Race Report by Helen Rowe
The inaugural Gato Head Torch 10K was held in January 2019. I couldn’t get a place on that, as it was sold out, so I signed up for Race 2. The first race had been held on the night that we cancelled all of the Massey Training Runs, as it was icy, and felt to be too dangerous to run. There was a large contingent of Massey Runners on that first head torch run in January, and there were a number of people who fell on the ice.
Thankfully, by 27th February the weather had warmed up. In fact, we had been having a heat wave. 5 Massey Runners were signed up, but only 4 turned up to run: Cathy McKeown, Emma King, Carinna Laugharne, and myself. There was quite a large contingent from Northbrook AC, and a few from Kenilworth Runners, Sphinx, Rugby Triathlon Club, Aldridge RC, Daventry Road Runners, Kettering Town Harriers, Birstall RC, West End Runners, Vegan Runners, Beaumont Running Club, Rugby and Northampton, Step It Up, Stratford AC, BTB Better Than Before, Squirrels, Badgers, and one from 100 Marathon Club for whom this was going to be a walk in the park!
We were walked down the zigzag to the Great Central Way (greenway), where we had a mass start under a road bridge. We were soon a long string of bobbing lights heading out towards the railway station. The route was 1.5 miles out, to a turn-around point manned by Richard, back to the start, where we turned around again to head back to Richard again, and then back to the start and up the zigzag, which was lit up with fairy lights.
There were a couple of areas where there were deep ditches, full of water, either side of the pathway, so you did need to take care not to fall in! It was a little eerie on the path when you were on your own, which for me was on my second lap. But for most people there was always someone around.
After the race, there was free tea/coffee available, and a van selling hot soup, which I am told was delicious.
It was my first experience of running a race in the dark, wearing a head torch, and whilst I had been a little nervous about it beforehand, I enjoyed it, and I got a 10K PB as well.