A few of my friends and I signed up for the Night Race 10k months ago. Every participant is given a headlamp and a neon shirt and the race starts after the sun sets (7:30pm).
We had plans to pick up our race packages the day before during a lunchtime run. Unfortunately, I was really busy and had to go after work instead. When we met up the next day before the race, I found out that they had been given short sleeve shirts rather than long sleeve and weren’t able to switch. I don’t know if it was timing or sizing but I lucked out and got a long sleeve. They are actually really nice shirts and NEON PINK!
I didn’t really have any expectations for the race. It sounded neat but I probably wouldn’t have registered if my friend hadn’t wanted to do it. I could tell when we got there that it was going to be a fun one! There was a great energy and as the sun finished setting everyone turned on their headlamps illuminating the neon yellow and pink shirts in front of them.
We ran into our marathon training clinic leader and headed over to the starting corral with her while catching up. As soon as the gun went, she was gone. The four of us took the slow and steady approach and chatted constantly.
As we reached the Sea Wall, we could see a string of glowing shirts all along it heading towards the Lions Gate Bridge which was lit up with strings of lights. It was a beautiful and surreal sight.
I’ve ran along the Sea Wall a lot … but I realized that I’ve never seen it this way because (obviously) I would never go running in Stanley Park at night. The Night Race provides a safe and fun way to experience this.
There were a few people who happened to be walking around the Sea Wall and were taken by surprise when they found themselves caught in a blur of neon pink and yellow. One person was trying to describe it to someone on the phone.
As we came up to the 10k point we were wondering where the finish line was … We could hear it in front of us … then to the right of us … then almost behind us …
We were getting pretty close to 11k when we looped around and came up on the finish line (same as the start line) from the other side. As we approached, three of us formed a row to cross the line at the same time. Because we are huge dorks, we held hands and threw our arms up as we crossed. A big cheer came from the crowd … I’m not sure if this was coincidental or if they were actually cheering for us!
After a good laugh and some high fives, we grabbed some water and headed to the after party in the Stanley Park Pavilion. It was bumpin’! The patio was packed, there were free burgers (even veggie ones!), free beer “samples,” and coconut water. Needless to say, I had my hands full! If there is anything I’ve learned from having been an art student for four years, it’s never say no to free stuff.
Overall, I thought it was a really great race and I would definitely do it again. The value is good too. For the $55 registration, we got a headlamp, shirt, burger, beer, protein bars, coconut water, and had an amazing time!