Ben Nevis race 3rd September 2016

I travelled up with Billy the night before the race and we camped at Glen Nevis which is one of my absolute favourite places. It was quite breezy and there were intermittent showers that continued through the night, keeping me awake at one point. On the morning of the race, after a fry-up to set me up I went to collect my number. The rain was coming down in sheets and the policemen directing the traffic near registration were looking less than enthused to be there. I was trying to imagine what the conditions were going to be like up there in the hills if the rain kept up. Luckily this didn’t happen and the weather front moved on leaving behind thinner cloud so that at the start of the race the sun was trying to break through. I had opted to wear long sleeves as it can be so much colder up there on the Ben, but I was now questioning my decision. Oh well too late now, no time to go back and get changed.

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Described as ‘The most daunting hill race in Scotland, with the roughest toughest descent.’ I felt just as nervous as last year waiting around at the start. Once we had been paraded around the park to the sound of bagpipes and handed in our red running cards there was a loud bang and we were off. This first part of the race was rather hot and I couldn’t wait to gain some height and get into the cooler air. By the time we passed the waterfall at the halfway point I was beginning to flag. Between here and the summit I managed to swallow down 3 gels and had drunk all my 500ml of water with added electrolytes. Thankfully at the top the marshals had water and I was able to get a nice long drink whilst handing in my wristband. Then for the downhill. Just as last year I lost a lot of places on the way back down but told myself to run my own race and not worry what other people were doing. I saw a few people slip and fall and I didnt want to join them. The route avoiding the grassy section suited me quite well although it was running with water from all the rain. Once off the hill and back onto the road I did my best to run the last section, I passed a couple of people here who shouted encouragement and Scott was there taking pictures. I had lifted my top up to get some air around my middle as I was absolutely roasting at this point so I can only apologise to anyone who witnessed that! I did get lots of complements on my socks though. They were compression socks that I bought the morning of the race and I think they really helped to prevent the burning calves I often experience on the uphill, I will be using those again! Later on in the evening Billy and I joined Chris and his entourage for a few drinks back at the campsite which was a lovely way to round off a fanastic day.

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Results:

02:09:54 Stuart Sanderson
02:41:09 Gillian Cairns
02:43:58 Kevin Anderson
02:51:13 Chris Downie
03:05:02 Sadie Kemp

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4 comments on Ben Nevis race 3rd September 2016

  1. Dave says:

    Well done to you all. Conditions ultimately looked pretty good and I’m so proud of you all.

  2. Gillian Cairns says:

    Great report Sadie! I was just so relieved that the weather improved for the run. Loved it – but the first rocky part of the descent will always scare me!

  3. gilly says:

    Well done to you all for completing another Ben Nevis Hill Race, I think you are all amazing. I am not surprised it is called the most daunting hill race – it would seriously worry me! I am glad the rain eased for the race so you did not need to contend with that as well. I saw your socks Sadie and thought they were pretty darn cool! Fab photos by Scott too. Sounds like a party at the campsite after, I might join you next year, but just as a race groupie 🙂

  4. Bill Bennet says:

    Well done again to our famous five (or am I confusing you with another famous five?). The Ben Race is described in it’s published history in 1994 as “- the supreme test of athletic fitness”. So you ‘ve all done OK getting up and down in one piece, or should I say 5 pieces. I’m a wee bit jealous, I really enjoyed the Ben Race when I as fit enough to run it, but you’re right Sadie, I found it a bit scary too.

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