While the race starts at 10pm, it is called a Midnight run. Basically, you are running on the bike trail with nothing but glow sticks (that you carry) for light. I've run their races before and I had a head lamp from the 2011 Las Vegas Marathon so for night races I always bring it. I don't necessarily wear it 100% of the time, but it is there when I need it.
Last year, I ran the race in 1:39. It was probably the best race I had in terms of performance all year despite having to stop twice to because I came to junctions on the bike trail. They really didn't have it well marked last year and I wrote a letter to them. This year, the course markings were much better!
I arrived at 8pm, got my swag and around 8:45 jumped on a school bus that drove us to North Salt Lake. It dropped us off a little after 9 and at that point you have to sit around in what looks like a rock quarry for about an hour. I brought mosquito repellent because last year I was eaten alive -- this year -- not so much.
I felt pretty good even though my running hasn't been particularly going well. Whether it is a lack of training, too many marathons, over training, or father time taking another hit at me. I had eaten a nice stack of pancakes before commencing the race and I figured by the 10pm start time that they would've passed through -- no such luck. They sort of just hung in my gut... While I wasn't stuffed, I didn't feel light.
The race started promptly at 10pm and it was dark. There were a good 300+ runners there and it was exciting to see everyone decked out in costume and blinking lights. I locked into an 8 minute per mile pace and managed to hang onto that for about 6 miles. There weren't any mile markers on the course and my Garmin wasn't beeping every mile, so I was checking in to see how far into the race I was.
I was mostly running solo but did hang with a girl for a mile or two. I want to say I reached the 10K mark at about 50 minutes -- right on target. However, once I crossed the 10K mark, my performance started to tank. I haven't studied my Garmin to see how bad I was off but it was getting warm and the stomach full of pancakes started to make me wonder if I was going to hurl.
The last 5 miles or so felt like a crawl, but it was sort of rewarding to pass the 10K / 5K runners who were marking the return trip. I did discover that the air temperature was in the mid 70's -- while the sun wasn't baking me, it was certainly warm. I didn't have any problems on the trail -- as I knew the course and the beautiful bike trail was really charming to run down. It hugs the Legacy Freeway (215) so sometimes the approaching cars were blinding.
I crossed the finish line in 1:49. I wasn't happy with my time. There really wasn't any water at the end and I had to go into a building, make my way through a crowd to get some powerade -- which I chugged down (it was good and cold). It took a long time for my stomach to settle (for a while I was afraid I was going to pass out).
I was 22nd place overall in the males, and 4th in my age division -- so sadly no extra hardware. I missed that by about 90 seconds. I was really disappointed in my run -- while I had a fantastic time and the course was accurate, I was really hoping to go sub 1:45.
I hung around until nearly 1AM talking with a woman I had met at a race last year, ate some FatBoy ice creams, cotton candy and made sure I was properly hydrated before taking off. I had a pleasant drive home. Unfortunately, I didn't feel particularly well in the morning and felt like I was hung over for most of the day -- probably because I was up early and slept poorly....
Enjoy the photos.
Me, feeling good before the race.
Neon Party afterwards
Neon Party afterwards
Me post race - my stomach finally settled.
This cool medal blinks with flashing red lights.Very cool