Miles
This year was notable as it was Mark Newell's 21st Ben Nevis race, which meant he would receive a Connochie plaque at the prize presentation in the evening. This is a major achievement as less than 100 people have achieved the feat in the 44 years since the awards inception, just staying fit every year is an achievement in itself. As well as Mark, Clem Dixon, Peter Hadley, Steve Brown and Ian Marshall toed the start line. A support team of runners and wives also made the trip.
The weather as in the past few years was cloudy with clag covering the mountain but it was dry. The Ben Nevis race is a straight up down race of approx. 10 miles. The persistent rumours over the past few years regarding a route change on the descent actually happened this year, due to erosion on the "Grassy Bank" a thigh burning steep drop on grass and assorted hidden rocks we were directed to go down the way we came up, a relief for many people!
Finlay Wild won again for the seventh consecutive year - a record, to see him descend down the mountain over rocks at such speed is quite unbelievable, he had finished by the time I got to the summit!
The rest of us slogged up the "pony path" which is really what is left of a stepped path from the early 1900s. At halfway, cross the Red Burn stream and then immediately turn left straight up the mountain which is rocky and steep avoiding walkers and descending runners until reaching the moonscape of the summit plateau, hand over your tag (to prove you made it to the top) to a marshal and then begin the 5 mile descent over a real mix of terrain mainly rock and culminating in a final mile on the road to the finish field. Unfortunately Steve took a tumble on the descent but he finished ok.
Clem 2:27:39 Ian 3:01:43 Steve 3:10:50 Mark 3:25:41 Peter 3:29:13