Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Lyme Park Night Run Race Recap

Every year the National Trust hosts a number of unusual running events, all of them are set in beautiful grounds and all of them take place at night! This year we took on the Lyme Park night run for the second time and this is what we thought...


Ahead of the day
As per usual I feel there wasn't much in the way of advertisement, in fact if you aren't a National Trust member then I'm pretty sure this fun series doesn't even pop up on your radar! We received an email with details about the series but you can also find info on the events via there website. With 15 stunning locations around the UK taking part it's a shame they don't advertise the events a little more. 
Once we'd signed up we received an email straight away with a little more information about the run but that was the one and only piece of communication.

On The Day Organisation
As you'd expect from a partnership with the National Trust and Cotswold Outdoors this is a very well organised event! Runners had to collect their numbers on the day, the room was easy to find and numbers were alphabetised - we were a little blazé about the start and had to hurry back to the start line once we ticked ourselves in! The route was ok for marshals, although those quickest of the mark were a bit too keen *ahem*James and did manage to add an extra 300m of getting lost in right at the beginning so perhaps some extra way markers wouldn't go amiss! 

Reflective clothing essentials for such a dark run!

I think this is perhaps one of the most fun events we've taken part in, hence being excited to come back for the second year in a row! Everybody's freezing, it's pitch black and a complete mud bath... what's not to like?! 
 There definitely is a great atmosphere for this event and it's always a pleasure to come and take part!

The Course
The adventurer course that we took part in comes in at around 6.7km, don't be fooled by that relatively simple sounding distance! This course is tough! That's 6.7km in the dark, across all sorts of terrain from ankle deep mud to a maze of tree roots so it certainly isn't for the faint hearted. Lyme Park also offers an excellent opportunity to practice that hill work  with two killer hills to make it up on this route. The way didn't seem to be marked out as well this year but did have marshals at all the key points. 

The Goodie Bag
If you're not already googling this event to take part next year then I have one last thing that'll definitely sway it for you, the give out a pretty epic goodie bag! First off it's not just a plastic carrier bag, it's not even a JD style P.E. bag, no! It's a cute little drawstring actually made of fabric and actually something I'd use again. Inside is the usual plethora of leaflets and two more interesting goodies, a Night Run band, ok, maybe that one isn't too exciting... and the best thing of all a Night Run Snood! I'm completely in love with it and have already worn it on multiple runs since, quite simply put it's my favourite goodie bag item ever! There is also of course the official night run medal! 
If you're thinking that's great but now I'm muddy and frozen then they also have an extra little surprise for you. The wonderful volunteers have some (actually delicious and looks homemade) soup and breadrolls waiting for you at the end! 

All in all we love Night Run, it's a very well organised event and our second time round was just, if not more so, enjoyable than the first. An event we'll be coming back for next year I'm sure. Perhaps our one downside this time around was the lack of official timing, something that the National Trust seem to scrapped entirely for their organised runs and that is a shame. 

How did we do? James came 3rd with a time of 32:58 and I managed a not too shabby 42:24 which knocks 4 minutes off of last years time! 

Key Stats
Entry Fee: £14
Atmosphere: 4/5
Race Organisation: 4/5 
Course Difficulty: 5/5
Goodie Bag: 5/5
Overall Score: 4.5/5

Key Stats explained
Atmosphere rating (1-poor, 5-excellent) based on other runners, the crowd and general feeling of the event.
Race Organisation (1-poor, 5-excellent) based upon key information being communicated ahead of time, race information including number arriving in plenty of time, speed of response from organisers on requesting information, facilities available along the route and ease of starting the race. 
Course Difficulty (1-very easy, 5-extremely difficult) based on gradient of the route, running surface eg. Road or trail, obstacles along the route and ability to stay on the correct route through markers or marshals.
Goodie Bag (1-none available, 5-best goodie bag ever!) based on prizes given out post event such as medals and t-shirts.
Overall Score (1-Would not recommend, 5-would recommend to everyone) based on all factors above to give an overview of how good the event was.

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