Late night racing

581983 290488921035485 276632509087793 668905 576426024 n Late night racing

All signed up for this

You may have gathered by now that I am an early riser–part of it is that by nature, part of it by design. I’ve learned over the years that I’m going to greatly increase my odds of getting my workouts in if I do them early. And so with the exception of a few runs in summer designed to acclimate me to the heat, and during marathon training when I’ll add in two-a-days, I’m primarily done with training well before many people are even contemplating breakfast.

This generally works well with the race schedule, too. With the exception of a few big races, like Boston or New York, most races are held early in the day. (And for you race directors out there, I think there’s nothing better than a 7 a.m. start!).

So it would seem to defy logic that I’d sign up for a race that begins at 8:45 p.m., but that’s what I just did. Mr. Zippy and the kids are going camping later in July with a friend and his kids. His wife is a runner and when she heard the date of the planned camping trip, she asked if I’d like to join her for an 8k near her house. Well, why not? The Rockville Rotary 8k it is.

I’ve never run a race that late in the day. Actually, I’m usually asleep by that time of the day. But anyhow, I’m game. The biggest challenge I can see will be how to eat. With morning events, I have it down to a science. Evening will be trial and error, to be sure. Heat will be another issue–this race has a reputation of always being hot, and I’m guessing that evening will be much hotter than early morning.

Whatever the case, I think it will be fun to get out of the comfort zone and try something new. I do like the 8k distance so that holds plenty of appeal for me. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Anyone ever run an evening race? What are the pros/cons to it? 

 

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  1. The eating thing is key, I think. My first leg of the Reach the Beach relay was 8:30 pm and I was nervous about eating all day. I ate a normal lunch and then spent the rest of the day hydrating and whatnot. When dinner time came, I just snacked on a larabar and shortly before my leg, I had some Honey Stingers. I didn’t feel weighed down or sick at all. Of course, after my leg I was famished so we went to Subway. Best of luck!!!
    Jen recently posted..A Winning Kind of Day at the GymMy Profile

  2. I’m a morning person and runner too. My week runs are usually between 3:45 and 06:00 in the morning. However, I have run many night races. Here in SA it is a common thing to have Wednesday and Friday night 10km and 15km races. The longest one is 25km. I find that i do well in these races. Must be metabolism that is wide awake and on the go at night. Our races all start at 19:00. I don’t change anything during a day where there is a night race and just have some toast with coffee 1 – 2 hours before the start. I set some PR’s in night races but that was many many moons ago. You will love and enjoy the night race.
    Johann recently posted..Gauteng Winter Trail XL Race ReportMy Profile

  3. I prefer early morning as well. I’ve never done a race that started that late but did an evening 5K once…at least they are short races…I think that helps!
    abbi recently posted..Highlands Sky 40 Mile Trail RunMy Profile

  4. Sounds fun! I am very interested in running this one with you!
    Kris Lawrence recently posted..Putting the Tiger Shoes back on- An 8K recapMy Profile

  5. I started a new blog (ditched the old one) about a year ago, and I lost some of the blogs that I followed. Last night, I was surfing around and discovered your new blog! Just wanted to say hello!

    I like night races, because they are different. I always find that I don’t run as fast in night races. I feel fast, but the time on my Garmin proves differently! :)

  6. I never have but I’m sure that would throw my body all out of whack! The early morning, pre-race jitters are just a part of it, and if I had all day long to think about it….wow, I’d be a hot mess!
    Heather@Just a Colorado Gal recently posted..Columbia’s Omni-Freeze ZeroMy Profile

  7. I’ve never done an evening race, but I bet I’d be good at it, since I usually run later in the day. Then again, I’m usually in bed by 9:30, so who knows.
    Kari @ Running Ricig recently posted..strange man on a bikeMy Profile

  8. I think for a July race, late is brilliant! There is really no other way to do it without melting.

  9. I have run a 7pm 5K before. It’s held in May and not dark at that time, but hot hot hot. I found that I was more hydrated, but then having eaten all day my tummy wasn’t as happy. Definitely a different mindset on how to prep. I’ve never run an 8K distance.
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Double on Monday & Easy Quinoa DinnerMy Profile

  10. I ran disney’s wine and dine last year, it didn’t start till 9:00 or later!
    Heather recently posted..Is it Time to Throw it Out?My Profile

  11. I ran the Rockville Twilight many, many years ago…like in my 20′s.

    I remember it was fun and low key. People were on their lawns spraying us with hoses too. It was a little disorienting because I wasn’t completely sure of how many miles I had run (pre-Garmin days!)

