Sunday, 23 January 2011

Night Run II report

What a great turn out for the second night run last night! After picking up Duncan and Robert who live locally to me we turned into the busy pub car park and were lucky to find a parking space. When we got out and started donning our gear we soon noticed that it was somewhat cooler and windier in this part of the valley ridge.

As if by magic other runners started to appear from the far reaches of the car park and from behind trees and buildings, almost surreal but we soon collected our kit and on the strike of 8.00pm nine hardy fellows left the car park onto what promised to be a tough, hilly and very muddy run in the dark.

Although I devised this route and run on many of the trails I was still taken aback by the gradients we were running it all seems less in the daylight. My theory is that although we are used to running them we cannot get a sense of length or steepness and just run at it without aspect. The participants are now experienced enough to shout out obstacles or trip hazards and laughed to myself as I heard "Tree roots!", "Steps!" or "Low branches mind your heads!" but by far the funniest one was "Wheelbarrow!", some sod had left this rusting hulk on a pathside presumably because it was to steep to push it any further.

Great running conditions but it wasn't helped by a cloudy sky which completely obscured the waning moon but we had enough candel power between us to light up Wembley Stadium so we plodded on. I was very pleased with my navigation but the secret was that I had a mental list of key points on the route and knew which direction to turn but it came apparent that just making a slight deviation meant that you could go off path very easily which was then I relied on my pack mates to look out for waymarkers and shout if they saw them, it worked well.

The first loop was as near as damn it 5 miles as planned if people wanted a short run which was the pub carpark again where we had a cup of water from the back of my car and then we went off again for the last 5 miles. This proved to be a very tough section with a lot of field crossing swith little or no way marking relying on my local knowledge of land marks and my map. One of my favourite field crossings was a over a stile and then into some woods, there is no prescribed path here which was classified as permissive and the trick was to run in as straight a line as possible until you hit the fence and then you turned right and ran along the muddy footpath. All I could see was a bedraggled bunch of runners with headtorches shouting warnings to each other in total shambles tripping over gorse, roots and branches...Evil Jerry

The enjoyment continued with us all chatting and laughing, getting muddier and more tired as the evening went on and I soon realised that the course was a little tougher than first expected so made the executive decision to take a shorter route back so that we could get a pint in before the pub closed, the pack agreed and I then asked Chris to take the lead as he would know the quickest route back which he did, back to a lovely warm, welcoming pub. We sat back, pints in hand and swapped war stories of the night, laughed and joked, a perfect ending to a great night run with not an injury in sight.

Role of Honour








1 comment:

  1. Jerry

    Thank you for organising such a great run you were a good leader. It was a tough route but it only makes you appreciate how good we all are. Most people would think we are totally mad, much better to be inside watching rubbish on the TV, they will never understand. If you are looking for someone to organise the next night run I will have a go, but I do not know the routes like you do? Take care