The Ben Nevis Braveheart Extreme Triathlon, what an iconic event.
With over 150 entrants, it’s got that small club feel, but an epic undertone. Briefing full of banter (Scottish word for witty good natured mutual slander). Very friendly atmosphere. All made you feel entitled to be there just for having the attitude to sign up. Book now before it grows.
Late swim start at 8.20am to get the high tide. Cold, but as the sun rose over The Ben as we set off, it got me psyched. Took 5 mins off pb at 35 mins. Despite dragging seaweed on wrist for final stretch, too afraid to throw it off and lose my timing chip! 35 mins?! Yes, I’m no Brownlee, more later.
Listened to recommendation to really dry off before bike, but still nippy. Beautiful route via Spean Bridge, scenery stunning, even if you feel ‘The Ben’ watching you all the way. You dont really notice the 660m ascent as it builds over last 15km of route out, but very nice on way back. Definitely ‘pedaly’
throughout. Tried to restrain myself on return to save my legs for run. Yeah right.
Took 12 minutes in T2, ate sandwich (bliss after gel fest) and took toilet break, and kitted and layered up for the hill, including poles (useful). Legs just warmed up on run at 3km when I hit the foothills. Bugger. Decided to walk/stride it all, and see what was left for descent. Bloody good job. Lots of black times despite good hydration and nutrition. Hill never ending. Stark warning after midpoint as runner (walking) went by in foil with head covered in blood. Top was honestly hellish. Four layers not enough. Got blown off my feet many times. If I hadnt got £1000+ sponsorship for Breast Cancer Care I might honestly have turned back. Dug my deepest ever. Bliss at summit turn around … but complete admiration for the guy clicking our timing chips up there!
Took it steady all the way down. Terrain very rocky and loose. Kept skip walking at top as wind was throwing your steps. Picked up pace further down. Everyone cheering everyone on, up and down. Really enjoyed rock hopping run on way down, but got little reality check as my tired legs hit some gravel and I shot over the side of an embankment. At the one place with a fence! Quick check, no blood, joints still pointing right way. Kept solid pace all the way down. Final tarmac 3km was painful on the feet. And got awesome surprise to find my wife and son at the finish, having driven over 3 hours to see me. She was the reason I did this.
Took 30 mins off my target time, the target being Dougie Vipond’s (UK TV
presenter) time! The winners were 3hrs faster than me but you can still be slower AND competitive! Bucket list ticked! Awesome day.
Book it now!