life in hiroshima and beyond

7 September 2012 @ 9pm

Mountains, Running

Ben Nevis 2012

Ben Nevis is the UK’s highest mountain and although, at only 1344m, it is relatively low compared to many of Japan’s peaks, it is still a rough mountain to run. In fact, I find the Ben Nevis mountain race just as (if not more) tough as an Ironman triathlon or the 100 mile Mt Fuji Race.

This was third attempt at the race and I ran my best time so far, 2:01:13, knocking almost 4 minutes of my best time set on my first time back in 2004. I was a bit disappointed to miss going under 2hrs (taking photos and video en route may have had something to do with this – doh!) but I was happy to crack the top 100 for the first time, coming in in 79th place.

The word of the day to describe conditions at the summit was “wild” and although the rain held off until after I’d finished, winds on the upper slopes were strong and visibility down to just 20-30m. Just before hitting the full brunt of the wind on the last drive to the summit, my hands were getting very cold and my shorts and get it on my head – pulling on a pair of gloves would have taken forever with cold hands.

A poignant reminder of how hard this race can be was that my uncle, who along with my dad has done this race many times, had to perform CPR on a friend who happened to be a few steps ahead of him. He had been moving quite well, when for some reason he collapsed. My uncle thought he “had gone” when he rolled him over. My uncle and another runner stopped to help until the race marshalls arrived and took over. Fortunately, the stricken runner was released from hospital that night after being brought down the mountain on a stretcher by mountain rescue and treated for mild hypothermia.

My attempts at this race are intermittent and I’m not sure when I will be back, but I really would like to break the 2 hour barrier sometime. I should perhaps leave my camera behind me next time.

Ben Nevis Race Results 2012 | 2010 | 2004

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