I love White Star Running events, over the last couple of years I’ve done four half marathons, a couple of 10ks, and a twelve hour race (or Frolic) with them and I have lots more to do this year including my first proper Marathon with them in December. So I was really glad when a few of the BHAM Runners decided to join me for this year’s Dark Ox to experience the WSR way of doing races.
The Ox weekend series of race are based out of the Rushmore estate on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, consisting this year of a 50 miler, 12 Hour (solo or team) Dark Ox, Light Ox and Half Marathon… or a mixture of all of the above if you’re a little bonkers like many of the WSR family!!
The Dark Ox is a 10k trail run… that starts at 9:30 at night.. hence the ‘dark’ part and weaves its way up down and around the Ox droves, tracks and hills around the Rushmore estate. All with the visual restrictions of running with a headtorch!
It’s not the flattest of courses, but not to ridiculous with about 170 metres of elevation.. mainly in the 2nd half of the race, it does feel that somehow the organisers have managed put more climbing than descending into the route… which is quite amazing as it starts and finishes at the same place!!!
It was a BHAM boys night out, with Rob, Phil, Brian and myself (along with my boy) all plugging in the Duracell’s to give us maximum vision in the woods, with a typical WSR race brief, don’t get lost, follow the signs, and watch out for the badger hole.. we were off!!
Phil disappeared over the horizon quite quickly, swerving in and out of the other runners, all covered in fairly lights, glow sticks and Mexican skulls (the OX theme) and finished the 10k in 56:34, we lost Brian in the crowd and Rob started with me and the boy. After a couple of kilometres we set Rob free and he disappeared off into the distance finishing in 1:08:31 (those first couple of Km’s were slow) and overtook Brian on route who came in a few minutes behind him at 1:11:58. Meanwhile at the back, the vomit comet and I carried on plodding and finally managed to get into the groove and came home together at 01:23:47.
As we crossed the line we got presented with a MASSIVE glow in the dark ox skull medal, and a goodie bag containing a rather nice bottle of local Piddle Ale and a very tasty flapjack. Everyone seemed to enjoy the night running experience, and Brian even headed back the following day to complete the Light Ox (same run in the Day).