    But fun is mostly what I remember. Enjoy!!
    Tracy recently posted..FMO Trail RunMy Profile

  12. Good luck!

    I usually do a couple evening 5k’s as part of a summer race series. Timing my food is usually my biggest concern. A big, later lunch to tide me over until after the race seems to wrok best . I’m definitely a morning person too, so ijust adds a little more to the challenge :)

  13. I’m definitely asleepat that time — give me a 5:00 AM start any day!
    Kovas recently posted..Warrior Dash Illinois 2012 Race ReportMy Profile

  14. I’m running the midnight run in Philly in July. It is an 8 miler on the Kelly dr loop. It should be interesting to run in the middle of the night?!

  15. I have never done a late or night race, I am interested to hear how it goes
    BDD recently posted..Maumee Bay Olympic Aquabike Race Report – SortaMy Profile

  16. I’m SO like you and love the early morning workout. I was going to run Las Vegas Marthon last year, a night race, but since my energy level is next to nothing later in the day, I figured it wasn’t a great idea. I don’t even do the 6:30 pm training runs held every Wed. Every year I tell myself I will and it would be GREAT training for the upcoming Boilermaker but no, I just can’t get the energy after working all day.

    So – good luck with the 8:45 pm race, it will be interesting to see how you planned out your day food wise to get ready for it. Good thing it’s not a long one :)
    Joanne recently posted..Summer Sizzler 5 Miler and CNYEats A Taste of Utica Blueberry MuffinsMy Profile

  17. I give you SO much credit for signing up for a night race!! Especially one THAT late! That’s around my bedtime! HAHA. I am definitely a morning runner – have been for most of my life. The only exception is when I was in Iraq and found that the best time for me to run (based on my schedule) was between 12-4pm (whenever I could fit it in). It took a couple of weeks to get used to the eating/hydration/coffee schedule, but it soon became part of my routine – and I loved it!
    I’m definitely interested to hear about how it goes and what you do in prep for it =)

  18. I’m a morning person to. Yes I did do a night run and hated it. The eating the day of the night race real played with my head and hydrating to. I had fun, but just not wanting to so another night race . It just not for me. Good Luck , I bet it will be alot of fun.

  19. Maybe I’ll see you there! This run is literally through my neighborhood, and this will be my 11th time running it.

    My best tip is that hydration is more important in this event than fuel. Many years the weather is hot and sticky, and there are often runners with heat-related medical events (sometimes severe) during the race.

    For morning races, you’re fueling after a lengthy overnight fast. So for an evening race, “fasting” for a few hours before doesn’t put me at a great disadvantage in terms of fuel–but my tummy is much happier with something light and non-confrontational in the early evening. I do focus on hydration for a couple of days before race day. And I skip “Beer and Oreo Guy Dressed as a Banana” that you pass 3x during the race ;)

    It’s fun to wear some glow sticks, bright clothes, etc., for this event since it’s totally dark (besides streetlights) after about the first mile. Miles 3 to 4.5ish around the college are pretty quiet (and weird yellow lighting), but the roar of the crowd as you approach the finish is cool. Hope you love it as much as I do!

  20. I’ve run one evening race and it totally threw me off – I’m a big-time morning person. What to eat was definitely the biggest challenge…and just getting energized for the race. Fortunately though it was a fun run and wasn’t even timed :)
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen recently posted..DehydrationMy Profile

  21. I have never run an evening race like that, and I always wonder how it would be to run a midnight run (actually passed on one on July 3). The key I imagine would be keeping off feet, staying hydrated during the day and eating right.

