Third Annual Midnight Half Marathon Recap

I’m hesitant to call this a “Race Recap” because even the organizers constantly mentioned that it wasn’t a race but a fun run (and boy was it fun!), but any event that gets 50+ people out at midnight to run in the rain deserves a blog post.

Two years ago, two Charleston runners, Thomas Skelton and Joe Kohut, decided to have a midnight run on Folly Beach, just for fun, and the Midnight Half Marathon was born. Last year it grew and they had more participants, so they even did race bibs (what’s a real race without bibs, right?) and shirts.

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Even more people wanted to participate this year, so the organizers emphasized that anyone could come out and run a half marathon or a 5K or 10K distance, whatever they were up for. I really liked that, because everyone felt included even if they cannot or don’t want to run a half marathon. A couple of training groups like Moore On Running got involved and pretty soon, over 60 people RSVPed on Facebook for the run.

A lot of people I told thought I was crazy for running at midnight, in the drizzling rain, but I think it was crazy NOT to! You can sleep 364 nights a year- you only get one chance to run a midnight half marathon with a bunch of friends.

I’m not sure what the final numbers were, but you can tell from the pre-race picture that we had a great turnout despite the rain, and we definitely got some looks from people partying at Folly Beach!

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In the picture, I am the third from the left on the bottom row (squatting), wearing the pink TrySports shirt. We came with our headlamps, glow sticks, flashlights, etc and ready to run! This was actually a few people’s first half marathon distance run.

Everyone started out together, and soon I settled into a good pace with Steve, Paul, and a girl named Katy who we met and was about our pace. We just all ran it together, with a few friends biking near us. The half marathon course had several aid stations with both gatorade and water, and one of the bikers had a tupperware container of fresh watermelon- talk about yummy.

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All of us talked the whole time during the run, cheered for the others, stopped when we wanted to, and even went to the beach to dip our toes in the sand. None of us had any pace expectations, especially since Steve, Paul, and I did the Race the Landing 5K the night before. This run was purely for fun.

I finished with a time of 2:11:33, around a 10 minute mile pace. Not too bad for drizzling rain, wet roads, the fact that the run was at midnight, and of course, lots of chatting!

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If you’re a Charleston area runner who likes to have fun, think about the Midnight Half Marathon next year. Remember, you don’t even have to run a half marathon- just come out and run! Plan to take a nap or sleep in the next day, and you will be fine.

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21 Responses to Third Annual Midnight Half Marathon Recap

  1. How cool they hosted that! The only night half I know of is the RnR Vegas. I’m glad you had a great time despite the rain. I think it def would have been worse if it was winter and rainy and cold!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Can’t say I’ve run in cold rain very often here in SC… but it has rained all summer long, almost every day it has rained. I liked that this was a midnight half because there are almost no races in the lowcountry right now, let alone a half marathon distance… so it gave everyone something to work toward and helped those of us training for other races too. Plus a good excuse to get together with running friends!

  2. Steph says:

    Looks like fun! I’ve wanted to do a night race…but that’s past my bedtime! 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It’s past my bedtime too but I had to make an exception for this :). Heck, I probably wouldn’t do a race at that time either but definitely a group run.

      Funny thing is I got to bed at 4… and then last Saturday, I got up just a bit after 4 to go for my long run. Time is such a weird concept for us runners.

  3. What a great run! I can’t wait til next year when I can do the full distance! It was good to see you, if only for a few minutes at the start!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It was great seeing you too :). With the way your recovery is going with the knee issues hopefully we will be doing the 13.1 together next year! But you’re right, one thing about the longer distance was that people were gone by the time we finished- so I didn’t get to say goodbye to a lot of people. I was exhausted and went straight home anyway!

  4. I would love to do something like that– always wanted to do a night race! Great job and glad you had such a good time!

  5. Haha definitely past my bedtime, but a very cool idea! I suppose I could stay up past midnight for this 😉

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You definitely could! I took a nap that afternoon and was fine. Staying up really wasn’t hard, just that I was exhausted the next day because 13.1 miles isn’t easy but it’s even harder when it ends at 3 AM!

  6. Pam says:

    I ran the Wine and Dine half marathon last year at WDW that started at 10:00pm and it was so much fun that I am repeating the race this year!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      I’d so do a Disney race at night. I normally hate evening/afternoon races because of having to watch food intake all day (my stomach goes crazy when I race… must be the fast running). But a Disney race at night would be cool because those are more for enjoyment than a race where you’re basically racing against the clock, you know? Plus who wouldn’t be excited about Disney at any time of day!

  7. P.J. says:

    This sounds awesome! Would love to try it some time!
    I have a friend who started a half marathon in Ohio and while it isn’t at night, it did have similar beginnings. A few years ago I was visiting him and I mapped out what was roughly a half marathon course between my hometown and a nearby town. During the run we all talked about how awesome it would be as a half marathon course.

    Low and behold, it now is a half marathon course! I’m heading back to Ohio to run the 2nd Annual Happy Half Marathon in August!

    I love stories about things like this that grow organically from a spark of an idea. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Nerri says:

    Oh my gosh this sounds like so much fun – I used to love late night runs when I was in college. I’m not convinced I could stay up til midnight but maybe if I took a nap beforehand I’d make it 😉

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You could stay up to do it. I see a lot of responses saying they couldn’t, but really… if you were here and had the (positive) peer pressure this event had, you’d probably be up for it and be super excited. It’s just how crazy our running community here is.

      The hard part wasn’t staying up so much as the recovery from the long run at midnight!

      I loved late night anything in college, including late night food, and it showed haha. Now I’m in bed by like 10 unless I’m doing some pointless run.

  9. Pingback: E.T. Full Moon Midnight Marathon Recap | Running Wild

  10. What a fun idea! I loved my night run of my relay last weekend and would run at night much more often if there were a group of people running. Glad you had fun!

  11. Jen says:

    What a fun idea, I love small “races” like this. Running at night is so different but an awesome experience and really changes the way you prep for it.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It does! It was weird running in the middle of the night and having to not eat a huge dinner, but then having to “fuel” in the evening rather than relax. Other than that, it was a relaxing weekend to have the long run out of the way at 3 AM, haha.

  12. lindsay says:

    you have so many fun and different races down there! i agree, this one sounds like a must-do!

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