Tuesday, 20th February 2018
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Night race promises Northerners some Southern hospitality

by Editor
Saturday 18th January 2014

Event news: Petzl Wild Night Run on Dartmoor - Saturday March 1, 2014

Wild Running organisers in Devon, are issuing a challenge to fell runners from the north to enter the second ever Petzl Wild Night Run (WNR) on Dartmoor.

The WNR takes places on Saturday March 1, 2014 in South Brent and will be raising money for the South Brent Explorer Scouts, as well as for the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust. Organisers are now hoping that the event will lure some seasoned athletes from established fell running areas such as Cumbria and the South Pennines, to make the journey south.

In its first year in 2013, the event attracted 170 participants, almost all of the entrants successfully completed the ten mile race or its little sister the five mile Mild Night Run.

Coming from as far afield as Derby, runners blazed a trail of head torches over rocks, mud, moorland, bogs, as well as a little bit of tarmac. Up to 300 runners are expected to tackle the gradual ascent up on to Dartmoor, passing the Avon Dam en route, before reaching the Abbots Way and looping back towards Brent Hill and the finish at the train station in South Brent.

Organiser Ceri Rees, whose company Wild Running puts on the event, along with fellow runner and triathlete Ben Tisdall, said: “Ben and I were having a pint after one particularly muddy Thursday night and wondered why there weren’t any night running races in the area. The Wild Night Run is the result and hopefully it will establish itself in the national Fell Running Calendar. I really enjoy the liberty that running in the wild offers but if you want to compete on the fells, it sometimes requires a long trip north. I for one would like to see more fell running opportunities down in the south west.”

He added:  “I only really started off-piste night running a few years ago, just before I set up Wild Running, but I wish I’d discovered it earlier. It’s a great way to accept the British winter by keeping fit outdoors even in dark winter months but it also feels different from running in daylight as your senses are awakened. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to interact with this amazing natural resource we have on our doorstep, that is Dartmoor.”

The organisers say participants should come prepared to deal with some tricky terrain,  mostly off road and with plenty of climbing.

Ben added: “This is a tough race and not for the faint-hearted but the fact that it is at night, seems to make people more aware of each other, which is a very positive experience. If you manage to match your half marathon time on the road we’ll be amazed.”

Head-torches are compulsory. The course will be well marshalled by local Explorer Scouts and marked with tape and arrows. The moorland sections will also have luminous ski poles
Participants will be donating £1 from their entry fee towards the DPHT.

Petzl Wild Night Run on Dartmoor - Saturday March 1, 2014

The Wild Night Run programme - Saturday March 1, 2014

  • 4pm Registration opens at South Brent Village Hall, Station Approach, South Brent, TQ10 9PJ
  • 6pm 8km Mild Night Run. The shorter race, which starts at the same time as the longer run, follows the river path from South Brent to Shipley Bridge, then loops round to rejoin the last section of the path. Still challenging but aimed at under 18s or less experienced runners.
  • 6pm Ten mile Wild Night Run. The first five miles is mainly uphill, following the river to Shipley Bridge, with one or two brief descents to give you some respite. There is then a short tarmac section (though still slightly uphill), before a steep climb up onto the moor until you meet the Abbots Way. The second half is mainly downhill but with a couple of short, sharp climbs to keep you on your toes.

King and Queen of the Night

There will be prizes for the fastest finishers in senior and vets categories. However there are also special prizes for anyone who manages to beat the King (if you’re a man) or Queen (if you’re a woman) of the night in the 10 mile race. The King and Queen are top trail runners who will be brightly lit and your target to try and beat.

Entry for the Wild Night Run costs £22. The Mild Night Run race costs £16.

To register for either of these events go to www.wildnightrun.co.uk

Ceri & Ben’s top training tips for the Wild Night Run are:

  • Do some running in the dark with a head torch before the race to get used to what it‘s like to run in the dark.
  • If you’re local, why not join one of the regular Thursday evening runs organised by www.wildrunning.co.uk in the South Hams and on Dartmoor.
  • Don’t wear new shoes for the race. All kit should be tried and tested.
  • Bring a rain proof jacket and trousers with you, and just in case, a map and a compass.
  • Don’t try anything new on race day, keep breakfast, lunch and fuel intake as per training runs. Don’t forget to make sure you’re properly hydrated.
  • Don’t forget to put fresh batteries in your head torch!

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