On Saturday 1st September I traveled down to Pegwell Bay to take part in another Saxons Vikings and Normans challenge event – Black Hugin – so called due to its 5 pm start, 8 laps with a good portion of the race in darkness.
Now for these of you who have run with me or know me well you will know that things can easily make me jump – so who knows what made me feel a night time race by myself would be a good idea! I was a tad nervous, so much so that I persuaded poor John that if I absolutely hated it he would have to come round with me once it was dark – the fact that it was a challenge event so I could finish whenever I wanted did not enter my head.
My logic of getting as many miles in during daylight was slightly flawed, as running fast for the first half was never going to end well…. In my desire to get mileage under the belt, I’d not refueled, I’d run too fast, but a positive – I had good mileage in the bank but was suffering for it. Laps 5 and 6 best described as not a lot of fun, but then darkness descended, and who knows what happened – perhaps fear of running in pitch blackness, perhaps my desire for my duvet (as it was now bedtime) but my legs found a new lease of life and laps 7 and 8 were completed in good spirits and much faster than the previous 2 laps.
Turns out supporting a night time marathon has it’s challenges, John was blinded a lot by runners, he had no way of knowing if the runner in question was me, and there were quite a few occasions when I’d suddenly spot a shadow at the side of the course, clock I thought it could be John, in double checking – yep I turned round and blinded him!
It’s a wonderful event, despite my worries it was absolutely fine running at night, lots of other runners around and a tad surreal seeing the glow of head torches emerging from darkness at various points of the course. Totally recommend if anyone wants a marathon that is a bit different.
Marathon number 44 completed in a time of 5:11:08.