> 2007 race reports
01/09/07 Ben Nevis Race 2007 - from David Armstrong

Helicopter - photo: David Armstrong
A helicopter follows the runners out

leaders - photo: David Armstrong
Ian Holmes and Ricky Lightfoot lead the pack (photos: David Armstrong)

The Club had a record number of starters in this year’s Ben Race, with many different personal challenges evident. Susan Davis, Richard Cavner, Louise Wilkinson, Paul Appleby and Graham Wilkinson were all first time Ben racers, Dave Atkinson and Geoff Davis once more chasing the 2 hour target, me ticking off another on my quest for 21 races ….. and Peter Reed returning with the target of beating the time he set 10 years earlier on the day of Princess Diana’s funeral …. when he was only a mere youngster in his mid-forties!

The weather in most of the UK was that of a pleasant late summer day. But not in Fort William! The cloud was below 2,000 feet, meaning more than half the race was in thick mist, and the rain and wind joined in for good measure. At least it was never too hot. The overall conditions were as poor as I can recall in 13 races, with the descent in particular, treacherously wet and slippery. There were many bloodied legs on show and a few bloodied faces as testament to it. Fortunately not from any of the NFR contingent.

Everyone completed the race unscathed, with the grimaces turning to happy smiles at the finish, particularly from all the first timers. Dave just beat his target, Geoff not quite, and Peter, remarkably for the conditions, and having left Morpeth at 4.30am that morning to drive for 5 hours to Fort William, only 1 minute outside his time of 10 years before. And Paul had the quiet satisfaction of not only completing his first Ben race but also of finishing ahead of his Dad!

As any visitor to Fort William will know, everything there revolves around Ben Nevis, and so we all felt compelled to join in and celebrated the Ben Nevis Race into the night by consuming rather too much Ben Nevis Ale at the Ben Nevis Inn to the sounds of the famous Ben Nevis Ranters ceilidh band. And then managed to walk (or was that stagger?) back to the campsite in the dark at 1.00am. A damn good weekend away.

results (FRA website)

Dexter Geoff Paul Graham
Susan Richard
Dexter returns
Paul near the finish
Louise near the finish Peter near the finish Susan on the last stretch Richard on the last stretch celebrations
all photos courtesy of David Armstrong

David Armstrong

> top