Foxtrail Nocturnal Ultra Marathon – 02/12/2017

Technical terrain. Undulating course. Icy rain. Pitch dark. Scotland in December. Mind numbing loops.  How hard could it be?

I decided to enter the Nocturnal Ultra as training for a race I’m planning next year and because it was conveniently located for me to be able to tie it in with a visit to family.  The race consists of running for 6 hours round a 5k off-road loop in, as the name suggests, in the pitch dark.  The loop consisted of a real mix of terrains – mud, tree roots, sand, loose stones and a tiny section of road.  There were 2 hills which, unsurprisingly, seemed to get longer and steeper with each loop.

In the middle of the loop was a “party barn” which runners ran through.  This had a resident DJ and was a very welcome distraction.  The best visit was when the DJ was playing Madness.  Found myself singing along way after I could hear the music, apologies to anyone who heard.

At the end of the loop was a heated marquee where supporters and relay runners could wait.  Was proud I managed not to spend any time in here.  Was great to see my support of Gareth and my girls though, and they coped very well with my extreme emotions including many tears.

Don’t think I have ever done a race so far removed from my comfort zone.  Hadn’t set myself a mileage target, but with the difficult terrain and darkness was proud to have achieved 10 laps.

Report by:  Elspeth Jenkins

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