WildRunning Haldon 10km
I have done other races in their series but I’ve never done this race before. Being at the Haldon Forest there was plenty of carparking just by the race start as well as a good cafe that opened until late serving coffe, cake and hot food. The venue was perfect for an introduction to trial night running as well as for the more experience to push themselves.
The Wild Running Team are a freindly bunch and although registrations can be a little hectic at times this one was very slick and in no time at all i was kitted up ready to go.
The course consisted of a figure of 8. The middle of the 8 was were the 5km race broke off and made thier was to the finish where as the 10km’s had some more hills to do!
The start was a small walk (200m) from the registration point to reduce the number of road crossings o the route and started on a nice wide fire track heading down into the woods. The Surface on a whole was Fire Track so mainly gravel so this made it a perfect way to get into night racing as there wa less risk of turning an ankle.
As the old saying what goes down MUST come up after a fast 1km down hill you hit the first hill, although tough there were tougher hills to come on the 10km but this helped spread the field. Just after the top of the hill was a road crossing, this was well martialed and the road is extreamly quiet so i would have been surprised if anyone had to stop.
On the other side of the road we began to follow the ‘rapter trail’ which would itself down and around the forest on nice wide Fire Trails untill you came to the split. As the 5 km’s split off t do the last 2km we headed down, down, DOWN on a trail that felt that it lasted for ages. Knowing Haldon Forest is on the edge of a valley i knew we would have to head back up which was not a nice prospect!
Once you hit bottom you wound your way up and down on the trails to regain height finally hitting the sharpest hill of all which many had to walk. (Walking is ok in trail racing!) once you conquered this hill you joined back onto the Rapter taril and headed back to the split. The final park which was covered by the 10 and 5 km routes weaved in and out of the forest on slighly smaller trails (1.5m wide) gaining the last bit of height you needed before hitting the forest road for the las 200m. The last 200m were uphill and the finish line only came into sight with 50m to go. Jut intime for a sprint finish (If you had it in you!).
WildRunning give out cool medals. The medals are made from Birch Wood disks with the information/design being burnt on. These are a nice change to the normal metal medals and wil definatly add to your collection.
Would i do it again? YES i have a time to beat!!