What is a night run and where can you find one?

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Night runs are growing in popularity – and are a brilliant way to keep fit, raise money for a good cause and do something a bit different. But how can you find a night time run near you and do you need to prepare differently from your normal day time run? Well here’s the info you need before you lace up your trainers and head out – and it’s never too soon to start a GoFundMe for your next good cause.

What is a night run?

Night runs are pretty much exactly what they say on the tin – running at night. You can take part in your own night runs when you’re training if you feel safe enough running alone or with buddies and they can be ideal for people who feel tired after they’ve been on a jog rather than invigorated. They are growing in popularity so much that there are now plenty of organised runs that take place at night, too. You just need the right equipment to get started!

And, if you need tips on how to turn your running into fundraising, we have some advice.

What equipment do you need for a night run?

Running is for everyone – all you need to do is put on a pair of trainers and go at your own pace. But for night running, you need a few more things to make sure you stay safe and seen on the roads. It’s important as with all sports to make sure your shoes fit properly to prevent injuries, that you are wearing appropriate clothing (staying warm at night is a must) but also that your outer layer is bright so you can be seen. If you’re starting running at night, invest in a high vis vest to go over your usual gear or a reflective waterproof jacket. A head torch would also be beneficial to ensure you’re not falling over objects and it’s also important to have a charged phone and tell people where you’re going.

Night running and fundraising

Night running is a fantastic way to raise money. It’s quite niche, so almost guaranteed to drum up interest from the family, friends, colleagues and associates you share your GoFundMe page with. And although it’s rarer to find a night running event than a conventional 5 or 10k, there are still plenty of events to choose from.

Tips for getting into night running

So – you’re interested in getting out at night? There’s a few precautions you should consider before lacing up and setting off.

1. Safety first

It’s particularly important to be safety conscious when running at night. Things like being familiar with your route before you go, watching for obstacles as you run and taking it at your own pace are important. Let someone know where you’re going, try to run with others if possible and wear bright clothing so any traffic can easily see you.

2. Take it slow

When you start night running, it’s important to start at a steady pace – even if you’re seasoned at running in the light. Seeing obstacles in the dark could be harder and especially in winter it will be colder, meaning injuries could be more common.

3. Run with others

Running with others is a great way to start night running. Plenty of running clubs up and down the UK run in the dark / in the evenings and by joining one, you will likely be guided with more seasoned runners of the route. If not, why not pair up with a pal or even a group of pals to head out for moral support? Night running is also a brilliant way to fundraise as well – and that’s even better in a group, too.

Night run events in the UK

Although night runs are less common than your average 5 or 10k, there are still plenty of events to choose from to get into night running. Choosing a night running event means you’re in a big group – so there’s safety in numbers – and it’s a great atmosphere to soak up too.

RunThrough Chase the Moon

The RunThrough Chase the Moon events are a series of 5 and 10k races taking place in London parks. There are plenty to choose from, including dates in January and February and then October and November – so if you give one distance a go and enjoy it, there’s always the chance to go back for more.

Bath Skyline Night Races

These races take place in spring and they have both 5 and 10k distances taking place at night – along with twin races taking place during the day as well. The night races take place at 7pm so you’ll get to jog as the light fades in the historic city of Bath. 

Castlewellan Night Race

The Castlewellan Night Race has been going for over a decade now. There’s a charity walk and 5k plus a 10k as part of the event, lapping the Castlewellan lake. There’s a bit of everything in this race so perfect if you’re new to trail running and want to give it a go.

Black Diamond Torchlight Trail

This 5 and 10k event is held in Newborough forest just as the sun sets. The event describes itself as suitable for all abilities, with spectacular scenery and family vibes. If you want to fundraise as a family by running a night run, this could be a brilliant event to get to.

The Maverick Exposure Lights Dark Surrey

The Maverick Exposure Lights Dark Surrey takes place at Loseley Park, in the heart of scenic Surrey. This event has three different length routes, 15, 10 and 5k – so if you’re running in a group with different abilities or goals, there’s something for everyone. 

Midnight Mountain Marathon

The idea of the Midnight Mountain Marathon, set in Brecon Beacons, is that you start the marathon course at 5.30pm and finish before the midnight cut off point. It includes running up Pen Y Fan, the highest peak in Wales.

Petzl Night Runner Series

The Petzl Night Runner Series race takes place at Rivington Pike – a place notorious for UFO sightings, so even more reason to get that adrenaline pumping on this 10k course. The terrain on this course is described as rough, boggy and rocky, which would be challenging even in daylight – so make sure you’re prepared. 

Supernova Kelpies 5k

The Supernova Kelpies 5k explores the home of the Kelpies, two mythical 30m high horses who allegedly like to come and play at dusk. The race starts and ends in Helix Park and takes a beautiful, scenic route. When you enter you also get useful night running kit included, such as an LED light.

Written by helen