Last chance to enter last Illuminator as we know it

Organisers Firetrail have announced that next weekend’s Illuminator Night Trail Race (Saturday, 26 October) will be the last in its current format – but are not ready to reveal what the future will hold for the popular event.

Runners have until this Sunday night (20 October) to sign up to take on one of the Illuminator’s three routes. The original 15-mile long course through the Glen Tanar estate has been billed as Scotland’s toughest night trail event, and takes participants through ancient Caledonian forest and over exposed heather moorland.

After fielding many requests for a less arduous route, organisers added two shorter distances of 8km (age 14+) and 15km (age 16+) to the event this year. But even the shortest route is still a long way from a walk in the park: it includes a hike up the steep side of the local hill Craigendinnie before dropping back down into the village.

The Illuminator’s trademark feature, its colourful atmospheric light zone in the middle of Glen Tanar Estate, will be visited by all three routes. Hot drinks and race snacks will be provided there to fuel the participants before their final hill effort on the way back to the event base.

Each of the three routes is well marked with reflective signage. No navigation skills are required to take part, but great emphasis is put on participants’ self-reliance in terms of equipment.

Out on the course, the Braemar Mountain Rescue Association (BMRA) will be present at several of the marshalling checkpoints. The local mountain rescue team has been the Illuminator’s charity partner ever since the first event in 2015 and it has proved to be the perfect match.

Colin Munro from the BMRA said: “Over the last four years the Illuminator participants have been very generous, which has allowed us to train and equip several new team members – for this we are incredibly grateful.

“We still have a small number of free pledge places to give away for fundraisers, so if you would like to help please get in touch with the organisers via the event website before entries close on 20th October!"

Image: Firetrail/Tim Winterburn

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