Monday, May 25, 2015

The Night Run Race Recap

On May 9th we ran The Night Run in Tempe.  I was super excited to run this race, after being run in Old Town Scottsdale for 30 years, this was the first year that it was in Tempe, so I was excited to see how the race would "run" in its new location.  It did have a few slight growing pains (which I'll point out as our story unfolds) but none that would scare me off from running tis race every single year.  This is race is without a doubt one of my two favorite shorter distance races in Arizona.  (In case you were wondering, my other favorite is the Esprit de She in October).

We signed up to run the Kids Dash and the 8k distance (the other option was a 5k distance).  The race location was stunning, right along the Tempe Town Lake  We arrived about 2 hours early to insure we had plenty of time to pick up our packets, visit the vendors, use the port of potties at least twice, and really just take in the beautiful scenery. 

Bray and Adam goofing around while we waited to run.  Proof that the BOB can handle kids of all sizes!
 The Kids Dash started about 30 minutes before our race started.  We were unclear as to the exact starting location of the Kids Dash, and I think everyone else was too because we asked about 4 different volunteers and everyone either gave us the incorrect location or did not know the answer!  So we just decided to mill about and follow anyone else that looked like they had kiddos running the race as well!  The actual kids dash was great, they had each age go separately (aka "all 5 year olds, gooooo!") which worked out well.  The kids all ran about 100-200 yards  There was some confusion at the end if the kiddos actually got the finishers medals as advertised on the race website, but the organizers later cleared up the confusion and allowed the children to get their earned neck bling.
There's my little 1560.  He found a new friend at the start line.  Their conversation was probably like, "Your shirt has no sleeves?  My shirt has no sleeves too!"  haha

And they were off!  Love watching little kids run  There determination and spirit is always so impressive! 

After waiting in line (again) for the port of potties we made our way to the start line.  it was a mass cattle call start.  5k, 8k, walkers, runners, strollers, all start at the same time together.  We chose to run with the stroller, which going in I knew would be tough with the crowds, but we knew we were fast stroller runners, so we weaved our way to the front of the pack.  IT is much easier for runners to go around a stroller then for us to be nipping at the heels of slower runners at the back of the pack. 

By the time the race started it was dark and it was fun, we had lit up our stroller with tons of glow sticks and for the most part there was pretty adequate street lights on the course.  We got to run over two lighted bridges going over the lake twice, which was super pretty!
Running across one of the bridges.

The course route was laid out that everyone, the 5k and 8k runners, ran almost all of the first 5k together, with a split at the end for the 5k finishers, and then almost another full lap round the course for the 8k runners.  That second lap around is where things got a bit hairy.  There were quite a few walkers in this race, and when the faster 8k runners took their second loop through tighter course areas like the bridges, we were often halted dead in our tracks by the leisurely walkers.  I had Adam running with the stroller, so at this point in the race, we knew were making awesome time and really wanted to ensure our first place stroller finisher status (haha).  I positioned myself running in front of him, paving a clear path free of people the best I could by yelling at the top of my lungs "Stroller coming up behind!!"  Most people moved right out of the way, we always try to be as courteous as we can when barreling towards a pack of people!  Some other fellow runners said that they encountered people stopping abruptly in front of them during the race to take selfies (lol) thank goodness this did not happen to us!

We did end up being the first place stroller finishers (one day there will be an official award/medal for this!) with an awesome time of 40:49 (8:05 pace for 5 miles).  We lucked out with the cooler temperatures that night, it really made for nice running conditions.
All smiles crossing the finish line!
After the race we collected our medals from a table nearby.  There were no volunteers handing out medals and a lot of fellow runners missed the medal table and the race actually ran out of medals for finishers!  The weather that weekend was uncharacteristically nice and there was a bunch of last minute day of race sign ups which attributed to the medal shortage.  The race directors  took everyone's information that did not get a medal that evening and I was told they were ordering more.  They are great glow in the dark medals which is very unique!
Post race "glow"  Lol 

We went out to celebrate our run afterwards with some of our friends from RunEatTweetAZ at a nearby pub.  We were able to walk there from the race because of the convenient downtown Tempe location so that was really nice! 

All in all a great, fun, unique race, that had a huge growth this year and will no doubt come back stronger and bigger than ever next time!  See you next year, The Night Run, Owl be There!!