Mothecombe RACE THE LIGHT 19th December 2021

Race Reverb..

What a cracking day it turned out to be.. weather-wise it couldn’t have been any better.. after the deluge of Friday and the ensuing mud-bath of the trails around the Flete Estate we had everything crossed. But it turned out to be a great day to be running, a bit blustery out across the tide but otherwise quite luxuriant.., and we’re all thankful we could get this race on!

So.. we had 287 entrants, and a total of 232 finishers.. all getting around the syrupy 8.5 miles of estuarine trails with a double river crossing a lot quicker than they got their cars out of the, err.. car park!

Having spent most of 2020 dormant, it was great to see so many runners out there again enjoying themselves, and doing what they love to do.. hopefully 2021 will be better for everyone and we’ll have more events where we can meet up again and just run!

We had a star-studded field of runners yesterday, and this was highlighted in the finishing times..

So at the pointy-end..

1st Place: David Searle, of Dartmouth AAC in a winning time of 1hr and 53 seconds.
Great Running as ever.! David is no stranger to Puretrail Events and is never far away at the Finish!

2nd Place:
Simon Middleton in 1:01:46
Well done Simon!

3rd Place:
George Prewett of Tamar Trotters in a time of 1:03:43

1st Place and 11th overall was Faith Taylor-Tippett of Erme Valley Harriers in a time of 1:05:33
Great running Faith!
(She was literally walking on water across that estuary!)

2nd Place: (20th overall)
Alison McEwing of Erme Valley Harriers in a time of 1:09:15

3rd Place: (24th overall)
Carla Haines of Plymstock Road Runners in a time of 1:11:40

Well done ladies! Superb running!

Preliminary Race Results.. as always at

RACE THE LIGHT at Mothecombe was the first of the Puretrail Winter Nightfall Series. 3 twilight races in three great locations.. Let’s hope our next one from the River Dart Country Park in January is as much fun!

We have to give a big Shout-Out to our amazing Puretrail Crew for making these races happen.. from registration, to course checking, race sweeping, river marshalling and race timing.. You guys make it work and a massive THANKYOU to you all.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas 🎄🎄🎄and we’re really hoping to host many more Puretrail events in 2021. It’s great to see you all out there running.. It’s our passion as well as yours!

So keep running and stay safe until we see you again..

Mark and Steve and the Puretrail Crew.

Provisional Results can be seen via our website menu ‘Live Results’ –

Our original Race The Light will be back in Mothecombe on the Erme Estuary for a 4th consecutive year, and this time joined by two other Nightfall Races, one from the banks of the River Dart at the River Dart Country Park and another high above the Tamar Valley, with the event centre at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Morwellham Quay.

RACE 1. MOTHECOMBE (Erme estuary) Saturday 19th December 2020

The original Race The Light. 8.5 miles of shadowy estuarine trails, meandering through the privately owned Flete Estate. There’s a double crossing of the River Erme estuary so it’s a race against the light.. and the tide. So wet feet from the off!

The start time for the race is 3pm (subject to change of 30 minutes depending on weather and tidal conditions on Raceday).

The race starts and finishes at the SchoolhouseDevon restaurant, high above the estuary, then downhill to the river crossing before heading into the Flete Estate. The race finishes with a second crossing of the estuary before a steep uphill ascent to the finish.

Each finisher will receive a bespoke Race The Light (Mothecombe maroon) medal.


Race The Light – Mothecombe Erme Estuary Map

RACE 2. RIVER DART (River Dart Country Park). January event cancelled due to Covid restrictions **NEW DATE TO BE CONFIRMED**

A brand new race location on the banks of the River Dart. In essence its a fast and hilly woodland 6-miler, rising high through the pines to Galant le Bower, following forestry tracks and trails before finishing Riverside in the Country Park.

Race Start Time to be confirmed..

Bespoke Race The Light (River Dart blue) medal to all finishers.


