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Pebblebed Heath Races – Nightjar & What Came Before – Flying Fox Running

The Pebblebed Heath Races

What Came Before 5 & 10k and Nightjar 5 & 9 1/4 miler

Saturday 14th September at 5.00pm

Evening and Night Races

5k to 9.25 miles

Multi Terrain

The Pebblebed heaths are amazing locations for running and we’re hugely lucky to be able to use this location for one of our evening of races.  A lot of the paths we will use are ideal for trail running being wide and reasonably good footing (though watch out for larger stones). There are still enough interesting and technical bits to keep it fun and challenging including bits of mud and water. Although unless there’s been a lot of rain there’s normally a board walk available where there’s water present as most areas drain really well.  The course is fairly undulating and has a few short sharp steep ramps and one longer climb on the nine mile race.  The race HQ is Bicton Arena, a modern Equestrian centre and has plenty of toilets and showers. Showers are pay per use and 50p. There is also a large marquet for before and after the race and ample parking.

We will also have a Bar and a Food vendor on site in the marquet, so perfect for inbetween races, spectators and for hanging around post race!

>>>Entries Coming Soon<<<

From Clinton Devon Estates & Conservation Trust:

The Pebblebed heaths are amongst the most important conservation sites in Europe due to the rarity of the habitats and species supported. The Pebblebed Heaths have been occupied by people since at least the Bronze Age, when turf cutting, burning and grazing helped turn the once wooded area into the sweeping open landscape that we love today. Though semi-natural, heathlands have high wildlife value and support species that are rarely found elsewhere. Heathlands are now so rare in Europe that there is a particular need to protect those few areas that remain to ensure the survival of this distinctive landscape, as well as the specialised species that depend on this habitat. For more information on the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust please visit http://www.pebblebedheaths.org.uk/

The Pebbledbed Heaths Conservation Trust encourage sustainable recreational use of the heaths and value public enjoyment of the area and the connections people make with the landscape. We are pleased to be working with Flying Fox Running to enable people to experience the heaths in a different way. The nightjar, from which the race takes it’s name, is one of our key species on the Pebblebed Heaths. An iconic bird that returns from Africa each summer to breed and raise young on the heaths. These nocturnal birds can been seen on summer evenings hawking for food and the unusual churring song of the males creates waves of sound across the heaths.

A little history

Woodbury Common, one of the commons through which we will race has a spectacular iron age hill fort at the north of the site.  It’s referred to as a cathedral of Birch due to the mature trees which now cover it.  Currently the Commons are for training by marines from the nearby commando base. The 1549 battle of Woodbury Common took place there, this was a part of the Prayer Book rebellion.  When Devon and Cornwall revolted after the introduction of the Book of Common Prayer. A move deeply unpopular in majority Catholic areas.  The Duke of Somerset sent an army of German and Italian mercenaries to put down the revolt.

The details

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14th September

What Came Before at 5:00 pm 10k and 5:15pm for the 5k

Nightjar Races at 7.40 pm 9 1/4 miles and 7:55pm 5 miler

Race HQ is at Bicton Arena which is an Equestrian centre located in the village of Yettington in East Devon EX9 7BL

What Came Before 5.00pm 10km and 5:15pm 5km,
Nightjar 7.40 pm 9 1/4 miles and 7:55pm 5 miler

RACE HQ IS AT BICTON ARENA WHICH IS AN EQUESTRIAN CENTRE LOCATED IN THE VILLAGE OF YETTINGTON IN EAST DEVON EX9 7BL. The race starts and finishes at Bicton Arena. With a short run through the cross country course and onto a country lane before reaching the start of the Commons which comprise the Pebbled Heaths.  A similar route is used to return to the Arena towards the end of the race once the sections on the Pebbled Heaths are complete.

Food & Drink
Kenniford Farm is onsite for the evening cooking fresh food for runners and spectators 🙂 They’re the regular caterer at Bicton Arena and you can find out more about them here. Keep an eye on social media as hopefully we’ll have menu details closer to the time.

We also have a bar for the night situated in the marquet just metres away from the race finish.

HQ Facilities
We’re luck to be running from the amazing surroundings of Bicton Arena. It has ample parking, lots of toilets and showers which at last check were 50p for 5 minutes.

Nightjar requirements
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. All finishers will receive a finishers medal for the 5 or 9 1/4 miles.  Food and drink is available at the end, not just on aid stations on the course.

What Came Before – The ascent on the 5k course according to Ordance Survey mapping is 97m and on the 10k is . You can see the planned courses here for the 5k course and here for the 10k course. Distances are approximate and courses may change.

Nightjar – The ascent on 9 mile course according to the Ordance Suvery mapping app we use to plan the course is 350m and on the 5 mile course is 200m. You can see the courses on the OS website 9 mile here and 5 mile here. These distances are approx and the long course may be slightly over and the short course slightly under.

Aid Stations
What Came Before
– There will be at least one aid station on the 10km course but none planned for the 5k.
Nightjar – The 5 mile course will have one aid station and the 9 mile course will have 2 aid station stops.
All races will have an aid station at the end. The aid stations will have at least at least water and sweets. Plus normally fruit and savoury bits to.

Age limits
13 and above for 5km, 16 and above for the 5 mile and 10km, 17 and above for 9 1/4 miles.

Time Limits
What Came Before
1h 45 for 10km, 1h 35 for 5km, Nightjar 1h 45 for 5 miles, 2h 15 for 9 1/4 miles

Race Limits
What Came Before 250, Nightjar 350 (totals are combined across each distance)

What Came Before 
 10km is £18 affiliated or £20 unaffiliated, 5km £16 affiliated or £18 unaffiliated
Nightjar 5 miles is £18 affiliated or £20 unaffiliated, 9 1/4 miles £20 affiliated or £22 unaffiliated

Discounts there is a £4 discount for entering both races and we hope to add a discounted no medal option

Canicross is possible on the shorter races but needs to be booked. 16 places are available per race.


ARC Race Permit number: 19/416

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To enter visit here


Medals for all finishers, see picture. There are different ribbons for the two length races. Race crew and marshals also receive medals with a different ribbon for their efforts. Contact us if you are interested in marshaling.


Best dressed runner

1st, 2nd and 3rd Men and Ladies and then 1st in age cats for men and women, 40+, 50+ and 60+

Team prizes for the speediest teams/clubs on the course.  With four runners to count (including at least one women).

There is also a prize for the largest team on the night.

Race Parking

Parking is at Bicton Arena and is plentiful but please lift share where possible.


The arena has a good changing, shower and toilet facilities which can be used by runners before and after the event.

Showers cost 50p each.

Race Course Preview (9 miles)

We hope you can join us


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© 2017 Nathan Gardiner. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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