    Ans I am curious about marathon 2 a days. I am going to switch over to morning running in marathon training season this fall, and curious what you do…2 runs or one run, one cross train?
    NY Wolve recently posted..Father’s Day 12 milerMy Profile

  22. I have never run an evening race. Well, I take that back; I ran the Relay and had to run two legs in the middle of the night. I am not sure if that counts or not. I was dreading it and you know what, they were awesome. It was quiet, just me and my reflective vest and my headlamp, running along in the dark! I am definitely a morning runner; I mean, how do you fuel for an 8 pm race!?
    Travel Spot recently posted..Tuesday Training (2)My Profile

  23. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race says:

    Pardon my French but I F’n hated it! You know the story of Vegas and while the race itself was a debacle I also had issues with the late start. Now that was a marathon and this is an 8k so there could be differences there. Also, the race was in December and not in the hot months either.

    That being said do a few practice runs later n the day and just treat the evening as breakfast time and eat the amount you normally do the normal amount prior to a race. You’ll be fine.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Just…..My Profile

  24. I’ve run a night race before, and it was wonderful! (Firecracker 5000 in Seattle… race begins at 11:55pm on 7/3 and is the “first race on the fourth of July”)

    While I loved the event, I did not exactly race well. Hubby and I spent the day hiking at Olympic National Park before the race, and I ate a huge salad for dinner. (Tons of fiber and burp-inducing foods right before a race – brilliant!)

    So my recommendation would be to eat your pre-race “breakfast” foods for dinner that night… and have FUN! :-)
    Beth (i run like a girl) recently posted..Book review on the run: WildMy Profile

  25. I signed up for my first night race as well – and must admit, I’m freaked out. With my sensitive stomach, I’m so afraid of what to eat all day! I’m excited to read about your experience :)
    Megan recently posted..Fitness Bucket ListMy Profile

  26. I totally get the questioning of running a night race! I too am more of the morning runner (although I like my time for a little coffee first). I really would like to do Disney’s Wine and Dine race at some point, but just really not sure how I feel about a night time race. I’m so curious to read your reports on it. Good luck! :-)
    Christina recently posted..Father’s Day weekend and my official start to half marathon trainingMy Profile

  27. We have A Midsummer Night’s Run up here but it’s not that late a start, it usually starts around 5:30 pm (30k and 15K) and it’s in August. I find it rough. It’s hot, humi and I find it hard to eat properly before hand. It’s a great event though and lots of fun so I’ll keep doing it, and hopefully figure out the nutrition at some point!
    Robin recently posted..9 down one to goMy Profile

  28. I’ve run a few evening races and they’ve been fine for me — BUT I am an evening runner during the week (early morning on the weekends). I did have some issues with eating, though. I’ve been starving in some races and gotten cramps in others. I guess I have the evening pre-run eating worked out fine but not the pre-race!

    Good luck!
    Felice @ The Happy Runner recently posted..Mental running lessons.My Profile

  29. What to eat?

    It is an 8k, that is a walk in the park for you Amanda, you should have a big Burrito before the race just to make for a “fun” race report (-;
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Things of Interest …My Profile

  30. I’m with you – the earlier the better! And yes 8:45 is bed time! Are you going to nap before the race? ;)

    I am doing a race in August that starts at 5 pm. That will be an odd time, too.
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Yoga in the ParkMy Profile

  31. I have run some and am not crazy about them. I don’t know how to do the whole eating thing for that time of day race. But they’ve been fun, regardless of my discomfort with them.

  32. Did the Disney Wine & Dine HM last fall. It started at 10pm. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about starting at that time (I am typically a 5:45/6:00am-11:00pm gal) but it was SO MUCH FUN!!! I rested during the day, watched my diet carefully, and enjoyed the race so much – as well as the after party at Epcot that ran until 2am!

    Night racing is fun! Hope you enjoy it!
    Rachelle recently posted..Race Report: Training BackwardsMy Profile

  33. I think it’s just what you’re used to. I used to love training at 7pm and that’s when I did my best quality work, early morning runs were rare and awful (that was when I was a teenager). Now I am so used to running and racing early, dragging myself to an evening track race has been quite a thought! It will probably be a shock to your system but it’s good to mix it up a bit, right?! Good luck!

