Wilen steps in as Covid pandemic keeps King away

A NEW chief organiser has been hard at work ensuring that a testing, yet rewarding, Trident Trust All Terrain Challenge can go ahead this year.

Ben Wilen at the very end of a gruelling 8k cliff run in a previous All Terrain Challenge.  (Picture By Peter Frankland., 28446495)
Ben Wilen at the very end of a gruelling 8k cliff run in a previous All Terrain Challenge. (Picture By Peter Frankland., 28446495)

Ben Wilen has taken the mantle from Geoff King in organising the seven-day stage race, which runs from 19-25 July, a window that King cannot make due to Covid-19 leaving him unable to travel from his new Portugal base.

Yet King, who helped conceive the event in 1997 and has been almost ever-present since, hopes to continue his influence through video chat and messaging.

Wilen will also receive assistance from Ceejay Merrien on the timekeeping front and from Nathan Ward in briefing competitors.

‘I’m quite enjoying it,’ said Wilen of his new organisational role.

‘It’s challenging and it’s been constant since we agreed that we would do it – messaging people, asking for help, sorting this and sorting that.

‘But I’ve enjoyed it and it goes to show I can do more than I think.’

This is far from the first time Wilen has lent a helping hand to the ‘ATC’.

Alongside assisting King with organisation in previous events, he has played a key role in devising certain stages, including the hilly opener that has become a staple in recent years.

‘It was an evil plan of mine and Geoff’s when we were sat at Saints Bay Kiosk on a bike ride once,’ added Wilen.

‘They were just building the new steps and we said it would be fun to run up there.

‘That’s how that one started – obviously I was the guinea pig and had to go first. They are all tried-and-tested courses.’

The Icart-based 5km will open proceedings once again on Sunday 19 July ahead of a week of road, circuit, cliff and track racing, and finally, a Herm cross-country.

The ‘ATC’ is nearing its capacity of 80 runners and entry details can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

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