Ben Nevis Mountain Race

5 months 1 week ago #3934 by Jan Forrester
Geoff Cooper a lone MAC runner traveled to Fort William,Scotland to take part in this annual mountain race.First run in 1895 with the then finish time of 2-41 by William Swan , The race starts at Fort William FC where the runners are lead around a lap of the football pitch by a piped band to the start , the start is a very tense moment , it’s starts with a lap of the field again and then out onto a road for just under a mile before you pass the Nevis pub and then up onto the Ben Nevis path , Geoff having run the race two previous years on the trot makes good pace , the path is a mash of walkers looking at the runners with absolute disbelief, Geoff made good going of the path up to Red Burn battling with the dreaded walkers poles , it was a glorious day with temperatures around 14 degrees and 5 degrees at the summit .Mile 3 and up to the summit is were the work starts with almost a vertical climb straight up and the higher you get its scree and boulders , as Geoff is still climbing strong a shout goes runner coming and Finlay Wild flashes by like a lightening bolt of white and blue of Lochabar Athletic club , Geoff summits in 1-44 Hands in his wrist band and then the battle starts, as Geoff descends a lone piper starts playing just down from the summit which makes the hairs on the back of the neck stand up, at break neck speed Geoff descends picking off runners one at a time, the Scottish Ambulance service donate a shield for the first member of the NHS Ambulance service to finish Which Geoff was defending having won last year , he as the other two service personnel in his sights but descending and dodging the walkers and their poles takes full on concentration , just below red burn the scree gave way and English blood was spilt with gritted teeth Geoff carried on , on reaching the road the two other service runners started to pull away and from the Nevis pub it’s the road which is undulating , the little climbs feel like mountains and then onto the football field for the finishing lap to the line were runners are given a medal and a miniature bottle of Ben Nevis single malt . Out of 600 runners 449 finished , in the MV50 category Geoff came 74th out 144 and came 3rd in the Scottish Ambulance service shield.
The winner overall was Finlay Wild of Lochabar athletic club in a staggering time of 1-30This is a great race and would highly recommend it , thanks for all the good wishes .Geoff

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