Record numbers are clamouring to the Outdoor Capital of the UK this year to take on some of Britain’s toughest off road triathlons. In the first of three races organised by Fort William based No Fuss Events demand has doubled the organiser’s expectations turning the popular Wee Triathlon into two days of racing on the 7 and 8 March 2009. The competitors already signed up for the event being staged during the Fort William Mountain Festival on Saturday 7 March will be glad to hear that the race hasn’t got any longer and those on the waiting list will be delighted to hear that they will now have the chance to race in The Wee Triathlon 2 on Sunday 8 March.
The growth in popularity of triathlons in Britain and across Europe has cast a spotlight on the rugged, beautiful but challenging terrain of Lochaber and Ben Nevis. The Outdoor Capital of the UK – Fort William and Lochaber – now sees triathletes join mountain bikers, rock climbers, kayakers and other outdoor junkies keen to make the most of this unique part of Scotland. If the Wee Triathlon heralds the beginning of spring for athletes then the Big Ben Nevis Triathlon and the Half Big Ben Nevis Triathlon on 19 September signals the end of summer with a challenge so gruelling that the Half Big Ben Nevis Triathlon has been adopted by Triathlon Scotland as the inaugural Off-Road Triathlon Championship event.
Paul McGreal, Director of Off-Road Development at Triathlon Scotland was delighted to make the announcement; ‘Triathlon Scotland are pleased to award the inaugural Scottish Off-Road Triathlon Championships to the Half Ben Nevis race, organised by No Fuss Events. The decision to award was based on the great organisation track record of No Fuss, the highly successful Big Ben, Half Big Ben, and Wee Tri’s in previous years, and the superb location and, of course, for the race. We very much hope that the triathlon community across the UK will recognise this as a great opportunity to race for the first ever national off-road title’.
It’s not just Britain’s finest that are flocking to Fort William. With 9 months still to go until The Big Ben Nevis Triathlon, a number of competitors from Europe are already registered chomping at the bit to tackle the best Scottish, Irish, English and Welsh racers. Athletes from Sweden and the Czech Republic are keen to emulate the performance of last year’s European surprise Ted Aas of Sweden who placed second ahead of an excellent field.
Frazer Coupland of No Fuss is thrilled with the growth and success of their triathlon series saying; ‘What we have here in Lochaber is a landscape like no other anywhere else in the world and more and more off road triathletes from across Europe are beginning to recognise this. Most of all our events are designed to make the most of the terrain while retaining a fun and friendly atmosphere that sees competitors return year after year.’
Anna Trafford, Project Director for the Outdoor Capital of the UK, said: ‘We are really pleased that No Fuss have seen such growth and success that they have to run two Wee Triathlon events, and want to congratulate them on the Half Ben Tri being adopted as the official Scottish Off Road Triathlon Championship. For those of us who live here it is a great privilege to be able to welcome visiting competitors, both from the rest of the UK and abroad, to Lochaber – the Outdoor Capital of the UK. We hope they enjoy the events as much as we enjoy hosting them.’
For further information on The Wee Triathlon, The Big Ben Nevis Triathlon and Half Big Ben Nevis Triathlon – Triathlon Scotland’s Off-Road Triathlon Championship – go to www.nofussevents.co.uk
THE NO FUSS TRIATHLON RACES
The Wee Triathlon – Saturday 7 and (NEW EXTRA DATE) Sunday 8 March 2009 –
Kickstart your year with a triathlon in the Outdoor Capital. Competitors from 15 to 50+ will tackle a 400m swim, a 10 mile mountain bike ride and a 3 mile cross country run finishing in Fort William. Run in association with Off Beat Bikes the course is limited to 72 participants across four different categories attracting young and old alike.
Due to the overwhelming demand for places in The Wee Triathlon, Wee Triathlon 2 will take place on Sunday 8 March where another 72 triathletes will tackle the course. Places are still available though filling up fast so interested athletes can enter by registering on www.nofussevents.co.uk
The Big Ben Nevis Triathlon – Saturday September 19 2009
Probably the toughest triathlon on the UK circuit, the Big Ben Nevis Triathlon is not for the faint hearted. Iron men and women used to smooth roads and calm waters are in for a shock. This epic triathlon raises the stakes pitting entrants against the choppy waters of a freezing cold highland sea loch (1900m swim), the long, loose climbs and fast singletrack descents of Glen Nevis (90km mountain bike), and the final, monster challenge – a hill run (21km), up and then back down Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest and most feared mountain. Competitors will need not only great fitness levels, but also the skills to handle a challenging bike ride on loose, fast trails and the resilience to make it safely up and down the Ben, a constantly changing mass of loose rock. The Big Triathlon will be demanding enough to challenge even the fittest multi-sport athletes, yet will be accessible for weekend warriors or recreational riders and runners with good fitness levels.
Half Big Ben Nevis Triathlon – Saturday September 19 2009: Half everything above but whatever you do, don’t think it will be easy!