Maverick Dark Series – Sussex

Due to dropping out of the Bournemouth Marathon, it had been well over a month since I last did a race, as I had planned to give myself a break so by the beginning of November it was about time I dusted off my kit and earned a new medal!

A cold, wet, Saturday dawned with a nice lazy start, as this race was taking place at night! The first of three evening trail races put on by Maverick. Phil and I headed out late Saturday afternoon to travel to the race that was taking place at Cowdray Park in West Sussex.

Phil and I getting kitted out and ready to start

It was very cold waiting to start, as the light quickly leached away and the start time of 5pm approached. As normal for a Maverick race there was the choice of a short, medium or long route, and Phil and I were unsurprisingly doing the long route of 15km, but rather unusually we were actually going to be running together, Phil slowing down to run with me for a change.

The start line in the fading light

After a race brief to explain how the course was marked using reflective signs and glow sticks, it was on with the head torches and off into the darkness. We started down hill on a paved road but it was soon off into the trees, across increasingly muddy paths.

Despite the cold, we soon warmed up running, trying to avoid the biggest puddles, but getting splattered in mud as we weaved through trees and across fields. The rain from earlier in the day had eased off, and although it was spitting lightly at times, I barely noticed it.  We ended up running near a group who seemed to be finding navigating in the dark quite a challenge, and kept going wrong and getting confused. Luckily Phil and I were a little more adept at spotting the signs reflecting in the head torches or the glow sticks in the trees and several times we helped to put them right, managing never to get lost ourselves.

It was good fun running through the mud in the dark, but all good things much come to an end and we eventually crossed the finish line together and collected our medals and beer before going to get changed in the somewhat soggy car-park and hitting the road on the hunt for food.

Looking forward now to the next in the Maverick Dark series in Surrey at the end of November.