Entries are open for 10 Under the Ben 2017, with just over 100 days until race day, we thought that it would be a good time to look back at 10 Under. It is often talked about as the flagship of the No Fuss fleet, 10 Under is certainly the event that launched No Fuss and can you believe it? In 2017 its going to become a teenager.
At No Fuss Events we believe that 10 Under the Ben is Scotlands original and best mountain bike event, it is the longest established event of its type, it has become that rite of passage for every mountain biker. What 10 Under the Ben guarantees is a great day’s riding on the amazing trails around Leanachen forest, racing or out for a ride with like minded people, the emphasis has always been on enjoyment with a friendly, fun atmosphere.
Picture taken at registration 2007. Were you there?
It was on the 4th of June 2005, that the first ever 10 Under took place. (544 riders if we remember correctly) For those with a good memory you will remember that it was hosted at Lochaber Rural Complex, it was especially memorable as that Saturday was the morning after the complex's biggest cattle sale of the year. The complex staff and the No Fuss team (family, friends and anybody else who knew us) worked through the night to clear cattle pens, cattle and tons of sh**. On reflection (only on reflection) it was amusing when the first riders arrived to get set up and there were still cattle in the mart from the sale the day before. Fortunatley all were removed before the race started. Those who remember that first year will remember the great feeling (smell) of running through transition for the first time, they will remember the noise as the rain battered against the metal roof, and perhaps the midgies!
2007 Race pics first lap transition.
In 2008 for a variety of reasons the race HQ moved away from the rural complex to the (by now) world famous Nevisrange, famous for hosting the mountain bike World Cup and World Chamionships in 2007. One of the big benifits of having the race prior to the world cup event was the addition of the grandstand, oh yes and the huge parking capacity as the denands of the teams for spaces started to grow.
Pre race briefing 2009, we think this may have been a run start year.
It has been an awesome journey! In 2017 the emails are requesting are quite diferent to the calls and messages from the early days. 2017 and it is where will the motorhome parking be? Will we have space for a 3 x 3 easy up and a T5? Not forgetting the "Can you keep us our usual space Frazer? We will be there at some point" (You know who you are) Whilst we will always do our best, it is with rose tinted glasses that we look back and think everyone just used to sort themselves out.
Team B for Ace 07, the kettle was always on.
The rain of 2005 was mentioned and never to be forgotten was the sunshine of 2009. In fact 2009 may have just been to hot.
It would be fair to say that 10 Under the Ben is an all weather event, yes all weather (we have had snow and hail).
One year on from 2009, 2010 and Spook decided there was now only one answer to stay dry. Fancy dress indeed but the sun brings out some sights as well.
Anyone recognise this guy? Shaved and oiled, socks on top of shoes, stretching in anticipation, its always a good look!
Ok lets stick with the good weather and some "Taps aff" pics.
More traditional with socks inside the shoes, no prizes for recognising this legend! This was a big day out in those days.
DS going for the bare back rider look in 2007!
OK, sorry we may have taken it to far!
When relaxing at No Fuss Towers (as if that ever happens) we will often talk about the friendships and the human encounters over the years. Frazer "(the grumpy one that seems to do the parking over the last few years)" tells the story of the chap from (south of Onich) who was looking for cash, parking, registration and only had 20 mins to the start of the race. He was told "Park there, register over there, tell Chloe to give you £100 cash and email me on Monday and we will sort it out. "I have never seen nor spoken to the chap again other than one email to sort it out. He was amazed and could not believe the trust or the faith in human nature. That is what 10 under the Ben is for us, it is the belief that we all love what we are doing. Lets get out and enjoy it!"
With this magnifcent backdrop and an incredible network of trails and forest roads its all about the course setting. There have been tweeks, additions and subtractions to the course over the years, in the early years the North face water splash was always a talking point, enjoyed by many, dreaded by a few and always a crowd waiting for someone to get it wrong.
One of the great challenges for No Fuss is to try and get the course to be a challenge for everyone, not only in distance but an adequate amount of features and variety to keep it interesting.
Dirt School's Andy Barlow looking focussed.
Whats not to love about getting out on yer bike?
For 2017 the date has moved to April the 29th, a packed calendar, demands on the venue and an attempt to avoid the curse that is the west highland midgie were all factors in the decision making for the new date. With some early plans to shake the course up in 2017 riders are warned to expect the unexpected but to be sure that there will be some great riding on offer. The growth in the number of solo riders and pairs has changed some of the dynamics of the way the event works since the early days, more riders needing trackside parking, transitions needing smoother run throughs etc, for 2017 there will be solo pair and quad categories.
For an entry to 10 under the Ben please click here
To learn more about the area click here
To watch 2016 race video click here
If you have not been to the Outdoor Capital of the UK before then this is your perfect excuse.