Where to start from an unbelievable weekend of success that our Nimra members had. Where to start is the real issue..but it would seem fitting to start in Scotland where several members took on the Ben.
In 1895 when William Swan, a Fort William barber, set off on the first recorded timed ascent and descent of Britain’s tallest mountain he could not have envisaged the modern day Ben Nevis Race which now has a field of 600 runners accepting a challenge which is not for the unfit or faint-hearted.
In the late 19th. and early 20th. centuries a number of races were organised on an ad hoc basis. However it was not until 1951 that the Ben Nevis Race Association was founded with the intention of formalising arrangements for an annual race. Since that first field of 21 runners, the race has grown beyond all recognition and it has been run every year since with the exception of 1980. That year the elements won and, with competitors on the start line, a last minute decision was made to cancel the race for the safety of the runners and officials on the mountain.
This year like every other year we had a large contingent of runners take to the start line to try and complete another Ben Race/Smash their PB/Just beat another Nimra/Club member. Diane Wilson, Johnny Steede and Willy McKee would start as our best hopes of success with all three showing great form and it would be Willy McKee’s first trip to the Ben.
The weather was kind this year and the path to the Ben had been fenced off to stop all those short cuts and secret paths of the hill forcing runners to take the same route up to the top and back down. When the band stopped playing and the start whistle was blown we would see Finlay Wild charge off in hope to take his 8th win in a row with a list of contenders ready to try and steal his crown. As it turned out Finlay would take his 8th title with no one near his 1hr 31mins time. Johnny Steede would take the first Nimra runner home as he battled to a 10th place in 1hr 44mins with Willy Mckee taking 15th place and a super effort for his first Ben Race.
In the ladies race Diane Wilson had some stiff competition but her descending ability would come to the fore as she carved through the competitors on the way down to complete the race in 2hrs 1min and claim a fabulous win for the second time. Her competition finished 4 mins behind her showing just how dominant a performance it was.
Well done to all the many other runners who made another successful journey to the Ben and survived. Its not an easy race I hear there were quite a few walking wounded.
Masters World Championships
The World Masters Mountain Running Championships were held in Solvaki over the weekend and from the pictures the weather looked great. From a results basis Jim Patterson running in the M70-75 category would take the win and become a new World Champion for the year. Many congratulations on a brilliant result.
In the ladies Gillian Wasson would claim an individual Bronze medal in the Ladies 40-44 category and her team mate Hazel McLaughlin would help them claim the bronze medal in the team prize. Fantastic running from everyone.