The dark side of running

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 February 2010 | UPDATED: 00:56 16 June 2010

Richard Hale loves off-road running in the dark, utilising the now easily obtainable LED head torches, writes Dave Mutter.

Richard Hale loves off-road running in the dark, utilising the now easily obtainable LED head torches.

He gathered together some like-minded chums and formed the "Beer Coasters" section of AVR with the aim of putting on a run through Grizzly country in the dark.

It all came to fruition last Saturday evening and here's Richard's account of the superb event.

Dylan Thomas once wrote:

"Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night."

And this is exactly what 99 runners did at 7pm on a cold, dark night last Saturday as they stormed off into the "Nightrunner" race from Beer Head car park. It was an eight-mile multi-terrain race across the cliff tops, along forest tracks and trails, through the freezing water at a ford crossing and along the shingle of Branscombe beach.

First returning torchlight of the winner was seen almost an hour later near Beer Head as James Jackson from Dartmoor Runners raced out of the darkness following the trail of red LEDs to the finish in a great time of 57.53.

AVR's Garry Perratt was close behind in second place, also in a great time of 58.43. Just outside the hour with 1.01.40 was Chris Keefe in 5th place. Recent member Ciaran O'Connor had no problems route-finding in the dark, finishing his first race for AVR 10th in 1.06.26.

Garry Davies has been training hard for this event and was well pleased with 30th place in 1.18.43.

Dark horse Andy Sayers had a magnificent run, finishing 36th in 1.23.06. First AVR Lady, 40th overall, was Robin Carter, with1.24.19. Dave Mutter was next to finish, exactly one minute behind Robin in 41st place.

Paul Tolchard loves the dark side of running and excelled himself with 1.30.38 in 60th place, clutching his hand held torch. Husband and wife Stephen and Dawn Potter finished together 63rd and 64th with a time of 1.33.26. Tracy Stone was next AVR, 81st in 1.40.31. Martine Dack, Alison Gould and Kelly Dack ran and finished together, with a twinkle in their eyes as well as their head torches, having really enjoyed the run in the cold. They were 85th, 86th and 87th in 1.43.18. It was a 90th place for Sam Tooze in 1.45.11 finishing strongly with Emma Richardson 91st in 1.45.12. There were 98 finishers overall.

Many thanks are due to the marshals and helpers who made the evening a great success. The feedback from runners was very positive so Richard and his team must be heartily congratulated.

l Harry Moore was absolutely delighted to win the somewhat muddy Ilchester Yak Trail 3.5 mile multi-terrain run in 49 mins. He said it was one of the best Valentine's Days he's ever had!

l With just over two weeks to the Grizzly, next Sunday the 21st, is the last chance to jog around either 16-ish miles of the Grizzly (with Dave Mutter) or 6-ish of the cub run (with Gill Day). Meet at Beer Head Car Park for a 9:30 start, but you could also run from Seaton and meet up with everyone at the Peco car park at 9:30am prompt.

Please take your own drinks etc and wear appropriate clothing for the exposed cliff top part of the run.

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