A trail run in the dark up Mount Cootha

I recently met a friend who invited me to run up Mount Cootha in the evening with her and her friends/running group, so I figured that since I am now on the mend from being sick and my back injury that I would give it a go.

I have to say it was one of the most exhilarating yet scary things I have done in a while.

running in the woods
Image used from pentaxforums.com
This was lighter than I could see last night but gives an idea….

I turned up not thinking to have taken a torch with me since I figured we would be running on the road, although I probably would have needed a torch still for the roads at that time of night, so one of the girls lent me a bike light. We weren’t actually running up the roads we were running up the track, I’d never been up the tracks! Bwefore all of that I couldn’t really find where to park as it was dark and wasn’t sure where the car park was and then I saw a faint glimmer of someone (could have been someone ready to pounce on me for all I knew!) and asked him if he was a runner, he said – no he was a walker but I decided this area was the place to park. So I parked up waiting for some other possible runners.

When everyone arrived and said we were running up the track I was a bit freaked out as I wasn’t too sure how this was going to work, the first bit we walked up as it was quite steep and then it was a case of use that light to make sure you don’t slip and roll your ankle or something. All I could see was a metre in front of me, looking back it was a bit scary to say the least. I decided the best option was to be in front of some of the runners so that I wasn’t at the back and easy picking for someone that might be lurking around waiting to pounce on that unlucky girl with a very small bike light and it seemed to work better as the glare from the lights behind me helped me see where I was going.

The actual conditions reminded me of when I was back in London running around Wimbledon Common and I am sure it looks really pretty by day.

We did a bit of running on the road and got to the top and then headed back down which was better in terms of the stairs but quite steep. I was a bit worried this would be the ankle roll so tried to keep my pace steady. Got to the bottom and felt great and felt like I had a real all over workout. Then it was off for a well earned dinner. I’ve never been a trail runner but I think I could be a convert as it was great fun and no pressure to be quick, just enjoying running. Running at night actually helped from a psychological point of view as I couldn’t see the hills coming so just pushed as much as I can, whereas normally in my head when I see the hill my brain tells me it’s going to hurt, so that was a good thing too.

So today is a rest day after the last few days of running and I am going to enjoy it ready for the next session!

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6 thoughts on “A trail run in the dark up Mount Cootha

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    1. Karla it was surreal as I was concentrating on not tripping or rolling ankle. It was only when I finished that I thought about the fact that it was a bit scary! Probably a good thing otherwise I’d have completely freaked out 🙂

  1. Well done Zoe…good you were part of a group! When you come to SA you can do a run up Lions Head by Table Mountain! 🙂

  2. That is intense!! I’ve never really been a trail runner but last year while in LA I managed to do some hiking and I’ve been wanting to go ever since. Mt Coot-tha is right on our doorstep and I really need to start taking advantage of it – thanks for the reminder 🙂 What a great way to welcome back running into your life after your injury and illness 🙂

    1. Hi Amy. Yeah it was a real experience! You should try it if Mount Cootha is right near you! I normally run up the roads but running along the trail path was awesome but demanding! So glad I am able to train now 🙂 hope you are doing ok.

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