Racing at night has got to be one of the coolest race experiences ever. I closed out the weekend with the Trinity River Run Half Marathon and a finish through flashing lights and lasers. While the race started late afternoon and I spent most of it in daylight, night fell during my last mile. It was the perfect opportunity to debut my reflective running shorts!
Expo: As basic as basic gets but with the benefit of multiple packet pickup locations or having your bib shipped to you (for an additional fee). PlayTri hosted, and I was in and out of my local location in five minutes. The race shirt is a really cool 360-degree print of the Dallas skyline at night. I saw many runners post jokingly they were running this race “just for the cool race shirt.”
Weather: Almost perfect! The race started in the high 60s and finished around 60 degrees with a light breeze. It was a little humid at times, but that’s Dallas for you. I only wish the sky had been clear for a beautiful sunset view while running. Instead, it was overcast all evening.
Support: Water and Gatorade every two miles but the separation between the two wasn’t obvious enough for runners. I found myself grabbing Gatorade by accident multiple times. I don’t use water stops much in a half, so this wasn’t too big of a deal. Crowd support was minimal, probably because of the location and time of day, but there were several police officers all along the course. While working the course and directing traffic, the officers also seemed genuinely invested in spectating.
Course: Nothing compares to racing at night with a perfect view of the Dallas skyline. If you need any more motivation to push yourself the last couple miles, just look ahead. Overall, I loved running this course along the Trinity River (“river” used loosely in its modern representation), through the Design District and parts of South/West Dallas. The trails don’t quite connect enough for the half marathon distance, so some of the time is spent on the road with a couple brief gravel patches. I would like to see completely paved trails in the future. Enjoy the cool murals along the Trinity Strand Trail and the finish by Trinity Groves. The course is flat, except for a few bridge ramps.
Fueling for an evening race takes a lot more planning than usual. I ate a typical pre-race meal the night before (fish and pasta) but had to think carefully about what I consumed Sunday:
- All day: hydrating with water and Nuun vitamins
- Breakfast (6 hours before): eggs and a waffle
- Snack (4 hours before): crackers
- Coffee* (2-3 hours before): almond milk latte
- Lunch (2 hours before): English muffin with crunchy PB (my typical pre-race breakfast) plus some pickles
- Snack (1 hour before): Nuun performance
- During the race: pretzel sticks and Honey Stinger chews
- Post-race: amazing after party of food from Modern Market to Topo Chico
*I purposely stay away from caffeine the day before a race, so this coffee hit at just the right time.
I had so much fun racing at night! I can’t wait to find my next half marathon–and hopefully another night run.