Running With A Head Torch
I’m just back from a run with my head torch on and I thought I’d write a piece on what you can expect if you’re not used to running with one before.
- Make sure it’s adjusted properly – You don’t want it on so tight that it gives you headaches, nor do you want it to be so loose that it’s slapping off your forehead like Satan’s cock.
- Charge the fucking thing – Being caught in the wilderness without a light source is no fucking fun. Always bring a backup light source if you’re doing a race or you’re in the wilderness. I took mine up to Marjan Forest Park earlier and the low battery warning came on with about 2km of the trail to go. And just to spite me, my bowels suddenly wanted to be emptied out of fear. A no-win situation, except for Kleenex.
- Beware of the animals and their spooky Scooby Doo eyes – I am used to living in towns. I didn’t realize that most animals have ‘cats eyes’ i.e. their eyes reflect the light back at you. Picture my surprise when I was trail running in Liberec, Czech Republic and I noticed multiple sets of peepers at waist height staring back at me. Turned out to be a family of frightened deer. They could have easily fucking taken me as I am a soft man but I’ve never seen anything like that before. The only thing in forests in Northern Ireland is dead bodies.
- Run with it before a race – “How hard could it possibly be? It’s only a torch!”. Sure, it isn’t hard if the conditions are good but it becomes more difficult if the weather turns shitty. Rain and fog can decrease visibility substantially and it’s important to test what settings work on the lamp in certain situations.
- Prepare to be assaulted by huge moths – If you’ve ever used an iPad in the dark with a moth in the room, you know how annoying they can be. With a torch in the wilderness, they suddenly converge on your head like hippies at Glastonbury. It’s disconcerting seeing the bastards up so close. Nothing that hairy should be allowed to exist. And just at your weakest moment you’ll get one in your mouth. Savour it. They are a good source of protein.
- Prepare for idiots to laugh at you – Especially if you keep it on your head whilst running through a major city. Tell them you’re the ghost of a dead coal miner, back to shag their gran.
- Try not to blind everyone – If you’re running with the lamp on the highest setting then be aware of cyclists or other runners who you pass. My Petzl Nao is blinding and at the end of Country to Capital 2017 I got some verbal GBH off any angry cockney geezer on the canal.