Race The Light – River Dart Map

RACE 3. TAMAR VALLEY (Morwellham Quay) Saturday 13th February (CANCELLED due to Covid restrictions.) **NEW DATE TO BE CONFIRMED**

Our third race of the new Winter Nightfall Series, and the most vertiginous by far.
6.5 miles in total, starting riverside at Morwellham Quay, the initial ascent is eye-watering. The Tamar trails are by nature steep and unforgiving. But RTL Tamar Valley is as quirky as they come.. there’s even a section of rail track to run along back to the finish. So no chance of getting lost.. even in the dark!

Race Start Time to be confirmed

Bespoke Race The Light (Tamar Valley green) medal to all finishers.




Race The Light – Tamar Valley Map

Permit provided by the Trail Running Association. Race held under England Athletics rules.

RACEDAY INFORMATION EMAIL for RACE THE LIGHT – Mothecombe Saturday 19th December 2020

Please read the information in full as you will get a better ‘feel’ how the event looks overall. There are minimal mandatory requirements for the race and lots of Covid-19 information…


You MUST NOT attend the event if:

1. You have a fever of ≥38°C on the day of the event.

2. You have had any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days before the event e.g. a new continuous cough, fever, change/loss of taste/smell, etc.

3. You have been in contact with anyone who has shown the above symptoms in the 14 days leading up to the event.

 4. You have travelled within the previous 14 days before the event from any international location with widespread ongoing local COVID19 transmission.

5. Anyone you are travelling with to the event is also subject to these criteria so please do not travel to the event in the above circumstances.

FACE COVERINGS are required while in the finish/car parking area (not while in your car), for Registration, required for walking down to the start area and until you have crossed the start line. Additionally, you are required to wear your face covering prior to crossing the finish line. Marshals will remind you when coming up from the beach.

To avoid large gatherings, you are asked to remain in your vehicles on arrival to the field, unless you are using the toilet facilities or collecting your Race number.

You must socialise in groups of 6 or less and maintain social distancing at all times. You may run with your friends but no more than five of them and you must practice social distancing at all times. Note the start timings as you must be in the correct Wave as we do not want anyone left on the other side of the estuary!

Hand sanitiser will be on tables before registration, near toilet facilities, on your approach to the aid station and at the finish.


The SchoolhouseDevon, Mothecombe, Holbeton, Plymouth, Devon. PL8 1LB


Please use the above postcode to assist you turning off the A379 (Plymouth to Kingsbridge road) in the direction of Holbeton but later, instead of turning to Holbeton, continue following signs to Mothecombe, turning left (do not take a Sat Nav shortcut as we do not want to offend the locals that use a very narrow lane) about a mile later at Battisborough Cross, continuing along the road and down underneath a bridge. The carpark is 50 metres on your left. Raceday signage will also feature to make directions easy for you. Please allow plenty of time to arrive.


Please aim to arrive between 30-60 minutes prior to your start time. 

Parking is free at the start/Finish location. Car sharing helps the environment but please ensure you are within government Covid-19 rules. Please do not park on any roads as this may hinder emergency vehicles access.


Registration is going to quick and easy, with 5-6 stations available all lettered and linked to your surname, to collect your Race Number, t-shirt or other pureTrail merchandise, if you’ve paid in advance.. There will be no purchases of merchandise or entries on the day.

While entries remain open, you can order to collect items on the day via the SiEntriessystem

Race numbers are to be worn on your front to make it possible to accurately record the results.

START arrangements

Each starting group (Wave) will be called via a loud speaker / signage and you will be asked to walk forward (in groups of 6 or less) and walk through the chip timed start, under the Puretrail race arch (wearing your face covering, a Buff will be perfect)

Each person will be asked to start individually to enable us to ensure your chip has been activated. There will be just seconds between each runner.

We will ask you to walk through the chip sensors and then run once we know your chip has registered a start.

This race is configured as a time trial. The first across the line may not be the winner.

We will be operating 3 WAVES relating to YOUR anticipated finish time. Please note it is imperative YOU start in the correct wave because, if you pick to run with a faster friend and you run slow, you COULD have difficulty crossing the estuary with an incoming tide!

