Kielder Dark Skys 10k is the perfect way to start the New Year with a test. It's off-road, it's 10k and it's at night, I entered this race becuase I wanted a different challenge in the middle of Marathon Training and it didn't disappoint.
The race starts at Kielder Castle and heads out into the forest along a track which is 50:50 forest track and softer trail, just after 1k the race slowed down as we approaced a steeper single file piece of trail but it was great that everyone supported eachn other. The course continues to wind up into the forest before droping down back towards the castle at 2.5k and heading out along the river. The 2nd half of the course was flat(ish) until around 6k where it had a challenging incline before levelling out for an enjoyable run along some forest track. At the higher ground we were treated to a light dusting of snow which added some fun to the race. After 8k the course sharp declines through a challenging forest section before heading back to the castle.
Overall this was a fantastic race, I would definitely do it again although it is a long way to travel from Edinburgh for a 10k. There aren't any on course water stations but they aren't really needed as it was so cold. Marshalls were very supportive and helpful with shining torches at difficult areas and juctions. The atmosphere around the castle was very supportive and the café stayed open late so was great to grab dinner before the drive North.
High Terrain Events run a series of trail events, check them out at https://www.highterrainevents.co.uk.