How do you sum up your Dark Star experience?
I loved it. The race was small, wholesome, nowhere near as muddy as previous years and flat as a pancake! Perfect conditions really … Apart from the arrival of Storm Arwyn and some VERY gusty winds on race day morning. The wind died down by the end of the race ever so slightly and the sun came out at points so all in all it was great fun.
The event is run by Sussex Trail Events who are ‘runners that organise races for runners’ so we had some epic food at the aid stations (not loads for a vegan though but they had roast potatoes at mile 15 which I really enjoyed!)
What was the toughest moment during the race?
The toughest moment was actually on the Thursday before the race when we found out that Darkstar (the brewery) would not be providing any beer at the end of the race for the first time this year! Outrageous!
During the race I think the toughest moment was navigating the stiles after mile 20. My hips and hamstrings weren’t enjoying hoisting me over gates as well as dragging me to the finish line.
If you could change one thing from the Dark Star, what would it be?
Darkstar returning as the official sponsor and providing beer at the end of the race for 2023.
What would be your best piece of advice for some racing Dark Star for the first time?
Enjoy the flat out and back but prepare yourself for miles 26-28 because they are surprisingly the longest 2 miles of the race! Eat roast potatoes at the turn and bring some Darkstar beer for the finish.
Aside from the final stretch and crossing the finish line, what was your favourite part of the race and why?
On race day I ran with 3 other Rogues and we had the best time. We kept each other going in some really ridiculous wind, someone (Kenton) tried to push me in the river, Cara made delicious vegan flapjack and Maddie coaxed me through the final 2 miles. I laughed and smiled pretty much the whole race; you can’t really ask for more fun than that.
Will you do Dark Star again and do you recommend it to others?
Yes I will be entering in 2023 and will be trying to recruit others. I found it kept me focused in January and then confident for the rest of the years marathons.
Funniest / oddest thing you saw /heard while running?
It was quite a male-heavy race, so the funniest part was how much all the female runners were intuitively rooting and cheering for each other at any of the passing points. I’m a fan of female solidarity and support at races!
Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
SO MANY. No matter where I am in the world. I won’t bore you with everything I do but I get up very early, will always eat the exact same thing, drink the same amount of coffee, will have a lovely shower and do my hair and make-up (waste of time I know). I’m pretty much always late though, usually still pinning my race number on at the start line!