Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Inaugural Newport Night Run

If you read this blog then you already know that I love Newport, but what I love even more is running in Newport. I've already told you about the time I ran across the beautiful bridge and the other time I ran along the mansions. This time I ran through the streets in the dark.

It might be crazy to register for February races in New England, but there are some great ones out there. The Newport Night Run was no exception...crazy February weather and a great race.

The day started with a two hour freezing rain delay in New Hampshire that turned into afternoon thunderstorms on the drive down to Newport. We received an email before 6 o'clock that the race was delayed 30 minutes to allow the bad weather to clear. We picked up our bibs and spent the extra time at Easton's Beach taking some fun photos.

It was an out and back course that started at Easton's Beach, headed up Memorial Boulevard, down America's Cup to the Long Wharf turn around. Even with the wacky weather more than 500 runners joined together at the starting line.

The course was not completely closed to traffic, so we waited in the parking lot before being escorted across Memorial as ONE BIG group to line up at the start. It was easy to stay warm in the middle of the pack and the upbeat music playing made it easy to keep our bodies moving while we waited. I was impressed with the event coordinators ability to keep things fairly organized considering the rain, wind, and darkness.

I've run in downtown Newport many times, but always on warm sunny mornings. Running past the familiar landmarks in the dark with all the Winter Fest lights twinkling was something special. It was fun to look up and see Kilwins, our favorite ice cream shop, the Red Parrot, a choice spot for a good meal, and The Wave, a popular place to rendezvous.

The other fun part was seeing the line of hundreds of runners and walkers with glow necklaces and bracelets light up the streets from start to finish. On the way to the finish line we even got some cheers from the cars caught up in the little bit of traffic.

After the race, we enjoyed a few minutes of the crashing waves illuminated by someone in a parked car. Running some new races is on my 2014 bucket list and this is one I can see doing again in the future.

Have you ever run a night race?

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