written a day or two after the run …
I have just completed a night time wild run up onto and across Dartmoor and back down – 10 miles – along with 150 others – all with head torches. My second time running at night and my first 10 mile run. I didn’t really enjoy the first time, and I get so much from seeing everything around me when I’m running on the Moor that I really didn’t think I’d take to it – but it was an adventure I wanted to try.
I bloody loved it – amazing!
Here is my fresh account of the run – enjoy! …
Standing around in South Brent Village hall for ages … then finally, off!
Starting on a few short bits of familiar road and the odd street light; then dark, rocky, stony steep paths with high sides and overhanging trees; muddy slippery paths; then off the tracks and a steep climb up onto the Moor itself – grass, animal tracks, small hillocks, gorse, mud, bog, stone; all marked with a few flashing lights and small piles of saw dust; levelling off and seeing the shadow of a reservoir lake just below us to the left, among the darker surrounding hills; on all sides the wide, dark moor, stars above, and a thin, scattered line of small bouncing lights of the runners behind spreading out for what seems like miles – a beautiful and exciting place!; and as it flattens out and the paths get less distinct across the top, small groups running together; and when the path is lost, spreading out and scanning the ground ahead until the cry “sawdust!” gathers us back into a thin line; and slowly my group draws ahead and I slip inexorably behind despite all my efforts to stay with them; and I run alone, losing the path, trusting and then finding sawdust or a light again and again; it begins to feel interminable and my legs ache and tighten and I’m only just over half way round!; others catch me and it feels great to be running with others again; then finally we begin to descend and the muscles stretch and complain at the change; and muddy, slipping, leaping; all the time sweeping the ground ahead with your torch for the best path, hidden rocks and gorse; a wide and long marsh ahead with no way but through; a sudden hole up to my knee in water and mud and my leg screams and cramps at the sudden, unexpected drop; then finally onto steep tracks down that I start to recognise again; and with the recognition comes a renewed burst of energy and I stretch out and begin to pass others; and finally (and too soon!) tarmac; I’m not ready for this adventure and journey to end; and then the finishing line and the deep satisfaction of a great, great run!
Next day, no real aches. Really pleased!
Few days later received an email about my placing – 39 out of 150 – well pleased!