This is my 3rd year of doing this race so you can guess this will be a good review!
Wild running Uk is a company who run training and races across the south west and the Wild Night Run is personally the jewel in their crown!
Starting at South Brent village hall on the edge of Dartmoor the atmosphere before the start is great with a real welcoming feel and with food and refreshments being served by Dartmoor Kitchen i couldn’t wait to finish to have the food!
Registration if efficient but relaxed however the parking is not so great. Being a small village parking can be problematic so arriving early is a good idea!
Info is sent out a week before the race and due to it being a night race on uneaven/rough ground their is an expectation for a degree of self supportation so a manditory kit list is issued with spot checks. The kit listed is nothing out of the norm and if you were do injure yourelf on the top of one of the Tors you would be glad of it!
There are 2 options on the night, A Mild Night (5 miles) A Wild Night (10 miles) i have now done both, the main difference (apart from distance!) is the terrain. The Mild Night skirts the edge of dartmoor keeping more to woodland trails where are as the Wild Night heads up and over the local area of dartmoor.
Wth the race starting at 5pm in January it’s dark as you set off from the Village hall, the first section is uphill on a road heading out of South Brent. Seeing the 140 runners bobbing along with their high viz and head torches must be an odd sight to anyone who comes across it but it’s not long before the precession hits the woodland track heading towards the dam.
After a few miles of up and downs, small stream crossings you hit a road where the Wild and Milds splts. at this point we begin our climb up on a dartmoor track with the raging river running beside us.
The hill profile pretty much looks like a pyramid with the first 6 miles being pretty much up hill. Roads turn to Tracks which then lead to trails and having a good head torch is a must to help you navigate the bogs, rocks and Ponies! The route is roughly marked by reflective ski poles, red flashing lights and barrier tape, the route you take between these markers is your choice and that is part of the fun picking the best route or sometimes finding it isn’t.
When you top out on the highest Tor on the race the view of village lights far and wide is amazing and a real highlight of the race. As the field spread out you get a real feeling of being out there alone!
Now the last 4 miles are not all down hill there are a few little ‘spikes’ just to test your legs after the energy zapping muddy trails but you will find the down hills the hardest buy this point!
The last section runs along the river and up onto the rod by the village hall where you finsh. Then it’s a case of picking up you birch wood medal, taking your shoes off and joining the rest of the Wild Runners for great food, stories and a warm welcome.
I’ll see you there next year!