Monday, 2 February 2015

Don't be afraid of the dark

It's not often you get to run 10 miles on Dartmoor. In the dark. In the snow. With 20 mph winds...

Saturday's Wild Night Run was rather amazing. For a small moment between blizzards, I was completely alone. The benefit to being at the back. It was so peaceful. No people. No noise. Just miles of rocks, snow and gorse. The moonlight was pretty bright so I turned off my head torch... And then I turned it back on again because I was scared: I've read the Hound of the Baskervilles.

At this point, a fellow runner joined me. We did the last six miles together. He was an excellent guide and an even more excellent puller-of-persons-out-of-deep-mud. Two days on, it's still in every crevice.

I have to say, it was one of the toughest and best races I've entered. Despite being weather-beaten at mile eight, I flew at mile nine. There's a lot to be said for country air.

There's less to be said for country lanes and my ability to navigate them. One minute I was flying, the next I was lying on the road, having tripped in a pothole. I've spent a lot of time on the floor recently. There's a chance my proprioception is up the creek. But it's more likely I was chatting and not paying attention.

Hey ho, what can you do?! Give up or get up. I staggered to the finish line with an egg for an ankle. If I'm honest, when I crossed the line I was trying not to cry. Partly because it was quite an emotional experience, but mainly because my ankle was bloody agony. Really painful. Like the bone was coming away from the ligament.

So, a character-building weekend. A lovely race with a great crowd of people and very nice mushroom stroganoff. Just make sure you wear lots of layers, preferably carry a hydration backpack and, most importantly, don't take your eyes off the road.

(Stats: 10 miles; 2 hours 2 minutes 22 seconds; position 181/201; 12.14 minute/mile)

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