Friday, May 31, 2013

Night Run 8k Race Recap!

During my Arizona vacation I was psyched to have the opportunity to run a race! I love racing, and it's even more exciting to race in a new location! I was very glad to share this race experience with my sister. Running is one of our absolute favorite things to do together.
When I was picking dates for my trip to AZ, I scouted out races that would be in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, or within a short distance from where we would be staying. Once I found the Night Run, I knew right away I wanted to run it!!

The Night Run was held in down town Scottsdale, with the start at the Civil Center. (P.S. If you've never been to the down town area- GO. Night or Day, there is lots to see and do.) They had a 3 mile fun run/walk and an 8k.

Pre-race packet pickup closed at 7, and the race started after dark at 8pm. We picked up our packets and got our bibs and walked around. It was warm, almost 100 and I was interested to see how well I would run in the heat. I did some minor stretching before the race and hit the line for the porta-potties. (While I was in line I chatted it up with 3 women standing in front of me who had just hiked the Grand Canyon the week before!! Hello, new bucket-list item!!)

 My goal for this race was ultimately to just enjoy the experience of running at night and have fun. This would also be my first race post-marathon, so I was just excited to be racing again! I had no idea what kind of time to try and shoot for because I hadn't been timing my runs at all prior to the race in keeping with my May Goal to #RunfreeforMe. My goal was to run all sub-10 minute miles and finish in under 50 minutes.

The start was a little bit confusing- someone was talking on a microphone, but I couldn't hear them at all. All the runners bunched up together at the start. There were lots of people and we unintentionally started towards the front of the group. It was very congested for the first few hundred feet but it thinned out pretty quickly.
Tabitha and I started out together, but she said she might not want to run the entire thing at my pace. She is a faster runner than I am, so I assumed this meant she would pull ahead and I told her to go when she felt good! Before we knew it someone yelled out "Mile 1". There were a ton of Garmins beeping around me and I was tempted to ask someone what pace we were running, but I decided not to. I didn't want to spoil the fun we were having by getting hung up on our speed.
After Mile 1, Tabitha said she wasn't feeling super good and she was having a really hard time holding pace. We were talking, and I tried to distract her and help her keep her head in the game, but she just really wasn't feeling it. Finally she told me to keep going, she was going to drop back and walk a bit and see if she felt better.
There was a young girl, maybe 8 or 9 running with her Dad and he was pacing/coaching her. It was so fun to see! They ran alongside us for a few minutes and they were listening to some good old country tunes on his i-pod, so we were all singing along. In my head I made a mental note to not let that little girl beat me!! :)

It was really a beautiful night to run and SO much fun! The course had a lot of turns and we seemed to be going in circles. We ran by a lot of restaurants and bars and the feedback was interesting! Some people were standing out in the street clapping and cheering and high-fiving, while there were quite a few others who were name-calling and booing. It was not your average race atmosphere, to say the least!
I was feeling really, really good and my legs just kept moving. I was passing a lot of people, and trying to just hold to what felt like a steady pace. Apparently I missed all the mile markers, so after Mile 1, I never knew where I was on the course. This made it difficult because I was trying to run hard, but yet not burn out and have nothing left to finish on.
The course was mostly flat with one of two small inclines. I was feeling really, really good and I was moving!

As we got near to the end we circled back around Civic Center Park and I knew we were getting close. Pretty soon I could see the finish line and I started to kick it with all I had. I have NEVER been a strong finisher, but this race I was really flying at the end. I still felt really great and still felt strong mentally and physically.
As I was flying towards the finish, all of the sudden that little girl & her Dad from earlier in the race were right on my heels!! They were kicking it & I was kicking it and the race was on!! She ended up crossing the finish line right in front of me, but according to our chip times, I actually finished 3 seconds faster than she did. 

My official finish time was 45:09, with an average page of 8:50, finishing 266th out of 651 runners! I was stunned to see that I had run all 5 miles at a sub-9 minute pace!! I completely blew my expectations out of the water! I was super happy with how well I ran the race and how good I felt post-run.
After I finished I ran back out along the course to find Tabitha. I expected her to be right behind me, but I didn't find her until Mile 4.
After we split she ended up running some more, but unfortunately got sick around Mile 3. Even after getting sick (twice) she still ran like a champ and finished!!  

She had a very tough race and I am SO proud of her for finishing! Her grit and determination to finish inspire me! I was really worried about her post race, but after getting re-hydrated and some sleep she was good as new!

We stretch in gas-station parking lots 'cause we be cool like that.
(And it was fun to totally embarrass Noah.)

The Night Run was a fantastic race and I loved running it. It was a great experience and if you are a Scottsdale local, I'd definitely recommend you check it out in 2014! 


  1. This run sounds like SO much fun!! I want to do a night run SOOO bad. There aren't many like that where I live, I think I've seen one and it was for New Years? or that may have been in Arizona ironic. I did the same thing when I went to AZ back in December I wanted to try and run a race with someone in my I looked..but no one ended up wanting to run with me..sad. haha.

    AWESOME JOB on your time and pace holy wowza!!

  2. You did SO good! Amazing that you ran sub 9 min miles!!
    Too bad Tabitha got sick, but glad she's ok too. Looks like a fun race!!

  3. Way to go, speedy!!! Congratulations on an awesome race!!!