Sunday, 10 October 2010

Lots of Blind Mice

On Friday evening I took part in a night race, which is always an interesting experience.  And, as much as I find it challenging, I just can't seem to stay away!

Firstly, there's the issue of, well, seeing.  As per definition, a night race takes place in the dark - or at least to some extent.  Which is exactly where my problem starts.  As wonderful as running in the cool evening breeze can be, putting one foot in front of the other at breakneck speed (or so it feels) without knowing what you're about to step on or trip over, can be quite intimidating.  Although the largest part of the course is, thankfully and usually, lit by street lights, there are always some parts where night vision goggles would really come in handy.  Let's just say that running these parts, I felt like (and probably also looked like) I was running on eggs, knees-to-the-ears style all the way, baby!

Secondly, there's the issue of being seen.  Sharing a road with motor vehicles is not desirable under any circumstances, let alone in the pitch dark.  Now, don't get me wrong: A collision is not, per se, what I'm concerned about.  For that there is traffic marshals, who always do a great job.  My concern is of a more personal nature: the knees.  At my age running on the most level surface you can find, becomes a huge priority.  Back in the day running on a severely slanted road made absolutely no difference.  These days, however, an absolutely 100% horizontal surface is what the knees want.  Which is usually found right where the cars drive.  Which is where being seen comes in very handy.  You get the picture.

Why then run a night race?  Why not stay at home and sleep and stick to running in the sunshine?  Because it's different.  Because it's challenging.  And because variation is exactly what the doctor ordered to keep the passion alive!

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