Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

National Trust Night Run – Gibside – 6km

on 14 February 2015


I’ve done the Gibside Great Run Local 5k route a few times, and I knew this was not going to be a flat course at all, but with it being on the doorstep – I had to give it a go. This is probably the closest organised event to my front door I’ll ever find without moving house. My suspicions about the hills were correct. I did not find this an easy course. The downhills were greatly welcomed but I confess to walking the steep or long uphills, at least partially. Not anything like a personal best but I’m really pleased I went out there and did it. I was right at the back for the first half, but was able to gain some ground and overtake some people on the hills around the 4km with my pat-pending power-walk-up-hills-instead-of-even-attempting-to-run!

This was the first time I’ve done a nightrun, and I have discovered that my normal head-up and go posture puts me at a disadvantage when using a headtorch in the dark – I was not really watching the ground at all and it’s a good thing the route had been so well chosen, with good quality paths and roads of very even footing or I would have been in a ditch with a broken ankle ’til morning! Well, that’s not true either – it was also excellently marshalled and I’m pretty sure the land-rover would have picked me up and got me home had I needed it. I also hadn’t really considered the temperature – it wasn’t mega cold, a pretty comfortable temperature and one I’ve run in before, but again without the headtorch. Because I run with my head up, my breath was misting in the wide-angle torch beam so particularly for the first few km, I think I only saw about half the route for clouds!

My valuable discovery from my new night running experience is that I really need to wear my headband under my headtorch. I’d decided not to wear it tonight and the headtorch was making my head sweat so much it was nearly sliding onto my eyebrows at one point. I finished the second half of the race with a very attractive folded napkin underneath it to both stop it sliding and mop the sweat up! I know how to run classy…

I was expecting this to be a relatively local race with about 50 runners, and there was nothing mentioned in any of the emails etc. about mementoes, so I was pleasantly surprised to find both 150+ runners across the two available courses (2km and 6km) and a very nice medal at the end, along with a National Trust Night Run trainer bag.


Gibside on a Sunday morning with the Great Run Local guys, is normally quiet and very very pretty. At night, it was very dark – practically no lights visible except for the runners and the marshalls in most stretches, and so very still. Definitely worth doing, though I doubt I could find the route again in daylight!

It took me a total of 46 mins 23 secs to finish the 6km course.

Gibside Night Run 2015

You can download the GPX data for this course from my Dropbox account by following the link below:

GPX data on Dropbox

Header image from

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