Trossachs Night trail Series race 1

Over the last few weeks I have been making a habit of going to races where the travelling time exceeds the time spent actually running. Aberfoyle night trail race on Wednesday night was no exception. Organised by hill legend Angela Mudge this was a 5.5mile night time trail race round Aberfoyle forestry tracks. Half the battle was getting out of Glasgow to make the 7pm start, the race itself would be a doddle after that. Escaping the new South Glasgow hospital at 5o clock by car is a bit of an ordeal so myself and Joe hatched a plan to involving a run/a train and a diversion to collect car & 2 wags. Miraculously it all went very smoothly and got us to the startline in plenty of time. The last time I did a night time race it was with an Alpkit Gamma headtorch with slightly flat batteries at Nebit moonrace. It was like running with a candle strapped my head. No such problems this time as I have upgraded to the beefy Petzl Nao which is more like having a massive floodlight on your head. It was probably overkill as most of the course was on wide forestry tracks and it was pretty easy to keep your footing. The route was well marked with marshals at key junctions so no real danger of going wrong. At the start Joe and a couple of others hared of into the distance and I settled into 4th place just ahead of the 1st placed lady who looked like she was pretty fast. She turned out to be a Hungarian international orienteer so probably the most exotic person in the field (unless you are a Deacon Blue fan as Dougie Vipond was also racing). I was making no inroads on 3rd place so settled for making sure I stayed ahead of the chasing pack. The course was very disorientating in the dark with no features to give you an idea of what way you are going and you just had to settle for counting down the kilometre markers. Eventually some orange lights in the distance signalled we were returning back to civilisation and before I knew it the finish line appeared. I finished in a time of 33:51 I had held on to 4th place, but thanks to the 3rd Place man being a vet I got a prize for 3rd Senior Male. There was a generous selection of prizes laid out on the table for you to help yourself. I think Angela was having a clear out of her cupboards as there was plenty of hi5 and Salomon tit tat. I settled for a bit of non Salomon gear: a rather fetching blue knitted hat which is slightly too small for my oversized head. As well as some fine prizes there was soup provided by the Forth Inn. We are greedy pups so this wasn’t enough and we followed up with fish & chips and a beer from Jaw Brewery. After being a wee bit disappointed by their Drift light ale recently I was keen to give them another chance. Forth Inn had their dark ale on tap. I thought it was a bit more palatable but it might have just been massive thirst after 30mins running about a cold forest. Anyway a top nights entertainment: running, beer, chips. About as good as it gets for a Wednesday night in December. Next race is in Callender on 27th January. Get it in the diary, it should be great.

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