As if by some unspoken message, we drifted over to the start line and were set off in waves. Bobbing torch light and reflective vests soon invaded the forest. As the runners thinned out, it got harder to see without as many other torches about. I was very grateful to the torch my brother had leant me for the occasion. But it wasn’t enough to stop me taking a tumble over a tree root. Quickly hoisted to my feet by a fellow runner I was unscathed. The trails were very dry and softer than landing on tarmac.
The sign posts were very clear but it was very disorienting taking turn after turn in the dark. I could’ve sworn we were on a meandering circuit, but it was actually a single loop. Motivated by not wanting to be alone in the woods, I kept up with the guys in front of me until the water station at 6km. At 7km I had the usual negative thoughts “why am I doing this?” “How on Earth is this a good idea?” “Are me legs going to fall off?” until catching up with a guy that asked if I’d pace him to the finish. So I had to keep going!
Crossing the finish line I was quickly passed a heavy, glowing medal. Running in the dark was fun! It was certainly different to any other race I’d done before. The event was well organised but there were a couple of points that could have been improved: it would have been nice to have an announcement of welcome, look out for each other etc. from the organisers. But more importantly, I wish there had been no plastic bottles. Paper cups of water would have been fine, specially at the end. Next time!
Place: 104th overall 19th female.