  34. Sounds like fun!
    I’ve run a couple evening races. We used to have the Race the Twilight marathon and half in August. I ran the half one year; it was actually ok and kind of nice to run towards twilight.
    I’ve also been the captain of our Corporate Challenge team for the road race the past three years. The race always starts at 7p.m., and I really struggle with what to eat. I work all day so found that eating a normal breakfast and lunch and then another light breakfast around 4p.m. worked well.
    Good luck!
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted..Wednesday’s web links – summer workout, running news & a cool productMy Profile

  35. You may be surprised how you’ll do. I know when I run in the evenings, which is once per week, it takes me a bit to get the ‘day’ out of my legs, but with a good warmup and perhaps a gel (or other fuel you’re used to) beforehand for morning races, you should be in ok shape. I’ve found that works well-even for morning folk!

    I did an afternoon 5k, and actually it went pretty well a few years back….
    Adrienne recently posted..Summer Fueling TipsMy Profile

  36. I’ve done a couple of evening races and I can’t say I’m a big fan. The whole needing to go to the toilet thing was pretty stressful – it just works in the morning. And because I’m used to running in the morning my body just complains about running late.
    Char recently posted..Bad Dogs And Bad PhotosMy Profile

  37. I have only run 2 evening races… and both were not my fastest just bc it was hot. other than that.. it was fun! I run mostly between 1-5pm anyway so I’m used to running later in the day.
    Kristy (@KrisRunTri) recently posted..Higgins Lake Sunrise Run Half MarathonMy Profile

  38. Ohhh, I ran the Rockville Twilight fest years ago, back when we lived in Montgomery county. I just remember it was weird running in the dark. There was hardly any lights in areas and it was “different”-since you can’t see everyone. Have fun!
    Heather Winkler recently posted..Road Trip!My Profile

  39. I’ve never done an evening race– fueling seems like the trickiest part for me, too. But with the heat and running with a friend, it sounds like the ideal race to run for the enjoyment of it, and not stress too much about racing. Curious to hear about it!
    Laura recently posted..Do you incorporatre plyometrics?My Profile

  40. I haven’t done one that late either but there was one around my birthday that I was thinking of doing this summer. Don’t think it’s going to work out, but it would have been fun. Our race was an “alien half marathon” or something silly like that.
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..Makenzie’s Dreams Come TrueMy Profile

  41. Woo-hoo! I am running Rockville Twilight too! We must meet up! I have run a few night races (used to do those ridiculous midnight Women’s Distance Festivals in Columbia years ago, until I tripped over a rock I couldn’t see…) and ran Rockville last year when it wasn’t quite as blisteringly hot as usual. I also have trouble with the eating and suffered from some stomach cramps last year. I think this year I’ll focus on drinking plenty and nibbling throughout the day. The race is so late it’s almost bedtime when you’re done!
    Alison @ racingtales recently posted..Why I Won’t DNFMy Profile

  42. I always run first thing in the morning, because I don’t trust myself to go at night. However, the times when I had to go out for a run in the evening, I was amazed at how easy it was. Much easier than in the mornings.
    So I suppose late night racing would be fine.
    Mom’ s Home Run recently posted..Underwater running on a treadmill!My Profile

  43. I’m a morning runner too but my next race is a 10k that starts at 6 pm. I have no idea how I’m going to prepare for this one!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Settling into SummerMy Profile

  44. Sounds like fun! The only late night race I’ve run was the overnight relay this weekend. The biggest challenge for me was – how do I eat in preparation. That and the heat.
    Mandy recently posted..Relay Around Columbus RecapMy Profile

  45. Never did an evening race but think it will be challenging food wise. What to eat and when? Good luck!
    Christine recently posted..What You always Wanted to KnowMy Profile

  46. The biggest con for me was getting to sleep afterward.
    Jamoosh recently posted..Do I DareMy Profile

  47. Oh I think this sounds fun! I’ve seen a couple moonlight races but never done them. I do love running in the dark! I’m even getting more comfortable on trails in the dark. You are going to love it. And at least heat will not be a factor!
    shelly recently posted..Ultra Running: The Prerequisite for Oral SurgeryMy Profile

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  1. [...] coming Saturday night is the Twighlighter 8k that I mentioned here. It’s not an “A” race for me, but rather a good warm-up for my sprint tri coming [...]

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