This week I am bringing you the Davis Moo-nlight Run race recap. I decided a few weeks ago that I would throw in another 10k as part of my half-marathon training.
I was particularly intrigued by this race, because it was a) local and b) taking place in the evening… and you must know, I am mostly an afternoon/evening runner when the weather permits and an evening race sounded just perfect. Although it was a little bit of a gamble, because two weeks before the race the temperatures were in the triple digits and we could have easily ended up with a superhot weekend. Luckily, temperatures cooled down just in a time for race weekend and it was perfect, evening running weather (upper 70’s with a bit of a breeze).
This race is going on it’s 7th year and included a 5k, 10k, 10 mile and half-marathon loop course and a half-mile fun run for kids under 12. The Davis Moo-nlight Race is the final race in Part One of the NorCal Tour de FIT series.
Almost 2000 people had signed up for this race (1362 actually started), so it was significantly bigger than the last 10k I attended in Davis and it was really well organized.
There was plenty of (free) parking near the start line. I arrived 90 minutes before the race and had time to pick up my race packet (bib + supercute t-shirt), scout out the start and finish area, use the port-a-potty and get warmed up.
The 5k started at 7:15 p.m., the 10k, 10 mile and half-marathon races all started together at 7:00 p.m. The course was fun and looped twice through the finish area (which was cool, because of the people hanging out there and cheering us on!).
Mile 1 – I had a good, but slow start and a little trouble navigating in between hundreds of runners. It’s a little tough to find your pace when you’re navigating around people. (Pace 9:53)
Mile 2 – We had looped around and passed the start/finish area before crossing the freeway via the overpass – the only real incline on the course. I didn’t feel too strained going uphill, gained a little speed going down on the other side and I passed the first water stop without getting any water. (Pace 9:36)
Mile 3 – I was feeling pretty good and was hoping to make up a bit of time from the slow start. Only slowed down at the second water stop to take some water (Pace 9:17)
Mile 4 – I found a good grove and just wanted to keep going. (Pace 9:22)
Mile 5 – I was keeping pace with two other runners for a little while (I think they got a bit annoyed that I was right on their tails, or maybe I am just imagining things because I personally don’t like anyone tailing me, but I was comfortable and didn’t want to push harder just to pass them and then have them on my tail in return. Is there a race etiquette lesson here?). I did eventually find a good stride and did pass them at the end of mile 5. (Pace 9:13)
Mile 6 – I also made another slow-down at the third water stop right after the 5 mile marker and then we looped back over the freeway overpass towards the end. The closer we got to the end, the more “done” I felt, but I pushed myself to keep the pace to the finish line. (Pace 9:21)
I crossed the finish line at 59:01. My average pace was 9:30 and I didn’t beat my PR from last time, BUT yay for a negative split!
To beat my PR, I would have had to be at an average 9:26 pace, which I definitely beat for most of the race, but that didn’t make up for the first two miles, which were quite a bit slower. I didn’t really think about the fact that with so many people at the start line, it would be difficult to get out of the crowd and find my pace. I also had to slow down a bit at the two water stations (which I planned to do as practice for the upcoming half-marathon – eek!) and I realize that I have a lot to learn. Those are all things I have to pay more attention to when I plan out my race pace, although to be honest, I didn’t really set out for a new PR in this race (but a little surprise would have been nice, of course).
I’m still pretty happy with my overall finish. I came in 4th in my age group (4/32), 35th in my gender group (35/206) and 88th overall (88/359).
I picked up my finisher medal (love it!), scored a few freebies, and then headed home and picked up a veggie pizza on the way. I think I earned it! :)
I don’t have any photos from the course and I am still waiting to see if any professional photos of me were taken by the race photographer. However, I already checked the website and they charge $13 for a single low resolution digital image (the cheapest option). Is that common? It seems like a lot and I am not sure – depending on the quality of the shot and if there actually is one of me – if I want to shell out the money.
Do you get professional photos from your races? Do they always cost that much? (If I recall, at the Berkeley Half-Marathon event last year, photos were free – maybe partly paid for by the sign-up fee?)
Here are the Davis Moo-nlight Run Pros & Cons:
+ Evening race!
+ Very well organized
+ Plenty of near-by free parking (it’s in an industrial area with lots of large offices + parking lots)
+ Easy race day packet pick up (I hate when you have to pick up your packet beforehand)
+ Course was a mix of street and green belt through East Davis
+ Great course markings
+ Great tech shirt
+ Instant results checking after race
+ No medals for 5k and 10k participants (unless you pay an extra $5 for a finisher medal – which I am glad I did though!)
+ Race photos not free :(
This race was really fun and I am definitely considering doing it again next year, especially because it’s local for me and doesn’t need much planning!
Have you participated in an evening race?