Ben Nevis – 8.7 miles / 4419 ft – 2/9/17
As usual we had a few from the club making the long trip up to Fort William for the infamous Ben Nevis Race. It was certainly a slog for Brice Delsouiller who traveled all the way from the French Pyrenees for his first attempt at this iconic race.
Brice is a cow farmer and lives in a shed not far from Debbie and Gary’s place (there’s a fantastic documentary on him on YouTube in fact). He came over for the Stuc a Chroin 5000 race in Scotland earlier in the year, a British Champs counter, and one which most people, including him, found pretty tough going. Too much up and down, he said, as he prefers the classic straight up, straight down format.
Well, he certainly wasn’t exaggerating as he had a phenomenal first run at the Ben, finishing in 2nd place and a good minute and a half clear of Jebby in 3rd.
“How did you find it Brice?” I asked him after. “Well, it went up and came down, so I found it pretty good!” he replied. Amazing running.
Finlay Wild took the overall win once again as he continues to be in fine form and completely dominate this particular race. Apologies but I can’t quite remember the ladies’ winner — the results appear to use an archaic lettering system instead of categories and make it tricky to decipher!
As for our other runners, Rachel had another strong performance coming in 7th lady just outside the prizes. Caroline and Jo also both had good runs (no gaping knee injuries this time) and seemed to enjoy themselves.
This was now my 4th time doing this race, and each time I’ve finished it’s been in various states of ‘wheels falling off’, sometimes bloodied, swearing it’s the last time. This year was no different but with hindsight it’s probably the most I’ve enjoyed it.
I haven’t yet entirely figured out quite what it is that doesn’t click for me – this race just exposes my weaknesses and leaves them raw and vulnerable for the duration. But like anything that’s a challenge, you chip away at it, learn something new each time, gradually strengthen and improve. I’ll probably do it again.
Good to continue to see our little club getting folk out for this big race, hope to see some new faces next year.
Brice Delsouiller 2nd 1:37:22. Rachel Pilling 147th 2:15:09. Graham Pilling 167th 2:17:41. Caroline Harding 351st 2:44:34. Jo Schreiber 355th 2:46:18. (FULL RESULTS)