There seems to be an appetite for running night trail races at the minute and with good reason in my view. This race organised by my good friends at Gr8 Events had real appeal starting and finishing at Cote Ghyll Mill YHA on the edge of Osmotherley.
The 2 lap course around the reservoir and out through the woods included a deceptively tough climb before a really good long down hill back to the reservoir. There was also a 5km option which was one lap of the course.
My brother was very keen to run in this race, which would actually be his first ever race too so I went along with him.
At the YHA, we registered and then got ready for the start of the race as the sun began to set. A number of familiar faces appeared (to me at least) including Danny Lim.
At 6pm we all gathered outside for the start, head torches beaming and the reflective strips on runners’ clothing glowing in their shine. Then off we went up the road towards the wooded trail path to the reservoir.
The night was crisp and clear and our route was guided by the strategically placed glow sticks. I ran with my brother, and being his first race and on trail in the dark, my job was to rein him in so that he would not just complete the course, but actually enjoy the experience.
The weather in the days leading up to the race had been particularly wet and there were worries around what is normally a benign stream crossing which had turned into a raging torrent, but the weather had settled sufficiently for this to return to a more acceptable level for us to safely cross on the night. However, it had left the rest of the course sodden and a particular section following a stile crossing out of the woods caught many runners out, including my brother, and sent them knee deep into a bog much to my amusement.
Having led my brother around the two laps at a sufficient pace it was time to up the ante and get him back to the finish within the hour. A long road run back to the YHA ensued and I took great delight in making his life a misery pushing him to the finish to make it back in just under 60 mins. Job done.
Danny had finished in a very good time but had to dash so didn’t get to see him at the end but he did miss out on a fabulous spread of food at the end.
A great race and another very good reason why this type of race is becoming so much more popular.