Thursday, October 29, 2009

Into the Darkness 4 Mile Night Trail Run

3rd Into the Darkness Night Trail Race October 24, 2009

Results and Pictures

Thank you very much for coming out and enjoying what I think is the area's most unique event. I hope everyone had fun out there. I am pleased that, once again, we almost doubled our numbers of entries with 208 registrants. I loved see so many 19 and under runners.

This year the course record was smashed from Caleb Kingery's 28:43 last year to the new record of 24:07 by David Cheromei (that's a 5:49 per minute pace, outstanding). The 2nd Place finisher was a surprise entry. He is a guy with great credentials and has been named USATF Mountain Runner of the Year (2002, 2003, 2004). Paul Low ended the race with great time of 27:24. This was followed by a great runner from Covington Ryan Middleton who was third with a 29:06

On the women’s side we had Christina Rolfe come in first with a 34:54 after running the memory 10mile race earlier in the day. Followed closely by 2nd place Hollie Flynn in 35:19 and 3rd place Samantha Mitchell in 37:31 in 3rd.

Congratulations to everyone. Thanks for coming out to play with us. For those of you that have never raced in a trail race or raced at night, Great Job. I think you will find that being out on trails will become addictive. If you want to find more trail locations please visit the trails section (for local info) or adventures section (for out of state info) of our website and get out there and have fun.

Also, for those of you that were in the race and found out that you could use a better light. Walkabout Outfitter has extended their 25% discount on all headlamps in stock.

Don’t forget our other sponsors. They help us make these races happen.
Gilbert Chiropractic
Mamma Maria’s
– In Salem. Make sure you order some garlic knots.
Walkabout Outfitter
Roanoke City Parks and Recreation
This event is sponsored by Roanoke Parks and Recreation. Check them out onthe web at or friend them on facebook to find outwhat is new in Parks and Recreation.
Virginia’s Explore Park
Monster Energy Drink
Roanoke Outside – Pete Eschelman has help create a large social network of outdoor recreation enthusiasts in the Roanoke & NRV Region of Virginia. His facebook page or Roanoke Outside email list will keep you up to date on what’s going on in the local outdoor world.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Running Trails at Night

Gina and I have run trails by headlamp and flashlight since we first got into trail running back in 2001. Due to time constraints, most of our fall and winter running occurs after dark. Both of us prefer to run on trails and don't want to let darkness keep us from staying in trail running shape. In addition, there are aspects of running at night that you just can't put into words.

Light Source:
My lighting preference is to use a LED headlamp and a flashlight (halogen or LED). LEDs are a very energy efficient lighting source and cast a white glow (I can't stand to buy and go through a lot of batteries. LEDs have really helped increase the run time of battery operated lights). Depending on your LED headlamp, the beam emitted will be a glow or a focused beam. There are countless options of headlamps for a variety of uses. I've yet to find a headlamp that lights up the trail and allows you to get depth perception.

When running at night you get depth perception from shadows being cast from your light source. The best way to get shadows is to use a flashlight. Holding a light lower, in your hand, helps to get the shadows you need to identify rocks, roots, and other obstacles in your way.
With this in mind I usually only run using a headlamp, but if I'm planning to run a trail fast, run a rocky or rooty trail, or run a steep downhill, I will also use a flashlight. Not only does this help minimize getting injured on the trail but it is also smart to have a backup light source in case your primary light stops working.

For those of you unfamiliar with headlamp options I encourage you to visit our newest sponsor, Walkabout Outfitter, to see their selection and to get a 25% discount on headlamps in stock.