Monday, September 19, 2011

scenes from the night run

5K start
On Saturday, a group of us ran the Energizer Night Race at Jean Drapeau Park here in Montreal. Apparently, it is a "worldwide sensation," but it was the first time it was run here.

We dressed in our finest fluorescent colours, put on our headlamps (which were provided as part of the race fee and were mandatory for the race), and went with the expectation of a fun run in the park.

To say that I was with a group of high energy people is a bit of an understatement:
can't even stand still for a  picture
As we waited for it to get dark, we were lead in a warm up, given instructions, and then it was time to head for the start. We, of course, took pictures, sort of warmed up, and tried our best to listen to the instructions.
headlamps: MANDATORY
It was definitely dark as we lined up and perhaps it was the darkness that had the volunteer grab the wrong sign to try to corral people into the right spot. Strangely, he was holding a 35+ minutes sign partway back in the field. We kind of wanted to say "um sir? it is likely that pretty much everyone here will run a 10K in more than 35 minutes."

As we started off, the footing was uneven, it was really dark, there were a lot of people, and our race plan of "warm-up mile then half marathon pace to the end" turned into "stay safe, no face plants, no injuries before next week's race." Even with volunteers VERY well placed letting us know where hazards were and where to go, it was tough to run confidently. That didn't stop us from having fun and singing, laughing, and cheering through the entire race.
we definitely stood out- the majority were in the race shirt
The 5K course was one loop and the 10K two loops with the 10K starting 10-15 minutes after the 5K. For 10Kers, that first loop was definitely more congested- especially near the end when we were catching up to the 5K runners finishing up. We adjusted our pace accordingly. Some others did not, resulting in some unsafe passing. It was kind of scary.

Once the first loop was done, there was far more room to run and we actually ended up running that loop at half marathon pace (resulting in a definitely negative split). Then, before we knew it, we were running up the final hill (yeah- the course we thought was going to be very flat, wasn't) and headed through the finish line.
Fleet Feet in Essex Junction, VT is spreading the Turtle shirt love
One thing I definitely learned from this race- the hill training has been working! Right near the end of each loop there was a gradual uphill that lead into a short, steep uphill. It barely fazed me and we were passing people like crazy on that hill. Definite confidence boost for next week.

Overall, it was a fun time. It was definitely a little nerve wracking and I'm glad I was treating it as a fun run instead of an all out race effort. It was a little too scary to run in the dark and I wouldn't have wanted to be so focused on my goal that I forgot to have fun (or as some people seemed to be- willing to plow through the crowd) or forgot to pay attention to the uneven footing- because I would have ended up flat on my face.
yay fluorescent
Fun times, fun run. And then it was off for a late dinner after. Thanks running friends and we should really run for ramen more often! (and since I haven't asked everyone's permission to put their picture on the blog, I'll leave it off and put it on Facebook- if we're not friends, look me up!)

Did anyone else race this weekend? Any fun things to report from the weekend?

(and for the record, my glow bracelet that I wore Saturday night is STILL glowing on Monday morning)


Leigh said...

Sounds like a seriously fun race! Minus the pot holes and other things you had to dodge! I want to do it next year as I missed out this year

Rebecca W said...

That race looks like so much fun! Going to put it on my list of races I would like to try one day.

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

that is a fun race! i am pretty sure I would have bit it though running in the dark. Congrats to you!

Anonymous said...

I've never done a night run. It sounds fun. I had the usual weekend. Running, biking, relaxing, and seeing family.

Suz said...

I wonder if my bracelet is still glowing.....

healthy ashley said...

This looks like so much fun!!!! And you look amazing!