Run Mom Run Happy

My thoughts on being a mom, runner, wannabe health nut, and everything else.

Winter Night Trail Marathon 2015 – My Experience

on February 1, 2015

The Winter Night Trail Marathon in Indianapolis bills itself as “Brutally Awesome.”  As a participant in the 2015 half marathon event, I can concur that it most definitely is a brutally awesome event!  This was my first year participating in the race, and I will hopefully be making it an annual run.  The Winter Night Trail Marathon has three distance options: full, half, and quarter.  The course consists of a 6.55 mile loop.

WinterNightTrailMarathonLogo

As is the norm with me, I arrived at the event with about 15 minutes until start time.  Thankfully another member of the Corn Fed Spartans had picked up my race packet for me.  (If anyone is looking for a motivational group to participate in obstacle course races, mud runs, road races, rucks, or any other fitness related event that you could imagine, I highly recommended the Corn Fed Spartans.  The group is full of great, supportive people that want to help you succeed!)  Many of the runners picking up their packets received a North Face drawstring bag.  While I didn’t receive this perk, I received a long-sleeve tech shirt, hand warmers, and a gel pack.

Front of the 2015 Winter Night Trail Marathon shirt

Shirt front of 2015 Winter Night Trail Marathon

Back of Shirt

Back of Shirt

As I’m still relatively new to trail running (my first ‘real’ event was the Huff 50K, you can read my experience here), I got a bit nervous at the start of the race.  I didn’t have the opportunity to use the port-a-potty prior to the start  – my own fault for arriving so late – so the first portion of the run was a bit uncomfortable since I had done a good job of hydrating!  It also had some bottle necking areas towards the beginning which made getting into a rhythm difficult.  The first aid station was about two miles in and I was SO HAPPY to see a bathroom!  One of the best pees ever!  (Sorry if that is TMI!)

On the first lap, the aid stations had water and Gatorade for runners.  On the second lap, multiple snacks had been set out too.  I regretfully enjoyed a fourth of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the second time around.  I really appreciated the availability of food, but it unfortunately didn’t settle well for me.  I should have carried pretzels in my pocket!

I don’t usually run at night, so running with a headlamp was relatively new to me.  My headlamp stayed very bright for most of the run and after the first mile, I barely even noticed it on my head.  It is definitely a different experience to run at night.  The scenery takes on a completely different view, and I really enjoyed it.  It started snowing significantly during the race which added so much to the view and the condition of the course.  (I also kept getting distracted by the snow in my headlamp.  It had a similar ‘warp speed’ effect like car headlights through a windshield.  It made me stop focusing on the trail and trip more.  I am not sure what that says about my ability to drive.)

The course included narrow trails through trees, wooden stairs and bridges, and wider open gravel paths.  One portion was a land bridge between two bodies of water and it was absolutely stunning.  It was an incredibly beautiful view to see the line of headlamps bobbing along, lighting up the iced ponds and falling snow.

I am in complete amazement of fast trail runners.  Towards the end of my second lap, a few marathon distance racers caught up with us (lapping us at the end of their third.)  Watching those athletes travel over roots and logs without any hesitation is awesome.  While I was having trouble navigating portions of the course while barely moving faster than a walk, these runners were expertly zooming through.  (I half suspect that they were flying instead of running!)

Finish Line at the Winter Trail Marathon

Finish Line at the Winter Trail Marathon

Runners were called out by name when crossing the Finish Line under a glittering disco ball.  A very cool medal was handed out (doubles as a bottle opener!) with plenty of after run snacks available including bananas, trail mix, and donuts.  I thoroughly enjoyed the race and am hoping to participate in the Summer Night Trail Marathon on the same course in June!  (Doing both the Winter and Summer event also qualifies a runner for the Bad Ass Award: another cool medal!)

Medals Covered in Snow

Snowy Winter Night Trail Marathon Medals

The Winter Night Trail Marathon is an awesome event, and I would highly recommend it to everyone!!

Warming up with my new Winter Trail medal!

Warming up with my new Winter Trail medal!

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5 responses to “Winter Night Trail Marathon 2015 – My Experience

  1. Kecia says:

    Nice run!! I have a hard enough time keeping my feet underneath me on a trail run during the daylight hours…I can’t imagine how many times I’d fall in the dark 😉

  2. Nice job! Sounds like an awesome race. Love the medal!

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