Getting Active

Stowe Night Run

I love running but I do find it difficult to keep motivated. I try to give myself something to aim for, whether that’s a PB at the parkrun or signing up for a future event. This year I was trying to find something a little different, and then I came across a series of night runs that are being held at National Trust properties. My nearest one was taking place at Stowe on Halloween. It sounded fun so I signed up. We have visited before, but never at night! It’s such a beautiful place, I thought it would be a great chance to see the magnificent gardens from a different perspective.

There were 3 different distances, 2.5, 5 or 7km. I decided to stick with what I know and do the 5k. This route consisted of running from the Corinthian Arch, down Bellgate Drive, then 3 laps of the Octagon Lake and back up to the arch. I wasn’t worried about my time, especially as I planned to take a few photos on the way round, I was more concerned with enjoying myself and making the most of the experience.

I’m not really one for Halloween (I dressed up once as a kid, which basically consisted of my mum back combing my already thick, frizzy hair and thus rendering it completely uncontrollable for a week) but as many people were in fancy dress, it was hard not to get in the spirit of things. As I ran round I even considered getting dressed up next year.

(clockwise from top) the Start/Finish line, the wooden bridge and lights across Bell Gate

(clockwise from top) the start/finish line, the wooden bridge and lights across Bell Gate

Looking across the lake to Stowe House

Looking across the lake to Stowe House

The Western Lake Pavilion

The Western Lake Pavilion

Temple of Friendship

Temple of Friendship

It was really good fun, even if I did have a Blair Witch moment when I found myself running through certain sections on my own. This wasn’t helped by my runny nose and the fact I was carrying a torch and camera.

Stowe is an amazing backdrop for a run, it was also a clear night with a big moon which added to the already spooky atmosphere. I enjoyed having a go at some night time photography, even if I’ve got a bit of work to do in this area. I really should have taken the time to get my camera set up before I started, I forgot how difficult it would be to fiddle about with settings etc in the dark!

I will definitely look out for more of these types of event. It’s a great way to explore some fantastic properties and see them in a different light.

Have you ever done something like this? Where’s the most interesting place you’ve been for a run?

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