Dark Woods 2019

  • 353 No. Entries


The Race instructions can be found here - please read if entering

Please note - we've had a rush on 10k/6 mile entries. For 10k/6 mile sign-ups, there is now a chance we'll have to issue a spare number from another race distance to future signups. These will have a coloured dot in to indicate to the medal team you did a different distance. We do have the appropriate medals for all distances though. Sorry about the inconvenience, the middle distance had been very unpopular when we ordered our race numbers. 

Take on the challenge of the Dark Woods set enitrely in Great Wood in the Quantocks this spectacular forest location is well known for it’s Red Deer, big trees and scenic tree lined valleys.

The race uses a lot of the tracks used to access the woods, many of which are gravel. There are few steep hills on the course which are good point to walk but do results in some great downhill running.

The race will be HQ’d at Ramscombe in the valley where the BBQ’s and toilets are.

Great Wood

Great Wood is the Quantock Forest. A mix of broadleaf woods and conifer platations that covers several hills and valleys in the Quantocks. The area is also known for it’s stone. Most of the Quantocks is formed from red Devonian rocks but Great Wood in particular has a distinctive green volcanic rock called Cockercombe tuff.  It was been quarried here and has most famously been used for the nearby house Quantock Lodge.

Various parts of the woods are now managed plantations but there are mature and veteran trees which lend the area real character. There’s also numerous picturesque streams across the the bottoms of the valleys. A particularly attractive feature are tree lined paths where the trees have grown on top of now crumbling walls. While surveying the area for a course we managed to spot over 30 deer on one visit.

It’s a beautiful site popular with many people from Taunton and Bridgwater for family bbqs. Just can be a very good idea to have bug repellent on particularly if visiting around sunset as at certain times of the year there can be lots of midges!


The race is starts and finishes in the Ramscombe valley. The Long course also goes through Ramscombe at halfway making it a great race to spectate. Most to of the course is on gravel trails but some parts maybe muddy.


You need to have third party public liability insurance for your dog(s). Proof of it must be sent to flyingfoxrunning@gmail.com.

Aid Stations

There will be one aid station on the 8.5 miles course. There will be refreshments at the end for both races. All aid stations will this includes water, sweets, fruit and savoury bits to.

Course Markings

The course will be well marked with plenty of signs with reflective elements, as well as marking the turning we also have signs to warn a turn is coming up and to block off wrong directions. As well plentiful signs we have a breadcrumb style trail which lets you know you’re on the course.

Terrain & Course

Most of the course is stone tracks made for the access of forestry vehicles to the woods. These are wide and normally dry though like most surfaces can get puddles when it’s rained. Older tracks can get muddy or broken up so there may be lose stones in some areas. Unless it’s repaired the first big climb for the main race is an example of this which is why we’re running up it rather than down. The course does go onto the odd bit of trail but footing for an off road race is good and unless it’s been particularly wet personally road shoes that can cope with stones underfoot or light trail with some cushioning would probably be ideal. Like most multi terrain or trail races there are tree routes and other obstacles in some areas.

While the technical challenge for an off road course is not high both races for their distances have a high level of ascent. Generally you’re going gently up or down most of the night.  The long course has two steeper climbs and the short course one, we normally walk these when doing the test runs. The good news is that a short of walking gets a much longer period of running downhill. It’s the ups and downs that make this course both challenging and rewarding.


The Dark Woods race has a central valley where the runners on the long race start, pass through at the half way point and at the end making it a good race to spectate at. We will be taking all our event shelters so if the weathers inclement there will be some cover from the elements. We’re hoping to have food and drink available for purchase at this location.

There’s a second good spectating point 600 metres from the start where it should be possible to watch the start, walk to and then see at 5k before walking back to the race HQ to see them at around 7.5k.

More Information

You will need to wear a head torch to race and carry spare batteries or a backup torch, a limited number of which will be available to hire or buy on the night.  We recommend emailing to book.

Please note there is a £2 parking charge per car. This is one of the ways the forestry commission raise money to manage the woods.

All finishers will receive a finishers medal for the 6km, 10k/6 miles or 8.5 miles.

Age limits (14 6k, 15 10k/6 Miles, 16 8.5 Miles)

Time Limit 2h for 8 miles, 1h 50 for the 6 Miles, 2h for 6k

Race Limit 350 (combined total)