Night Trail Running Joys

More and more people are running at night on trails.  Running with headlights on a trail at night might seem daunting or uncomfortable – only for the truly daring. Why run at night when running in day light is fine. Why push the limits? Ok the pros do it in Ultra-marathons where they run non stop over 24 hours in multiday races usually starting at night or before dawn.

Is night trail running so difficult? Why at night? These were the questions that were running through my mind as I joined an evening trail run team.  I enjoyed night trail running right away and have not stopped since. You are in the woods with the wild boar and deer, you climb hills without seeing the top and then down the other side.  In day light you might feel tired looking at the top of the hill. At night it is very quiet and there are no cars on the road.  Once you are done you marvel that you ran so far and climbed so much.

You will need a good pair of trail running shoes with special soles to avoid sliding too much. Make sure they are water proof or you will have wet feet– especially in the winter when you are running through puddles, wet grass and mud. You will also need a good headlamp.  Most people just choose the cheapest headlamp and pay the “price” later when they can’t see what they are stepping into….spend more for a better/ stronger lamp that is rechargeable so that when you are descending you can see what lies ahead especially when the descent is tricky.  When with other night runners, try to keep the light aimed down and not in other peoples faces.

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by Laurence Fox Hopper

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