With the darkness seemingly endless right now it seems inevitable that your run will be some level of night. While I fully admit that I struggle to motivate myself to get out and run when its dark outside and the warmth of the sofa is oh so tempting, I find that once I am out I love running in the cold crisp darkness. But and it is a big but making sure I am visible and can also see where I am going is crucial especially living in a rural area like I do. There are few street lamps to illuminate my way and cars drive with reckless abandonment along the narrow roads. So over the years I have collected my go to kit to make sure I am seen and can see no matter the time of day. Be safe, be seen but have fun.
The Hyperion Tempo are arguably my favourite shoes Brooks have ever made, and I’ve worn a lot of them over the years. The balance of raciness and comfort is a hard thing to do in a running shoe but Brooks absolutely nailed it with the Tempos. They tread this fine line and in doing so have made a shoe that is great for hard training session as well as race day. The Tempos were my favourite shoe of 2020 (read my review on them here) and in 2021 they brought out a pair laced (pun intended) with their “Run Visible” accents. They feature a colour changing reflective logo that really catches a car’s headlights and fluorescent laces for an extra pop of luminescence. They are a pair of shoes that will help you be seen but also speed you out of sight faster than ever before.
I hate headtorches, lets get that out of the way early, I find them cumbersome and irritating to run in. I’ve tried body mounted ones but they don’t fit well enough and bounce around or don’t angle well enough to provide the light where you actually need it. The Iko Core is the only headtorch I have ever enjoyed running in and that’s because once I am out and running I completely forget I am even wearing it. This is thanks to having its battery stored at the back of the headpiece meaning that the front is just a lightweight light source. This results in little to no bouncing around and the adjustable fit means you don’t have to strangle your brain cells to get it to fit properly. It packs a hell of a light source too with up to 500 lumens from multiple LEDs which are focused in a way that results in confidence even when running on trails that I am not about to fall to my doom. The battery at the full whack of 500 lumens will last 2 and a half hours which is more than enough for a run around the village but if you were thinking of wearing it for an ultra you can buy a spare battery that are rechargeable by micro usb or it can take AAA batteries. At 6 lumens, which is its minimum setting the headtorch will last over 100 hours before you fade to black. It isn’t cheap but the confidence it gives me to go out running in the dark is priceless.
When talking about being seen at night there is one company that stands head and shoulders above the rest and that is Proviz. The company is the benchmark when it comes to high vis and reflective technology and if anyone is wanting to buy just one bit of reflective gear then Proviz should definitely be it. They kindly sent me a few bits of kit way back in the simpler times of 2020 and it is still my go to when the darkness falls. The REFLECT360 as it is aptly named is their kit that features their reflective technology on all sides. Utilising millions of tiny, highly reflective glass beads, the innovative material used for the REFLECT360 Running Jacket reflects light back from vehicle headlights, helping you to be seen more clearly on the road at night. The image below is a great example of how it works as it lights you up like a Christmas Tree using just reflective material. I don’t think it is too strong to say that I believe that this top could be a lifesaver especially in the narrow country roads that I run down.