This September one of the UK’s toughest triathlons, The Ben Nevis Braveheart, returns. If you haven’t signed up already, here are eight reasons to add your name to the list
The journey is great fun!
Whichever way you choose to get to the Highlands, you’re bound to enjoy the journey. If you drive you can stop off en route, perhaps visit Kendal for the night for an easy pre race ramble! Our favourite way to travel is on the Caledonian Sleeper (https://www.sleeper.scot) – you can bring your bike, chill and wake up in the Highlands early in the morning. But book soon as the sleeper will fill up quickly.
Ben Nevis, or the ‘Ben’, as it’s known locally, is the highest mountain in Britain. An estimated 150,000 people climb to the peak every year – but a lot less do that after a 1.2-mile loch swim and a 56-mile bike ride, so you’ll join a special band of people. As you reach the pinnacle you’ll experience somewhat Arctic conditions, and could even see snow – making the challenge even more exciting!
Make a weekend of it!
You’ll be staying in what’s known as the outdoor capital of the UK and if you can extend your visit either side of the race you’ll find so much to see and do. You’ll be swimming in Loch Linnhe on the day, but if you want to visit the UK’s second deepest loch, pop over to Loch Morar – try fishing for some fine trout. Take in the views on Scotland’s only mountain gondola and if you fancy some more biking, check out the downhill mountain bike tracks. For a truly unique Highland experience hop on the Iron Horse Jacobite steam train and step back in time as you ride on the railway line formed in the 1890s.
For the next two and a half months you’ll need to focus on hills, on the bike and on the run. This type of training is great for all round fitness, and strength and will benefit your tri training all year round, helping a lay a solid base of endurance for the Winter.
You won’t need to clock watch.
With most runners completing the 13.1-mile in around 3.30 and a third over four hours, this isn’t a race to worry about your watch. The average time to complete the event is between six and half and seven and a half hours, compared to up to six and half hours for a standard 70.3.
You’ll be in good company.
Dougie Vipond, the drummer from 1980s band Decaon Blue and now a BBC Scotland TV presenter is taking on the challenge, as well as the legendary Mark Kleanthous, age group duathlete Alister Brown and Outlaw champion Paul Hawkins. Watch race coach Sean MacFarlane get Dougie in shape. http://www.bravehearttri.com/video/sean-mcfarlane-talks-to-entrant-dougie-vipond-2/.
Thinking of Ironman?
The unique terrain, the extra time it’ll take to complete and the training will all be a great step up for anyone considering IronMan in 2017.
If you decide to enter as a team, you can be sure to all get a great workout and a sense of achievement, whether you swim the loch, cycle the 56 mile hilly route, or run to the top of the Ben and back down again.
Find out more about the Braveheart Triathlon at bravehearttri.com.