Friday, October 9, 2009

A little Highland spirit...

I picked this off a friend's Facebook page. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level. It is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of Scotland, close to the town of Fort William. The history of hill running on Ben Nevis dates back to 1895. William Swan, a barber from Fort William, made the first recorded timed ascent up the mountain in 2 hours 41 minutes. The first competitive race was held on 3 June 1898 under Scottish Amateur Athletic Association rules. Regular races were organised until 1903. The Ben Nevis Race has been run in its current form since 1937. It now takes place on the first Saturday in September every year, with a maximum of 500 competitors taking part. It starts and finishes on the outskirts of Fort William, and is 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) long with 1,340 metres (4,400 ft) of ascent.

Due to the seriousness of the mountain environment, entry is restricted to those who have completed three hill races, and runners must carry waterproofs, a hat, gloves and a whistle; anyone who has not reached the summit after two hours is turned back. The current records have stood unbroken since 1984, when Kenny Stuart and Pauline Howarth of Keswick Athletics Club won the men's and the women's races with times of 1:25:34 and 1:43:25 respectively.

Here's a great video from this years race. I don't know about you but the pipes and drums always sends shivers down my spine and puts a lump in my throat. Here's to a fantastic weekend of racing, running or whatever you're doing to you all!


  1. what an honor to be a part of sucj a painful event. A true test of mental strength! You know a hill is steep when coming down on you buttom if the smart choice.

    Thanks for sharing. Hope your recovery is still going well.

  2. That's just dayum crazy.... Despite the inkling of Scottish blood I still have in my system, only a true Scot could possibly love running through all that muck, not to mention the mountain.

  3. That is a great video! As I watched it, I kept thinking of the ties these participants were forming with those who made the climb in generations past. Very cool.

  4. Very strange...the runners are climbing this mountain like monkeys or some other creatures. Very animalistic!

  5. People who do crazy races like that get so much of my respect. Amazing view, amazing race, amazing runners.

  6. Wow...incredible. Looks like a truly incredible experience!


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