Sunday, 22 January 2012

12 Night Runners and a Badger

Race Report
Having picked up Liz at her house (amazingly on time at 7.15pm as planned) we hot footed it to the car park at Shoreham village, Kent arriving a tad early but to find one car in the car park, the usual joke was we hoped it was another night runner and not a dogger; we were pleased to discover it was the former. Over the next 10 minutes the car park slowly filled up and I was really chuffed to find that we the run was going to have 12 runners including myself and a yet to be discovered 13th member of the pack! 

Whilst we awaited for any late comers there were jokes and nervous conversation about the water feature. After a short "safety" talk we were off on the dot of 8.00pm and into the night and having discovered that a few runners were not lovers of cows (a.k.a Badgers) so we made a slight detour to run parallel to the offending creatures. Whilst running this section we had a small regroup and we were introduced to Andrew's running partner "Bodger the Badger" who appears to have secreted himself into his backpack much to the hoots of laughter to the pack. Bodger was later to come out at the pub (see picture below)

The run went on and we were really pleased as it had been threatening to rain all evening and we must have started during the lull and were soon blessed with a beautiful moonless night sky with Orion the hunter and Ursa the bear guiding us along the paths. Each section of this run had different hazards and things to look out for so I may have appeared a little fussy as I gave a briefing where necessary and it great to hear the pack calling out hazards and trips as they appeared and cries of realisation as we popped out onto well known landmarks.

The Water Feature
The route was to take us to Chipstead Lakes which is serviced by a series of small stream and rivers, the stream we were to traverse was very shallow but was made difficult to access as it cross the path of a disued railway line. Some kind locals had placed some stones across it and whilst easy during the day was tricky during the night with headtorches, something the pack did with skill and dexterity. Soon through it we ran along the path of railway line over numerous roots and branches with hoots and screams jumoing under and around the obstacles

The Pub
As if from nowhere the pub arrived in our sights a lovely pub called The Bricklayers Arms, Chipstead and we soon to crowd the bar correcting the bar lady who had the audacity of calling us "Night Walkers" was gobsmacked to hear we were running.

Pints in hands we had a good catch up of the run so far and as it was a reasonably large pub were lost to own company not to be bothered by other clientele.

Soon, dragging ourselves from the lovely warm pub we ran off as the air was cool around the lake to return to the water feature but take on a new part of the route to continue out of Dunton Green joining the Darenth Valley Path again to croos beneath the M26 motorway and over the railway lines to the North Downs Way and through some paths surrounded by barbed wire and thorns it was still time to concentrate until we regrouped and ran the last road section together as  a pack to the car park where we said our farewells and a few of us returned to the local pub for a proper debriefing and to discuss the run.

2 comments:

  1. Running and drinking is something that I am not familiar with but no doubt a cider goes down like nectar from the Gods in the middle of a night run. Let me know when you next one is and I'll join in!

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    1. I had a lovely pint of Harvey's Dark Ale, in old parlance "A pint of mild" Not the strongest of brews but I would definitely stick to just one.

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