Last Friday night, I ran the Night Light Trail Run 10k at Battle Creek Park in St. Paul. There was a half-marathon and a 5k in addition to the 10k.
You might remember when I ran this race last year, two of my friends got engaged (read all about it here!) They actually met at the same trail run the year before the engagement. This year, part of their wedding weekend festivities included the same race that played such a big part in their relationship.
2013- the meet! 2014- the engagement! 2015- the wedding!
(Here’s a bonus pic of the lovely couple from the wedding)
The bride and groom had an RV at the race with music, food, and drinks. It was quite the set-up!
Additionally, they had race t-shirts for all participants- “Race to the Altar!” I am a sucker for a cozy cotton race shirt, so I was pleased!
I actually wore my new t-shirt for the race, which is usually an amateur mistake, but I wasn’t too worried about it. The weather on Friday was nice and cool. I also wasn’t racing the 10k- just running it for fun as part of the wedding celebration!
The 10k started at 7 pm. We arrived around 6:15. Packet pickup was held in the nearby community center. Our friends had already picked up our bibs, so we just hung out with the group until it was race time. Super easy.
Race participants are required to wear a light of some sort. Some people wore head lamps and some used knuckle lights. I wore THIS headlamp and it was crazy bright!
The 5k and the 10k started together. It was cool to see all the bright lights bobbing along in the dark along the trail!
The 10k was basically two laps of the same course as the 5k. Therefore, there were plenty of people around (and plenty of light) during my first lap, but by the second lap it was DARK. The headlamp definitely helped, but since it was a trail race, the terrain was a bit treacherous. There were also some serious hills (not Imogene type of hills, but serious Minnesota hills!) I was cautiously watching my steps so I didn’t break anything- no need to end up with a sprained ankle with Richmond just 5 weeks away!
I settled into a pace around 9 min/miles which felt harder than an easy run due to the terrain. I finished in 57:55, which is a 9:15 average. Good enough for 17th place overall and 4th place for women. Not too shabby.
Speaking of place, Dustin got first place overall in the 10k and our friend Paul got first place the 5k!
Couple of champions right there.
Actually, there was a bit of a mix-up at the awards ceremony where a different guy was listed in first place, even though Dustin knew no one had passed him. It turns out that guy ran the 5k but was registered for the 10k. The officials straightened out the results later that night, but Dustin only got to stand on the podium in second place…Next year!
All runners received a pint glass (and a beer of course), as well as a hotdog/brat/black bean burger and chips. There was live music at the finish and it was a really fun afterparty. And it was awesome to have the RV to warm up in!
The Night Light Trail Run is a truly unique event which has a special place in my heart due to its meaning for my friends. But it’s also really cool to run trails in the pitch black. The race is very laid back but loads of fun. Its definitely one that I will be running again in the future!