The Ben Race 2007
A personal account !

I've lost count the number of times I've been up Ben Nevis, it's at least 20, but this was the first time I was running up it in the race. I usually head up Britain's highest mountain starting from the Youth Hostel, but the race sets off from the Claggan playing-fields a good mile further back.
We set off and after running around the running-track, we continued onto tarmac for around a mile - yuk ! Bruce and I pushed each other along up to the car-park. Through the gate, onto the pony track, many onlookers cheered us all on. Gradually I started to regain positions lost on the tarmac.
Before the first zig-zag, a few of us branched off and followed HBT's Dan Gay up a wet mucky shortcut through ferns. We re-joined the main group in about the same positions, the shortcut having made no difference ! Just before the turn at 500m, a tent-sheltering Robin Morris, shouted out "Carnethy runner ! Come on Carnethy" - obviously not recognising me.
We branched off the main track and took a shortcut on wet boulders and grass to then carefully trot over the main burn. Uphill, straight into the mist - a real pea-souper, you couldn't clearly see the runners ahead. I passed several runners including Jamie Thin, Chris Upson and Manny Gorman to pull alongside Angela. I couldn't see anyone infront, so just had to guess the route - I really hoped I was going the right way, if not, I could see me being cursed by all the runners that were now following me.
At last the summit with TV crew - hand over the tag and get into downhill mode. There was no chance of going the wrong way in the mist, just look for the runners still coming uphill - there were hundreds ! Out of the mist, I was directed down another way on wet slippy grass which shortcuts around the path over the main burn. Onto the main path and back the same way, lots of folk had turned out to support and one informed me I was tenth. Back onto the road, the last mile was just a case of hanging on in, as all my strength had been spent on the hill. I was passed by one runner. !
The playing fields were entered and a crowd cheered on all the runners. I'd finished feeling suprisingly fine, but more importantly was intact having not fallen once. Angela was the next Carnethy runner home - clean and intact, followed by Garry Macinnes sporting bloody knees and lots of muck. Bruce Smith had a tussle with Craig Mitchell from Lochaber just yards from the line. Colin and Joan Wilson both set pb's on their 24th race of the year and their grins told all. Tucking into cake, I missed Derek Paton's and Richard Hessey's strong finishes, but saw Gavin Thornley push hard to the end.
Steven Fallon
All the Carnethy runners did the race in under 2:30 - well done !

Home | Go Back
© Carnethy.com 2014