Most of us have a hard enough time running during the day, but there is something life affirming and so adventurous about heading out for a run at night. When everything else is quiet, it is just you and the open sky. For the runner who is looking for something new to conquer, nocturnal running is not only something outside the ordinary; it can add a little excitement and fun into any competition.
Running at night takes a lot of stamina since that is typically when we sleep. Confusing the body, sometimes the only thing that can keep you going is the competition next to you, the camaraderie you feel with others who have taken the darkness leap and the ability to say “I ran a marathon at night”, just because you can.
A favorite world-round, the ING Night Marathon Luxembourg begins at dusk and doesn’t end until the last runner passes over the finish line. One of the most beautiful city centers in Europe, this small and quaint town, shuts down to allow racers the safety to make their way through the streets. Covering the city center and down old alleyways, marathoners are subjected to steep sandstone rock pavements. Not just an evening event for one night, the marathon is an entire weekend festival extravaganza. Outside the every day, there is just something liberating about strapping your shoes to go for a marathon run instead of putting on your pajamas to hit the bed for the night.
A fast and flat race, this night time marathon is run through the streets of Bilbao at night. Participants from around the globe partake in this night time event as well as the festivals that both proceed and precede it. An 18 and over requirement for racers, is about all that you need to race through the streets post-dusk. For newbies who are trying their first night race to newbies that are trying their first marathon, the fun nature and casual atmosphere of the Bilbao Night Marathon can turn any novice runner into a marathon-lover overnight, literally.
The Polar Night Halfmarathon has nearly 1400 participants that come from all walks of life to run through the cold at night. The quaint town of Tromso, Norway, is located directly above the Polar circle and is known for the spectacular Northern Lights display. Because there are only a few hours of daytime during the winter months in Norway, indigenous people think nothing of the darkness or running in it. If, however, you are from another region, running at night can be exhilarating and an experience like none other. The city lights up, literally, guiding runners from start to finish, seeing the City Center. Be prepared for frigid weather, and, on occasion, ice and snow. The race track can get kind of slick, so training for every condition is a must.
Located, as the Polar Night Half Marathon, in Tromso, Norway, the Midnight Sun Marathon is different because runners are not subjected to the snow, ice and in climate temperatures that can come from the winter season. An event that takes place at night, the only difference is that runners won’t be running through the streets during while dark. Due to the nature of Norway, the race is run in the daylight. Racing around the city center, runners loop around the city while the townspeople cheer them on. The city comes alive with excitement, and the event is celebrated not just for one night, but for the weekend. A flat and fast course, it is a great run for newbie to seasoned athlete. A less competitive and highly friendly type of atmosphere, it is truly one of a kind.
An American favorite, the Night Sweats Fall Marathon is way more fun than the actual night sweats that can keep you up at night. Marathoners begin the race under the Golden Gate Bridge located in Sausalito and continue on to see the beautiful night skyline of San Francisco. Racing your way around the city, runners get a unique perspective of the city at night while challenging themselves to a flat and fast course. Hearing the ocean waves gives runners a little extra energy to make it through the nighttime course. A unique experience, it is something that should be on any runners “to-do” list.