Now that the new year is here, I’m really looking forward to the next event I’ve registered for. This is the Legends of Sherwood 10k – part of the Notorious Night Runs Series by Rat Race, taking place on Saturday 3rd March 2012 at Sherwood Pines Forest Park. I registered for the 2012 event immediately after taking part in the inaugural event in April 2011, because I enjoyed it so much.
The Legends of Sherwood Forest10k is not a conventional 10k race. For a start, it takes place on a Saturday night which is not your typical time of the week to be out exercising (well not mine anyway). Secondly, fancy dress is positively encouraged with the emphasis firmly on having fun. Forget any ideas you have of smashing your personal best for a 10k, as you’re not going to get close. The multitude of obstacles around the course will put paid to that – more on these later. To give you an idea, the winning times for the 2011 10k were:
- Merry Man (18-49 Males) – 00:56:21
- Little John (16-17 Males) - 00:56:41
- Merry Maid (18-49 Females) – 01:11:43
- Old Man of the Forest (50+ Males) - 01:21:50
- Mother Nature (50+ Females) - 01:32:52
- Little Jill (16-17 Females) – No Runners
The 2011 10k
As darkness fell, the competitors lined up for the start of the 10k race with the majority donning their fancy dress outfits. Most of these followed the theme of Robin Hood, but there were a few random outfits such as Tellytubbies and various superheroes. Headtorches were mandatory for the 10k, as the route took you through some dense forest sections in the dark. If you’re looking to buy a headtorch, I can highly recommend the Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headtorch. It’s very lightweight, stays securely in place and throws an excellent beam of light to give you great visibility for picking out any branches and roots that are ready to trip you up. Since purchasing mine for this event, I’ve been using it for regular night runs since, which is not something I’d ever tried before. Great fun!
The 10k course had eight obstacles spread evenly throughout, including:
- A stack of hay bales to climb over
- Dense sections of trees where you had to crawl along and push branches away from your face
- Cargo nets to climb over, and crawl under
- A swamp to crawl through, with mud a foot deep
- A slippery ramp with a rope to pull yourself up
Queues did form at some of these obstacles but I think most people were pleased at the opportunity to take a breather! Check out these great photos from the 2011 event by RandR Photography Ltd, to give you an idea of what to expect in the 2012 event:
Muddy running kit after the Legends of Sherwood Forest 10k
After the 10k race, there was a beer tent with a live band to round off proceedings. Prizes were also presented to the winners and runners up in each category. You also had the option of camping overnight in Sherwood Pines afterwards.
If you’re looking to try out an event that’s a bit different, I’d highly recommend the Legends of Sherwood Forest 10k. It’s a fun, friendly event with a great atmosphere between the competitors. If the 10k distance, or running in the dark, feels a bit daunting you also have the option of the 5k race. This takes place in the daytime, so no need for a headtorch, and includes the best obstacles from the 10k course.