Race date: Saturday and Sunday, 27-28 July 2019
Report by Mandy Taylor
Dusk Till Dawn
A 12 hour, overnight challenge in which runners complete a 3.21 mile circuit around Manvers Lake. The course itself leaves from the lakeside front and progresses towards the Trans Pennine Way for approx. 1 mile. A short sharp turn brings you alongside a residential area and back into the grounds of the lake to the starting point. The route is mainly flat.
When I was encouraged to enter this I did feel a bit out of my comfort zone. Although I have done a couple of ultras, none have been through the night. In fact I have never run at night! The quirky bit of this run is that though you have 12 hours you are not forced to undertake a set distance. Run as many or as few laps as you want.
So armed with this knowledge, a borrowed head torch and a tent, off I went.
I met a few fellow Striders there – its always good to have support.
Registration completed, tent pitched, off to the start line at 6pm. A small talk on health and safety by the organiser and off we set.
The weather was not at its best.
The torrential rain had made parts of the trail very muddy so care was needed, especially on the first lap as people tried to avoid the unavoidable.
I did think that I may become bored of the repetition of laps, but as you needed to keep your wits about you this did not happen. The first 19 miles went swiftly by. As it was becoming darker by then and the rain getting heavier, this was my first ‘tea break’.
Although I was feeling good with the running I could feel blisters on the feet (due to the wet?) and my tummy started to grumble. But tea supped and a few snacks eaten, change of socks out I went again. By this time it was dark and the head torch was definitely needed. Strange but I did get used to this. I managed a further 3 laps before the stomach cramps took over and I made the decision to have a break.
My rest consisted of me sitting in the tent wrapped in a blanket, listening to the torrential rain and worrying about not meeting the target of 34 miles that I had set myself. Two hours of ‘rest’ and off I went for tea and toast before embarking on another stint out. At this point I spoke with another Strider, Sarah, who quite kindly informed me that the muddy path was now a complete quagmire and that the path in places were just inches deep in water. No avoiding it.
Approx 3.30am and I was feeling more refreshed, I headed out slipping and sliding and managed to fall over! No injuries but set off at slower pace and appreciated that dawn was beginning to break. I managed a further 3 laps. I finished at 5.30am as I was unsure if I would make another full lap in the 30 mins left, given the conditions.
The whole experience was different but great. The marshals were friendly and helpful and there was plenty of food and drink throughout the night.
It was a very informal way of counting the mileage, you have to collect a wrist band and put a tick at the side of your name on a sheet every time you completed a lap!
The event is for all abilities and it was good to see walkers and dog walkers out braving the night and the rain as well as the runners.
Have to say hats off to those out there that carried on in the periods of torrential rain, it was horrendous. There were plenty out there who did some amazing mileage, and I heard stories of people using this run as training for longer runs!
I’m really pleased that I managed 12 laps – it gave me a total of 38.5 miles.
303 runners took part, with the longest distance being covered a mighty 73.83 miles (23 laps, 5 ahead of anyone else) by Matthew Blackburn. Furthest-running women were Lizzie Hutson and Susan Keens, with 57.78 miles (18 laps) apiece.