National Trust Osterley Park Night Run
The Osterley Park Night Run is part of a set of night time National Trust trail events in partnership with Cotswold Outdoor. The concept of the series is, an enjoyable, sociable run, in beautiful surroundings. As well as, at National Trust venues at night, which you would not necessarily get to experience. Open to all abilities, you can walk, jog, run, bring the family, and on this one, even the dog. You do need to bring a head torch or hand torch to be able to take part. There are two routes to choose from, the explorer route of 2km, or the adventure route of 7km. As the runs are in National Trust grounds, they are traffic-free, using the paths and trails available. The proceeds raised from the night run events are used for on-going conservation work in the specific locations.
This event caught my eye, a night trail run! Something I was yet to experience, and only 7km long. I had not come across many 7km events. This was perfect timing for me as I gradually build my running distance back to 10km. Also, it was an opportunity to run at Osterley Park again. I had previously run the Winter 10km race there, as my last race of the year in 2017, and managed a PB. A running friend who came to the Winter 10km had also entered. We arranged to meet each other there, as I was attending the National Running show earlier in the day.
This race was just what I needed. Recently I had been struggling with my running, which was more of a run and walk rather than continuous running. I was a little nervous, as it was several months since I had run in a race. However, as soon as I arrived, the atmosphere, friendliness, supportiveness of the marshals, and other runners, put me at ease.
The venue and race details
On reaching the car park, I could hear music playing in the distance. This gave a pleasant ambience and made me feel more excited about the race. I made my way past the lake in the grounds which looked stunning at night, towards the event registration area. There was lots of signage and friendly marshals directing you where to go. The house was lit up, and runners gathered to collecting their bib numbers. Temporary toilets were provided. I queued to collect my number, and then, headed over to the front of the house where music was playing, ready for the warm-up. The warm-up was fun, and everyone joined in.
The route and recap
The race started by funnelling the runners through a starting gate and fence section and off we went into the grounds of Osterley Park. There was a slight bit of runner congestion when getting up to speed. This eventually dissipated as everyone found his or her natural pace. I started mid-pack with my friend and ran together initially as we found our own pace.
The route was based over two laps but not identical. I didn’t quite know what to expect, or how dark it would be. The course covered mixed terrain; trail tracks, grass, normal tarmac/concrete pathways, and a woodland section. Any bumps, tree routes, or potential trip hazards were sprayed in white, so you could easily see them. In some places, the paths were quite narrow. This meant you had to just go with the stream of runners, or overtake in a wider area if running faster. The route was varied enough for time to just go by. I didn’t feel like it was dragging on. The question of how much further did not creep into my mind.
I managed to run the whole race continuously without stopping. I felt slightly emotional. This was my first race and continuous run since fracturing my leg back in August 2018. I turned one of the last corners and could hear the music. Suddenly, I managed to find some extra energy and ran as fast as I could to the finish line, 400-600 meters away. I’m not sure where it came from, or what had been actually holding me back. In addition, as I approached the house and finish line, it was lovely to hear my friend cheering me in all the way across the finish line. Thank you, Sue!
At the end of the race, a banana, bottle of water, and a goody bag, were waiting for you. The bag contained mainly leaflets, there didn’t seem to be a medal. However, on arriving home and looking more closely through the contents, I discovered a lovely wooden medal. This was a delightful surprise, as there was no mention of one when registering, that I can recall. The race wasn’t chip timed, you had to use your own timing method. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The race cost £14.00 with the addition of a booking fee of £0.70, £14.70 in total.
I’m going to give the National Trust Osterley Park Night Run a score of 3.5 out of 5 on the Runiversity of life™ Runometer™
Route and elevation profile
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