Ben Nevis 2012

The weather forecast for Saturday’s Ben Nevis race was not too encouraging. It was good that it wasn’t raining at the start, however we gradually climbed into the cloud and rain and although the wind was probably not quite 80 miles per hour at the top, it was still rather unpleasant with freezing horizontal rain and about 10-20 meters visibility. Starting down you had to try and keep a few people in sight to get the line (or any line, just down, no choices) and take care on the slippery wet rock. The need for caution was brought home more thoroughly when the Mountain Rescue yelling at all to slow down and go to the left to avoid kicking rocks onto a poor soul they’d got on a stretcher. The route down the green grassy bank was marked by flags this year (to reduce erosion) and was incredibly muddy and slippery – I went down on a lot of it on my bottom (resulting in the need for 2 showers to get clean after). Stuart pointed out that there must be a better route as not many Lochaber runners were seen on this bit. The usual shortcuts between loops on the path were mudbaths too by the time I got there, then there was just the road and the field until the finish – where it started to rain even more heavily. We retreated rapidly to the marquee for hot tea and cakes. Fantastic runs were put in by Nevis “Newbies” Rob Brookes (1.49.29) and Stuart Smith (1.54.14) with Jason Williamson (1.58.37) achieving his umpteenth sub 2 hour Nevis. I think the rest of us were just glad to survive and finish relatively unscathed – Sean O’Sullivan (2.22.36), more newbies John Colegrave (2.30.50) and Liz Delaney (2.31.19 – who did fear for her appearance at the forthcoming nuptials after one tumble, thankfully her teeth are OK), Anita Hamilton (2.35.20), Elaine Stewart (2.44.10), all except Gillian Clunas (2.47.27) who (apparently) really enjoyed her run! Also should mention Neil Easton (1.57.40. running for Stonehaven runners) and Sarah Mackenzie (2.18.39, running for Lochaber in a Lochaber vest with a Cosmic Buff).

If anyone is keen to enter next year the forms usually appear on the web site http://www.bennevisrace.co.uk/ at the end of January and you must print it and send it off with your cheque (none of this electronic stuff) THE DAY it appears in order to get in.