14:40 WAVE 1 = 2 to 2.5 hour finishers

15:00 WAVE 2 = 1:15 to 2 hour finishers

15:20 (tide is already coming in) WAVE 3 = less than 1 hour 15 minutes


Food and drinks will be available before, during and after the race from the SchoolhouseDevon. You can book a table (this could be outside) by emailing or phoning 01752830552.

We have 4 portaloos located in the car park.


It’s December so expect it to be cold and wet so you might want to bring hat and gloves. We recommend that leggings are worn as it will extremely wet and muddy.


We have run the route today so expect a Mudfest. It will be wet, muddy and with plenty of tree branches to negotiate. Your feet and shoes are guaranteed to get wet (because of the initial Estuary crossing) with multiple wet and muddy puddles up the estuary, which never fully dries. Trail shoes are compulsory for the Race.


The route will be fully marked with tape/reflective tape, lights, flags and directional arrows. Marshals will be located at key junctions where some runners will meet front runners coming towards them. With this in mind, PLEASE STAY TO THE LEFT side of the trails at all times to avoid a collision. Keep your distance when overtaking and look for runners coming in the opposite direction to avoid a collision. 90% of the route is more than 2 metres wide.

There are 3 sections involving 200 metres stretches of tarmac where cars could be on the road so please take care. A marshal will be nearby to warn you and motorists.

The full route will be checked prior to the start of the race. The route map is online at

If the water levels are as high as last year we will look at shortening the course by 0.5 mile (and removing some hills) in order to get all of you back across the Estuary.

The start of the race will be from the car park, unlike in previous years.

No dogs are allowed to run with their owner in the races due to UK Athletics rules and their Public Liability Insurance, which differs to Park Runs.

Please note that there will be qualified Paramedics and First Aiders in attendance.

CHECKPOINT – Approximately 4.2 miles

For the first time ever in a Puretrail event, we will not be providing food because of the difficulty in this COVID-19 time. We will have water, squash and coke available in Deer Park Wood. Please have your cup ready on your approach to the aid station to avoid queues. Please social distance.


The sweeper will monitor the progress and speak to runners to see how they respond to ensure their safety, but our intention will be to guide all runners across the Estuary. We would expect all runners to be at the Aid Station by 3:50pm and past the 8 mile point (at the final Crossing) by 5:00pm. Marshals will be there providing assistance.


HEADTORCH – regardless of whether you think you can finish in the daylight, a headtorch is a compulsory requirement.

Trail running shoes – the route starts with getting wet feet and continues in wet and muddy conditions and then you cross the Estuary again!

Plastic Cups – Since our Lundy Island Race in 2018, we have gone cupless. Anyone wanting single amounts of water or coke should bring a separate cup which can be used at the Aid Station. We will provide top-up of bottles, soft flasks and backpack bladders. Marshals will not be providing refreshment to cupped hands!

FACE COVERINGS are required while in the finish/car parking area (not while in your car), for Registration, required for walking down to the start area and until you have crossed the start line. Additionally, you are required to wear your face covering prior to crossing the finish line. Marshals will remind you when coming up from the beach.

Should anyone withdraw from the race you MUST report to a marshal who will assist you and remove your race number to inform the Registration Team.


Because the race includes 2 Estuary crossings it is difficult to view the runners anywhere else but the beach. It is recommended that supporters are kept to a minimum in these COVID-19 times.


Due to COVID-19 we ask you to collect your well-earned medal from the table behind the finish line.

There are no trophies for this race but there are for the Race Series. Age category winners (from 40/50/60/70/80) will receive a discount voucher emailed a few days following Raceday.

Race results will be uploaded as soon as possible after the race and will appear on our list

The new two races in the Winter Nightfall Series are Race The Light, River Dart (new date tbc) and Race The Light, Tamar Valley (new date tbc). These can be entered via

Should you enter both of these races, a £9 Series discount will be deducted during the entry process.

Unfortunately, we cannot provide any private changing facilities. Your car will be the only option…..

An updated Raceday Information Email will be sent a few days prior to the Event with weather, ground conditions, etc.

We hope you enjoy the race and good luck.

Steve and Mark