Ben Nevis Race
The Ben Nevis Race is a mountain race that takes place annually, from the foot of Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in the British Isles) to the top, then back again. The course is 14 km long and includes around 1,340 metres of ascent. Up to six hundred people may compete in the event.
|Ben Nevis Race|
|Location||Ben Nevis, Lochaber, Scotland|
|Course records||1:25:34 (M), 1:43:01 (F)|
The first timed event on Ben Nevis was in 1895. William Swan, a barber from Fort William, made the first recorded timed ascent up the mountain on or around 27 September of that year, when he ran from the old post office in Fort William to the summit and back in 2 hours 41 minutes. The following years saw several improvements on Swan's record, but the first competitive race was held on 3 June 1898 under Scottish Amateur Athletic Association rules. Ten competitors ran the course, which started at the Lochiel Arms Hotel in Banavie and was thus longer than the route from Fort William; the winner was 21-year-old Hugh Kennedy, a gamekeeper at Tor Castle, who finished (coincidentally with Swan's original run) in 2 hours 41 minutes.
Regular races were organised until 1903, when two events were held; these were the last for 24 years, perhaps due to the closure of the summit observatory the following year. The first was from Achintee, at the foot of the Pony Track, and finished at the summit; It was won in just over an hour by Ewen MacKenzie, the observatory roadman. The second race ran from new Fort William post office, and MacKenzie lowered the record to 2 hours 10 minutes, a record he held for 34 years.
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. It starts and finishes at the Claggan Park football ground 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 category A 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.
In 2014 only 600 competitors were allowed to take part, with the limit being set for safety reasons.
Fort William taxi driver Eddie Campbell won the race three times, the first in 1952.
The winners of the race have been as follows.
|2020||Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
|2019||Finlay Wild||1:32:05||Sarah Graham||2:12:21|
|2018||Finlay Wild||1:27:35||Victoria Wilkinson||1:43:01|
|2017||Finlay Wild||1:31:37||Diane Wilson||2:01:21|
|2016||Finlay Wild||1:28:45||Sophie Horrocks||1:56:20|
|2015||Finlay Wild||1:30:56||Diane Wilson||2:00:41|
|2014||Finlay Wild||1:34:43||Lindsey Brindle||1:56:36|
|2013||Finlay Wild||1:30:06||Angela Mudge||1:52:40|
|2012||Finlay Wild||1:29:56||Sharon Taylor||1:59:23|
|2011||Finlay Wild||1:29:21||Angela Mudge||1:51:14|
|2010||Finlay Wild||1:35:39||Cecilia Mora||1:56:01|
|2009||Rob Jebb||1:32:33||Mireia Miró Varela||1:56:46|
|2008||Agustí Roc Amador||1:29:12||Angela Mudge||1:47:12|
|2007||Ian Holmes||1:32:57||Angela Mudge||1:48:28|
|2006||Rob Jebb||1:29:31||Sharon Taylor||1:57:10|
|2005||Rob Jebb||1:29:22||Sharon Taylor||1:58:15|
|2004||Ian Holmes||1:29:33||Sharon Taylor||1:55:54|
|2003||Rob Jebb||1:29:32||Kate Beaty||1:54:52|
|2002||Andrew Peace||1:29:41||Andrea Priestley||1:52:55|
|2001||David Rodgers||1:29:24||Tracey Ambler||1:54:36|
|2000||Ian Holmes||1:28:47||Sarah Rowell||1:54:31|
|1999||Ian Holmes||1:28:14||Margaret Creber||1:59:21|
|1998||John Brooks||1:27:24||Kate Beaty||2:09:56|
|1997||Gavin Bland||1:27:45||Angela Brand-Barker||1:56:27|
|1996||David Rodgers||1:31:23||Angela Mudge||2:03:08|
|1995||Ian Holmes||1:28:08||Ros Evans||2:02:07|
|1994||Ian Holmes||1:30:17||Gill Barnes||2:13:22|
|1993||Graeme Bartlett||1:33:38||Julie Farmer||2:02:18|
|1992||Gavin Bland||1:27:02||Carol Greenwood||1:53:25|
|1991||David Rodgers||1:33:23||Ros Evans||2:03:57|
|1990||Mark Rigby||1:26:08||Lesley Hope||1:56:58|
|1989||Keith Anderson||1:27:41||Beverley Redfern||2:03:10|
|1988||Gary Devine||1:30:10||Sara Taylor||2:05:23|
|1987||Michael Lindsay||1:29:25||Angela Carson||1:52:57|
|1986||Colin Donnelly||1:25:48||Angela Carson||1:47:51|
|1985||Hugh Symonds||1:28:00||Angela Carson||1:52:45|
|1984||Kenny Stuart||1:25:34||Pauline Haworth||1:43:25|
|1983||John Wild||1:25:35||Ros Coats||1:45:17|
|1982||Kenny Stuart||1:27:12||Ros Coats||1:49:22|
|1981||Bob Whitfield||1:26:57||Ros Coats||1:44:25|
|1979||Colin Donnelly||1:31:26||Ros Coats||1:56:11|
|1978||Billy Bland||1:26:56||Ros Coats||1:53:23|
|1977||Alan McGee||1:29:56||Joan Glass||2:07:00|
|1955||Eddie Campbell||1:50:05||Kathleen Connochie||3:02:00|
- "Ben race must be scale of the century". The Herald. 3 December 1994. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- MacLennan, Hugh Dan (November 1998). "The Ben Race: The supreme test of athletic fitness" (PDF). The Sports Historian. 18 (2): 131–147. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
- "Scottish Hill Racing – Ben Nevis Race". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- "Ben Nevis Race". The Glasgow Herald. 27 August 1955. p. 9. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Ben Nevis Race marks 60 years since first female finisher". BBC News. 5 September 2015.
- "Rules". www.bennevisrace.co.uk. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- Bob Kopac. "For Sport Alone: The Ben Nevis Race". MHRRC Online. Archived from the original on 3 June 2013. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
- Restran, Sue (8 September 2014). "Highland GP wins Ben Nevis Race for fifth time". Press and Journal. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
- Mason, Callem (17 August 2016). "Athletes warned to 'keep off the grass' in Ben Nevis Race". The Scotsman. Retrieved 4 September 2016.
- "Highland athlete dies". 4 October 1996. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Current Record Holders". www.bennevisrace.co.uk. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Ben Nevis Race is a family affair". Lochaber News. 8 September 2016. Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2016.
- The Press and Journal: Fort William GP Makes it 10 in a Row as Sun Shines on Ben Nevis Race.
- ARRS: Ben Nevis; Hugh Dan MacLennan, The Ben Race (Fort William, 1994), 189-91; The Fell Runner, Autumn 1976, 43-44; Scottish Hill Racing: Ben Nevis Race; Ben Nevis Race 2016 Finishers.