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Ben Takes World Masters Crown!

September 23, 2015

Ben_Finish

Ben powers to the finish …. (courtesy of Woodentops)

Ben Grant has put the finishing touch to a fantastic season by taking the MV65 Winner’s Crown at the recent World Masters Mountain Running championships, this year held on home turf in Betws-y-Coed.  Of course, Ben is no stranger to these championships; eleven years back he showed his class by winning the MV55 title in Sauze d’Oulx and since then has competed on a number of occasions, finishing 2nd in the 2013 event held in the Czech Republic.  He has been running really well this year – evidenced by his FRA English Championship win – and going into the World championships had to be favourite.    The course differed from the usual European formula insomuch as it featured some hefty descents (the World Masters are frequently uphill only) and in fact this race had a full 1450ft of climb – and that’s a lot in just 5.5 miles.  Ben’s fell-running experience was going to be the decisive factor.

Ben recce’d the course well in advance and in fact travelled down to Wales on the preceding Thursday in order to go over the route carefully, by the time of the race he had been round it no less than four times!  It rained heavily the night before the race and of course, British fell runners are used to wet, slippy conditions so he had good reason to be optimistic and elected to wear fell shoes for the race.  Right from the off it was hard work, his main Italian and German rivals pulling away on the first climbs.  Ben bided his time though, conserving his energy and catching up with them on the first long level section.  Coming in to the first serious descent, it was the old adage of “brain off, brakes off!” and they just didn’t stand a chance of keeping up with a man who honed his descending skills on the Lakeland Fells.  He held the lead over the next big climbs and coming in to the final hard and slippy descent, had a decent lead on them.   It must have been a hell of a descent, because Ben did that last mile in 5.02, further increasing his lead to cross the finish line in 43.43,  a full 42 seconds in front of the Italian Franco Valle (44.25) and then the German Reinhart Vogler (44.47) This was a fantastic result and showcased Ben as one of the world’s best off-road runners in his age group today.  Well done from all of us Ben, absolutely outstanding stuff!

Link to WMRC website and official results.

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