Last night was the final race of the Portland Trail Series. I had my first running in the dark experience. I’ve run at dusk and early in the morning but not in the pitch black of a forest…on a trail….by myself…with only a headlamp and courage. It was a little scary, creepy, and somewhat exciting.
I have my 50k race on Saturday so I wasn’t going to go full out on this race. I was the slowest in the group (at least I thought so) and ran by myself which wasn’t so bad. It was around 5.3 something in terms of mileage so it wasn’t too hard. The race was an out and back. It was really cool to see all of the headlamps snake their way around the turns and up and down the hills. Until the fast ones aka everyone in the race, made their way back. I got spotlighted by numerous headlamps and had to jump to the side of the trail to let faster runners pass – something I dislike doing.
I turned around and told the volunteer that I thought someone might be behind me but I wasn’t sure. As I continued to run back, I didn’t see anyone else. So I told the last volunteer that I was the last one so she left her post and followed me to the finish line. It turned out that there was someone else on the trail. How I didn’t see her, I don’t know. I should have.
Along the trail, I only tripped a handful of times which is normal for me. I didn’t fall. Yay! I did get creeped out by the sounds I heard and at times, wondered if I was still on the trail. I learned that its not the best idea to listen to music while running in the dark by yourself so I put my iPod away pretty early on in the race.
I’m glad I got the chance to finally run in the dark. If you run in the dark on trails, run up the hills and go slow on the descents. But that’s just my advice.