I first took part in the No Ego challenge in 2016 so was excited to return back again this year. I entered just for fun, so wasn’t out for a particular time. As I still haven’t repurchased trail shoes since I shrunk my Salomons in the wash it was going to be an eventful evening doing a muddy trail run in road shoes.
The race took place in Dalby Forest at night! Firstly it’s an uphill start, which wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The first 2 miles took you uphill into the forest, along muddy narrow paths. It was great to see the runners ahead – a long line of twinkly head torches heading into the trees. There was a lot of stop/starting and screaming as people were sliding all over, struggling to grip in the mud. It was at this point I remembered why I didn’t do it in 2017! I got stuck behind someone had decided now would be a great time to a Facebook live (how she got 4G in the middle of a forest, I’ll never know). If she had focussed more on the hill ahead of her and less on her phone she may have framed a little better.
The next section took you along a path where you could actually manage a decent run, this was a lot more pleasant and I started to enjoy it a little. We spent this section weaving in and out of groups of people walking 4 across. Personally, if I need to walk in a race, I move to the side of the course. Likewise, if I’m running and can feel someone quicker coming up behind me, I’ll move to the side to allow them to pass me.
The final section took you back along narrow paths and to downhill the finish. Don’t be fooled, downhill in those muddy conditions is harder than uphill.
The race was very well organised, local and cheap to enter. For me, it was 5 miles of love/hate. I just found it frustrating as there were bottlenecks of people and I daren’t step off the path to go round them as it was dark. Perhaps if it was set off in waves it would ease the congestion a little. If you’re after a challenging 5 miler it’s the event for you – just not for me. Give me a road race any day.
Entry Cost: Around £13
Water stations: None
Parking: Free, car share strongly advised
Baggage Facilities: No, parking nearby
Post-Race Goodies: None
Highlights: Well organised local race, free race photos.
Low points: Crowded in places