How Miss 13 could spot me easily in a Night Race:
Miss 13 runs a lot faster than me and likes to go on ahead, which I usually allow her to do as long as I can see her, and then she waits for me further up, or runs back to me.
But for a night time race, in the dark, with a couple of hundred other runners in a Forest, up what I considered a ‘mountain’ was going to be a little harder for both of us to keep track of each other if she wanted to go on ahead (and also the fact that I would be nearly passing out from the hill climb I needed to make it easier).
So I planned early and came up with a great solution that I have used over the last 2 years of doing the Butterfly Creek Nighttime Madness races:
I bought from a discount shop (a bit like a $2 shop, but the next step up) a clip on “Bike reflector type light”. It can flash on and off or stay on constant.
We don’t usually wear camelbacks running normally, but for this night time race it’s good sense to carry a rainjacket, thermal top, water, food and cellphone. As if you injure yourself or you get lost, it can get pretty cold up there pretty fast. Our “faux camelbacks” have just enough space in them to carry these essentials, I think they are called a “hydration backpack”.
I attached mine to a ribbon up on the shoulder strap, near the chest strap and I attached a hairtye to flick around it so it wasn’t flopping around.
So during the race in amongst the myriad of runners, headlights and thermal clad bodies, Miss 13 could look back and easily identify me by the different coloured blinking “Bike Reflector”. So she knew she could carry or, or if she had lost sight of me to wait til I caught up.
I also clipped another one to the back of hers, so I also could glance ahead and would see flashes of her “Bike Reflector” and know I could still see her which gave me piece of mind.
Most people’s head lights or torches were a ‘white light’, wherea’s the Bike Reflectors were a Red/Orange colour and of course ours where flashing. They weren’t our only light sources as we also both still wore headlamps and I carried another very small torch strapped to my hand.
We got a lot of comments from other runners and also families that were competing about what a great idea it was to be able to see each other easier and were asking where they could get one from.
I also attached a couple of coloured glow sticks looped into their circles to both the front and back of us too, which was just a bit of fun too.
We missed this years race, but look forward to doing the Night time madness race again next year.
When you’re doing it, you wonder why on earth you’re putting yourself through this again as it really really sucks heading up that first long slog up the hill…but once your past the summit and past all the uphill stuff, the downhill is loads of fun and in the 3 years we have done it I have always found this race to give great satisfaction of just achieving it. And it’s such a different experience to do with your kid.
These bike reflectors now serve a double purpose, they can be used in races like this in future, but for now do double duty attached to the back of each of our “Grab n Go” backpack kits that sit by our front door in case of emergency.
Have you ever done a night race before?