Mountain bikers flock back to 12th annual 10 Under the Ben challenge
LAST weekend was the 12th time No Fuss Events delivered the 10 Under the Ben mountain bike race, and with hundreds taking part over the weekend the event is as popular today as it was in year one.
Frazer Coupland, partner at No Fuss Events, said: ‘It is one of the big days in our calendar. Over the 12 years around 10,000 riders have taken part in 10 Under the Ben, furthering the areas reputation as one of the best mountain bike destinations in Scotland.’
The race format hasn’t changed since day one with competitors aiming to complete as many laps of the approximate 10-mile route in 10 hours as possible. Participants can ride as solo, pairs, trios or quads.
This year 148 solo riders, 101 pairs, 52 trios and 24 quads took part.
Spook Munro from No Fuss Events said: ‘The biggest change we have witnessed over the years is the number of riders choosing to ride in the solo or pair category, moving away from the bigger teams. This makes the course busier. That said, there is a good trail network that can cope without too much of a problem.’
Grieg Brown, who knows this race well and is a multiple event winner, took the solo male category with an impressive 11 laps.
Fiona Innes, RAF CC, took the solo ladies title with eight laps and it was the Outdoor Capital of the UK’s home grown team The Glencroft Rabble which set the overall biggest lap tally for the day, banging in 12 sub- one hour laps.
The recent spell of dry weather gave the organisers the chance to vary the route choices a little from previous years.
Ongoing trail improvement and building work at Nevis Range was appreciated by all the riders, with many commenting: ‘Best year ever’, ‘ Great course’, with some participants even reporting they enjoyed the new climbs.
The good weather held for the best part of the day and the breeze kept the infamous midge population at bay.
It was in the final hour that the riders were tested with a biblical downpour. But that didn’t dampen any spirits and all the riders were happy to receive the laps times and retire to compare times, exchange stories and relax in the Pinemartin restaurant.
10 Under the Ben definitely brings out the best in people and it is the race with a big reputation when it comes to camaraderie.
One racer said: ‘I couldn’t believe how many of my fellow racers stopped to offer me assistance when I punctured on lap three. It’s been an amazing day and it’s the best mountain bike endurance race in the UK.’
The next big mountain bike race is the Tour de Ben Nevis, which takes mountain biking back to the mountains.
This was once described as ‘The thinking man’s (or woman’s) mountain bike race where all round fitness, strength, power, skill, determination is all bound together with a little bit of strategy and tactics’.
This year’s 10 Under the Ben field get set for the off.
Right: Grieg Brown, centre, celebrates his success in the solo male category in this year’s 10 Under the Ben.
Two of the hundreds of competitors who took part in this year’s 10 Under the Ben event.
Action from the 12th 10 Under the Ben race.