Now in its fifth year, 10 Under the Ben was once more bathed in glorious sunshine as 482 of the record total of 947 endurance riders gathered for the mass start ready to do battle with Forestry Commission Scotland’s Leanachan Forest, the highland midge and the ongoing threat of heat exhaustion, all set against the stunning backdrop of Ben Nevis.
And it was three downhill specialists from Fort William – Alistair MacLennan, Joe Barnes and Liam Moynihan – who beat off strong competition from XC endurance riders to win the Male Trio category of the Benromach 10 Under The Ben endurance race in style.
Plus, to keep the riders and spectators entertained, on Saturday 30 May 2009, the ‘Faster than the Shirleys’ team completed their 11 laps of the 10-mile course topless – and enjoyed a deserved dram of Benromach single malt whisky at the finish.
Michael Bossard, from Oban, proved tougher than any other man in the solo category completing the gruelling course a total of 10 times in 10 hours 29 minutes. Helen Finlay was the top female solo competitor completing eight laps of the course in the 10-hour frame.
The record increase in the popularity of the event confirms that Fort William – the Outdoor Capital of the UK – is again the centre of Mountain Biking in Britain with an international field of riders of every ability and fitness level taking part as the world class venue braces itself for the UCI Nissan Mountain Bike World Cup that starts on the 6 June.
Frazer Coupland of No Fuss Events was thrilled with the turnout, saying: “This event just gets bigger and better! We’re delighted with the way the event ran and it was great to have such a vast range of riders enjoying themselves on the course, making it a fantastic day out for everyone. It was a superb weekend weather wise, though I am telling everyone to brace themselves for rain in 2010 as our luck has to run out at some point. This event just gets bigger and better.
“Benromach are a brilliant title sponsor. Their support has given us the confidence to drive the event forward. A huge thanks also to the Forestry Commission for their continued support of No Fuss events; and to all those who worked so hard to make this event such a success. We will take time to reflect on the customer feedback over the next few weeks but plans for 2010 are under way already.”
No Fuss Events laid on some top class entertainment for both the spectators and supporters and the riders during the event. Four times Trials World Champion and 11 times British Trials Champion Ben Savage wowed the crowds with his awesome skills throughout the day. Joesph Peace and the Manchester Company of extreme largeness – the thong wearing pyromaniac – surprised everyone with his fire stunt spectacular and Anyone For Gravy? – played into Saturday night keeping the riders, who could still stand, moving and happy despite the sudden influx of midges.
10 Under the Ben is the first event of the Benromach Three Tens Series and riders of every ability and fitness level will have more opportunities to ride some more superb endurance courses.
On Saturday 11 July 2009 Galloway Forest Park will be the venue for 10 At Kirroughtree, the second event of the series and the No Fuss team are expecting record numbers to race this year. This superb venue, tucked away in the South West of Scotland, is famous for its fast flowing singletrack and superb mountain bike trails. No Fuss Events has been working with Forestry Commission Scotland to ensure that some new natural sections of trail will make this event even better than last year.
On Saturday 22 August 2009 the No Fuss Team will then set up camp in the North East of Scotland for the final event in the Benromach series. 10 More in Moray is based at Milne’s High School in Fochabers and the Ordequish woods provides an excellent environment for racing; the climbs are just enough of a test and the excitement of the singletrack trails, like the Haggis and the Soup Dragon, will put a smile on the face of any off road rider.
Along with 10 Under the Ben entrants those at Kirroughtree and Moray will also be eligible to enter the superb prize draw for the incredible chance to win an all expenses trip for two to New Zealand to take part in the Sport Southlands Moonshine Trail Event.
For full results visit www.nofussevents.co.uk.