The light was fading, the blue turning to dark blue and the stars were getting brighter. The wake boarding jumps were being illuminated out on the still lake, a peaceful scene save for the beats coming from the PA system whipping up the atmosphere where 50 odd runners in all sorts of fluorescent dress and head torches were gathered. I registered and chatted to Bob the photographer. I’ve been the only person I knew at these races so a familiar face was nice.
It was cool, a breeze was out there too. I was nervous. My first trail race at night and I didn’t know how it would go.
Lining up on the start line the race was delayed momentarily while a car cleared. It was pitch dark now.
Off we went. The speed was fast and I was again with the front pack. I didn’t know how long this would last. I could see ok with my head torch. Following the lady in front, the guy behind had a super light which lit my way and made a silhouette in front of me of my body. I needed to get away from that as my eyes couldn’t adjust to the differences in light intensity and I couldn’t really see my immediate footing.
The pack thinned and we were all in a line along the field. I’d managed to get passed one who turned out to be the lead lady. Rounding the farm run and I was feeling steady but on average 4:20min /km. This was quick for a 10km!
The light took a while to get used to, not having the peripheral vision really confused me.
Two laps was the course so I knew that I needed to pace myself. But I didn’t slow down. We reached the sea and followed the narrow track along the dunes. I was on the tail of a guy and he was slowing. I needed to get past but it was difficult without enough light and the narrow track sided by hawthorn on one side and a drop off into the sea on the right.
I made a dive for it and got through. This burst of energy wasn’t good, I was starting to stitch. As I’d just over taken that guy I didn’t want to slow and be overtaken back so I battled through the pain.
I took the opportunity to look up and around. The stars were out and dead ahead there was the orange glow of Edinburgh. But better than that, the moon, a thin crescent was setting in the west. It was lit up red with the sunset, Mars and Jupiter were just to the side majestically in the sky. If I wasn’t racing id have stopped to take a pic!
Getting back through the start I could feel myself slowing. I couldn’t see any lights following so I allowed myself to slow and see if the pain in the side would subside. No change. 2kms later still in pain. My mind telling me to slow and stop and walk. I didn’t want to, especially with only 3kms left. After a bit the pain faded to a mild sting. I picked up the pace, a light waving about furiously behind me which I took to be that First Lady was moving slowly closer. I needed to hold her off and so I kept up the pace. I finished with 44mins on the clock and just under 10kms.
What a fun race. I’d definitely do another trail night run. And I came 10th tho not that impressive when there was only 70 competitors!
There’s a fourth race in this series which is the repeat of race one but I’m unable to take part as I’ll be drinking in Belfast. The top 3 times count toward the series leaderboard so hopefully I’ll do OK.
These races have been awesome and well run. If you’re in the area, make sure you do them next year!