Hamsterley Moon Runner, 11th November 2023

A report from Mark Anderson of his adventures in Hamsterley Forest:

“What better way is there to spend a Saturday evening in November than to run up hills over uneven ground in the dark? Our assault on a similar course in Chopwell Woods having been thwarted by Storm Babet, Dave Lydall and I headed for Hamsterley Forest to test our night running skills.

After a bit of dodgy navigation thanks to Google Maps, we made it to the venue, along with about 200 others. A short warm up and a test of our head torches preceded amassing with assembled throng on the start line of an undulating 10k course primarily on forest tracks. The weather was kind – no rain and a chilly, but reasonable temperature.

This was my second time at this event – most of the uphill is covered in the first half with what seems like a never ending climb before a series of descents, punctuated by shorter uphill sections. One track had turned somewhat to a riverbed but was runnable and there are some fantastic single track sections weaving through the trees. The last 500m or so is a flat sprint along a wide track lit by fairy lights wound round the trees giving quite a magical feel.

We were reasonably successful too! In my first race in a new age category, I finished 6th overall and carried off the prize for first MV50 (in fact I was the first vet home). Dave also performed well, missing his age category prize by only 4 seconds. The evening was topped off by us winning the car share raffle – two free entries to a future race. A productive evening for the sky blues in deepest darkest County Durham!”

6Mark Anderson 43:14 (1st MV50)
40David Lydall 54:03

Laurie Johnson -