Friday, January 15, 2010

Highlight of 2009 Part 2 - The Ben Nevis Race

The other fantastic race I did this year was the Ben Nevis Race. For anyone that doesn't know what this is the race is a pretty simple idea. Start at the football pitch at pretty much sea level, run around it, run a mile along the road to the base of the mountain, run up to the summit at 1344m and reverse the process.

September the 9th was a day of rain. It rained and rained and rained. As we stood like cattle waiting for the go ahead we were told that it at the summit cairn conditions included 50ft visibilty and wind chill of -3 degress C with heavy rain and gusting wind to 40mph - nice! After several weeks of heavy rain the underfoot conditions were going to be pretty testing for the 475 runners.

This is what wrote on my clubs forum:

Yesterday was both truly miserable and absolutely fantastic! I have to admit to being more than a little nervous at the start, and my pre-race worry (some may say faff) about correct layers very nearly reached fever pitch. As it turned out my layers were just about ok (vest under montane waterproof jacket, 3/4 length running tights, innovate trails - must invest in some mudclaws as every other bugger had a pair on and I now know why), but I do recall several BRRRRRRs bursting forth from my lips during the last 20mins before the summit. how some people (usually men) can go the whole way up and down in a racing vest and shorts in weather like that will forever be an enigma to me!

Looking out before the start thinking: 'what will I wear?'

Forcing myself out to warm up before the start (I'm in red)

The cattle like start as they warned us of the conditions

Crossing the Red Burn (Thanks Silke)

Feeling knackered trying to ‘sprint’ on the slippy mud, but elated to be finished.

Highlights of the day:

· Finishing in under 2h30 (2h26mins49secs) with all limbs attached.
Looking upwards on the way up and seeing runners snaking up the Ben.

· The caring nature of most runners - even stopping to check I was ok when I screamed like heck when I tripped on a rock - that was a definite heart stopper!

· Being able to watch the first guys leaping down from boulder to boulder on their way down.

· The support from people on the hill and along the road.

· Being part of a race with International sponsored athletes in it!

· Low Points although to be honest it all added to the overall experience:
Getting more than a little frightened as I scrambled up the scree slope and realised that, yes indeed we did have to return that route as the first guys leaped like gazelles downwards.

· Sliding on to, not only my butt but my full back so that I was Luge stye coming down the grassy bank - quite funny until I realised that I wasn't going to stop very easily and before laughter turned into complete hysteria managed some how to get back to my feet.

· Jumping down a bank and landing in a muddy puddle that splashed up over my head - still getting granite out of my hair now!!!! (well I was the next day)


I was over the moon with my placement: 20th lady, but 14th British Lady which I totally can't believe - definitely need to work on my descents as that is without doubt the part I find the trickiest.

This will definitely be on my repeat list.

1 comment:

  1. this looks so cool! :) I want to answer your questions about nursing/running but it would be easier to email. Mine is - send me an email if you get a chance and I'll write to you! Natalie(Lil Runner)