TotR | Davis Moo-nlight Run 10k Race Recap

I am linking up with Erika, Patty and Marcia  for Tuesdays on the Run again.

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?



  1. Woohoo and Congratulations! The Medal is really cool :)
    BTW – I had to smirk a bit when reading through your post “….but that didn’t make up for the first two miles, which were quite a bit slower”
    Quite a bit slower, that’s right….. :) And still so much faster than I would/could ever go these days!
    Good for you – you are, literally, on the run!

    1. Haha… you know, you can always only compete with yourself…. there are so many runners out there that run 8 minutes miles, so I feel slow in comparison, but then on the other hand… a sub-10 mile is not too shabby either, I guess.

      Thank you <3

  2. Sounds like a really great race! I haven’t done any evening races yet but I love those local races where people come out and cheer – sounds like you got that since you looped through the finish area with everyone there!

    1. Yes, thank you. It was!!

  3. You are SPEEDY! I’m slowly working my way to an 11 minute mile….but, I don’t run very many miles. I started doing speed intervals this week, and hopefully that can help me get a little faster.


    1. Ah thanks, it’s nice to hear that… and yay for working on your own speed (like I said above, all you can do is compare yourself to yourself :)). Speed work will definitely help with improving your pace!!

  4. YAY! Well done lady!! So so glad the temps dropped for the race. Never fun to run in awful heat. By the way, is it a dry or humid heat that you guys have?

    For the photos, my guess is that they have multiple photographers, one at different parts of the race course (1 on his/her own can’t really do it unless it’s a tiny race). So they do need to pay all of them. Also it takes time to not only stand there and get shots of as many people as possible (most everyone would want to get a photo of themselves running through the race course), but then editing and going through allllll those photos takes even more time. Then finally if they don’t have extra funds to pay all the photographers, then they’ll have to charge for the photos. Plus who knows what the individual policies are of each photographer (how they charge, copyright, etc.) and what the policies of the race itself are. (I speak from slight experience photographing small 5K races.)

    1. Thank you and yes, luckily, our heat is dry (humidity <50%), but it's still awful to run in... ;)

      Thanks for explaining about the business side of the race photography (I know you have first hand insights)... it does make sense that the photographer's time and processing costs money. I only saw one photographer though (might have missed others, I admit) and I was just thinking that for a relative small race like this one, it's a lot to ask $13 for a low resolution image, let alone $25 for ONE 4x6 print out. I just can't imagine that many people would buy enough photos to cover the costs, so there must be some sort of other payment arrangement with the organizers (I would guess). Obviously, I also don't know how much post-processing they actually do.

  5. Great pace and race report! You made it in under an hour, which is awesome! I always aim for under an hour during 10Ks.

    As far as race photography, I have never seen free photos (maybe some smaller races that ended up posting photos to their Facebook sites). And honestly, most photos of me are so unflattering that I wouldn’t purchase them anyway. Haha! Most of the time you can download the watermarked versions but, in the running community, it seems to be frowned upon to blog watermarked photos.

    1. Thank you!
      I ended up finding one race photo of me (my arm is blocking my bib, so my number couldn’t be read), but as you said… unflattering *LOL* I downloaded the watermarked version (just for me to keep), but I wouldn’t post it anywhere. I think that isn’t good manners ;)

  6. Awesome pace! I personally hate large races where they don’t have corrals because even if you’re physically capable of running faster, it’s just too crowded. I try to get up closer if possible and run in the sides of the road. As for professional photos, nope, nope, and nope. $13 isn’t bad. Rock n’ roll charges an arm and a leg. And I always look scary in them. I just download the proofs to get a look at my running form. Maybe one of these days…

    1. Thank you. I definitely have to “plan” my start a little smarter next time, if they don’t start people in waves.

  7. Way to go! Even though it wasn’t a PR you ran such a strong race. Plus there’s a big difference between running a smaller race v. running a bigger one as the bigger ones are so congested! For the Minneapolis marathon, there are about 10k people that run it so it is so hard to find a pace for the first 3 miles as it doesn’t start to thin out until after that and then even after 3 miles, it can still be fairly congested on the course.

    I only bought race photos from my first marathon and they were SO EXPENSIVE. I don’t remember what I paid for them, but it was a lot. But it was worth the splurge since it was a landmark event for me. Going forward, I won’t buy race photos because I don’t know what I would do with them and I can’t justify the cost. But that means that I don’t have any photos of me racing as I rarely have spectators when racing.

    Lastly, I’ve never done an evening race. Even though I tend to run a lot in the evenings, I think I would struggle to race at that time of day as it’s trickier to figure out how to fuel/eat before the race and sometimes I can feel lethargic in the evenings. But I wouldn’t be opposed to doing a night race, I just wouldn’t expect to PR at it since I know my body does best running early in the morning.

    1. I can see how you would spend money on race fotos for your first race (it’s special!), but I also agree that it’s probably not worth paying for them, because what are you going to do with them anyway?

  8. That t-shirt is the cutest thing!

  9. I’ve never run a night race, but I think it sounds like a unique twist on the normal races. Though, I also think fueling // eating might be an issue for me since I am usually a morning runner.

    Kind of a bummer that you have to pay $5 extra for a medal! Some races around here now are giving you the option to either get a t-shirt or a $10 GC to a local running store – I think I like that option better than having to shell out the extra cash for something I believe should be standard race fare.

    1. Oh, I haven’t heard about the option of getting a t-shirt of a $10 GC to a local running store. I like that. I could see getting ‘tired’ of t-shirts pretty quickly (unless they’re cute like this one above :))… but I agree, a finisher medal should be standard. I was surprised it wasn’t (but it was totally worth the extra $5).

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