The Starlight 1/2 Marathon is described as "A night-time run that takes runners first through thousands of parade spectators, then through a holiday decorated course in and around Town Center. Be entertained along the way by holiday lights and music. Finish the race through a Christmas tree lined finish chute and enjoy music, s’mores, beer, hot food and drinks".
Running in the evening was so different than getting up at 430am for those morning runs. I had to plan my food for the day a little more strategically. I didn't, but I would recommend doing so lol. To my excitement my husband decided to run the 5k portion of the race last minute so we wore matching Grinch shirts and Santa hats. I got to cheer him on at the start, and he got to cheer me on down the finish line.
The course was pretty awesome. We ran on Lehigh trail which they had portions of it decorated with Christmas lights and had glow sticks lighting the sides of the path. They had volunteers everywhere making sure you were going the right way and also had plenty of water and Gatorade stations with great volunteers cheering you on along the way. This had to have been one of the most organized races I have been to. The last mile was all full of Christmas light displays and a live band playing Christmas music.
I paced my self at an easy pace, listening to Christmas music along the way. Around mile 11 I saw an opportunity to pick up the pace and pass a couple of girls who looked about my age (yes, I let my competitive nature kick in). I passed them at an easy, just a little faster than they were going knowing they would likely pickup the pace closer to the finishline to try and pass me. Ifelt them getting closer around 12-12.5 miles. So naturally, I picked up the pace more and gave it all I had without risking injuring myself or wiping myself out. I stayed ahead of them beating them by a mere 30 seconds. I took 2nd in my age division. I also got a new PR of 1:54:33 (chip time was 1:55 but I started back from the start line, and they didn't have a start chip tracker just a finish line).
When you ran through the Christmas tree lined finishers chute you were showered with "snow" which was awesome. Then you ended in this beautifully decorated area with tons of tables (set with white table cloths and center pieces), you were given a water bottle (which you could refill with gatorade if you needed some extra electrolites), free pizza or hot soup, beer or apple cider sangria, free coffee or hot chocolate. It was amazing! There were also s'mores stations set up so you could roast marshmallows and have s'mores while you were sitting and visiting with others, chatting about the race. Plus, my medal glows in the dark. How cool is that!!!
This race will now be a new tradition for us. It was so well organized, and an all-around happy race. Who wouldn't be happy when surrounded by Christmas lights and free food/drinks right?
Here are a few more pictures of some of the light displays..