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Dark Races – what you need to know

In the autumn and winter months, we host evening dark races for something a little bit different. If you’ve never attended one of these before, then we’ve put together this article with everything you need to know.

All of our Dark Races take place at Moors Valley Country Park and give you a great chance to run around the forest trails in the evening. Each event offers two races, either one or two laps of our course, so you can pick the distance that suits you best.

When we say ‘dark’, we mean it! The first race begins at dusk, so it gets darker as you go.

There are no lights in the forest, so your way will be lit by your own headtorch or chest torch, and those of the hundreds of others runner around you. We do have plenty of signs and tape to follow, and marshals at key locations. We also have our brightly lit-up Lovestation on course, where you can top up on water, squash, savoury nibbles and sweets before carrying on into the night.

The routes are run on forest trails. They’re generally quite wide and easy to run on, but there are some narrower paths and off-the-beaten track sections to keep you on your toes. We’ve even managed to find the odd incline to throw in. Don’t worry, we’ve not lost anyone yet… just follow the signs and the line of lights from other runners.  

We always encourage fancy dress at these events – and we’ve had some great efforts in the past. The theme is bright colours and neon, to stand out against the dark, and we see a lot of tutus and fairy lights! You do have to have a running light of some kind, but you can add as much colour and additional lights as you like – we do ask that you don’t have flashing lights though, and that you turn your headtorch off when approaching the Lovestation so as not to blind our lovely volunteers.

We’re really lucky to have use of the facilities at Moors Valley for this event – the toilets are open so there are no portable toilets here! The car park is also free with your entry, and even better, you can arrive earlier in the day to explore the country park. Enjoy the Play Trail, bike trails, Go Ape, Nets Adventure, play areas, steam train and more to really make a day of it. Find out more here. The White Star Clothing shop will be on site too, as well as caterers so you can grab something to eat or a hot drink while you’re there.

Everyone who takes part gets a medal. Yes, they’re wooden, but we’re pretty proud of our wooden medals. We feel that they’re appropriate for an event in the forest, and in keeping with the sustainable environment that we run in. They’re produced really locally, and are designed with the same care and attention as our metal medals – they’re thick, colourful and completely unique. You’ll also get some bonus finishers’ goodies, unless you opt out of those.

If this sounds like something you think you’d enjoy, then we currently have two events planned:
Dark Valley – Saturday 18th November

Dark Moors – Saturday 27th January

Entries for Dark Valley will open on Friday 18th August at 7pm, with a 10K and Half Marathon available.

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