The Winter Feast Duathlon: “the appetiser”

This short but challenging event was the first of three mixed terrain winter duathlons organised by Fort William based ‘No Fuss’ events.

Set in the stunning mountain amphitheatre of Glen Nevis (moved from last year’s Glencoe route due to fallen trees) 84 duathletes turned up on Saturday 14th to do battle on mountain path, fire road and tarmac. The first leg was a short but steep run, (about 4-5k, they’re not sticklers for exact distances) up the single track path towards Sgurr a’Mhaim, followed by a rapid road descent back to transition. The dilemma with an event of this distance is whether it’s worth changing from running shoes to cycling shoes; figuring there may be some ‘technical stuff’ ahead, I decided to stick with the trainers. The 12k-ish bike section followed the fast, undulating road almost to the bottom of the Glen, before hanging a left and climbing back up a forestry road. Most people opted for some sort of mountain bike, but there were some pretty racy looking cyclocross numbers making short work of the dry, hard packed conditions – with thankfully no ‘tricky bits’ to reveal my woeful lack of bike skills.

Back at the transition, I managed to overtake a few of those whom had smoked me on the ascent as they struggled to change back into their trainers (always a nice moment, on a longer ride it would have been a very different story!) By this time I was in 7th; with the front three well out of sight, over the same run loop I managed to catch one competitor and squeeze 6th overall/2nd SV. Great result from Inverness triathlon’s Henry Blake, who came first by over 3 minutes.

The prize giving took place in the Nevis Centre in Fort William, where podium finishers received giant medals and a bobbly hat, courtesy of Big Bobble hats (

For anyone looking to try something a bit different, these events are nicely run, low key and friendly, and take place in some truly fantastic parts of Scotland (the second leg of the ‘winter feast’ is in Arisaig … ries/2759/).

As one who mostly runs, the challenge of a bit of mountain biking (and changing shoes against the clock) is quite good fun. Full results at … %20Nevis(1).csv

Report from Hamish