10 Great Nighttime Half Marathons You Can Run


Runners make their way down the Las Vegas Strip at the 2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon & Half Marathon. (Photo by Travis Wise/flickr)

“No athlete ever lived, or saint or poet for that matter, who was content with what he did yesterday, or would even bother thinking about it. Their pure concern is the present. Why should we common folk be any different?” — George Sheehan

Those words come from an amazing book that I discovered only recently, but has been known probably to many of you for some time — Running & Being, by the late Dr. George Sheehan, credited with being one of the catalysts for the big running boom in the 1970s.

But for now, on to the list:

1) Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon • Las Vegas, NV

With a full, half and even a “half of a half” marathon, this Rock ‘n’ Roll race takes more than 20,000 runners each year past many of the casinos that Glitter Gulch is known for, like the Bellagio, the Venetian, Caesars Palace, the Flamingo, the Mirage, Treasure Island and the Wynn.

November • Race info & signup »

2) Area 13.1 Half Marathon • Roswell, GA

Nicknamed the “Alien Half” thanks to its nighttime running and the glow-in-the-dark gear organizers hand out before the start, this race gets started just as the sun is going down, and requires you to wear a headlamp to navigate the out-and-back course along the Chattahoochee River.

August • Race info & signup »

3) Legacy Midnight Run Half Marathon • Farmington, UT

Glow sticks, flashing glow-in-the-dark balloons, LED glowing wands and more light up the trails just north of Salt Lake City at this race, which unfolds entirely along the Legacy Parkway Trail, a paved running, walking and jogging trail that’s so flat one observer described it this way: “Grandma could do it.”

July • Race info & signup »

4) Summer Night Trail Half Marathon • Indianapolis, IN

Limited to several hundred runners, this race also requires you to wear a headlamp out on the course at Indianapolis’s Eagle Creek Trail, which starts off as single-track but widens to dirt and gravel double-track trails after a half-mile or so. Get ready for the start at 9:30 PM.

June • Race info & signup »

5) Rock the Night Away Trail Half Marathon • Lake Perry, KS

Set for a run along the trails at the Branded B Ranch on Lake Perry just outside Topeka, this race starts in the darkness after 9 PM and requires runners to wear a headlamp. The entire race unfolds along single-track trails and features some 3,000 feet of elevation change.

June • Race info & signup »

6) Tread Nightly Half Marathon • Charlotte, NC

One of a pair of races along the challenging hills surrounding the U.S. National Whitewater Center, this event runs through a 400-acre facility used by the U.S. Olympic whitewater rowing team here along the Catawba River, with stunning views by the morning light and a perspective you can only see when you’re wearing a headlamp at night.

July • Race info & signup »

7) Blood, Sweat & Beers Half Marathon • Boulder City, NV

Run along the trails of Bootleg Canyon near Boulder City at this late winter race, which features nearly 1,600 feet of vertical climb — meaning this is a course that’s not for the beginner. Bring your own hydration system and lights — aid stations will provide jugged water and food goodies.

February • Race info & signup »

8) E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon • Rachel, NV

When we say there’s no other race like this one in the country, we mean it. The “E.T.” Full Moon races, which take place in a tiny town about two and a half hours north of Las Vegas, take runners on a midnight run through the desert along some of the most active hotbeds of “extraterrestrial” activity in the U.S.

August • Race info & signup »

9) Full Moon Race Half Marathon • Plymouth, WI

Ready to run a half-marathon by the light of the full moon? You’ll get a chance at this race, which starts just as the sun sets and is timed to coincide with the full moon. The point-to-point course unfolds between the Wisconsin towns of Plymouth and Kohler, along the 17-mile-long Old Plank Road Trail.

August • Race info & signup »

10) Davis Moonlight Run Half Marathon • Davis, CA

Set for its annual summertime run along the neighborhood streets of this city in Northern California’s Sacramento Valley, the Davis Moo-nlight Half Marathon, 10K & 5K is designed as a fundraiser for the city’s Davis Schools Foundation, and runs through the Old North Davis and North Davis Greenbelt.

July • Race info & signup »

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment