I am training to run my first half-marathon, which will take place roughly 8 months from now. The majority of the races that I have seen advertised all seem to begin early in the day, usually in the early morning. This particular half-marathon is different, in that the run does not begin until 10:00 PM.

Are there any special considerations or preparations that I should make for running a race in the evening?

  • 2
    Coffee so you don't fall asleep? Sorry, I couldn't resist! :) Mar 20, 2014 at 13:51
  • @Kneel-Before-ZOD Well we were all thinking it
    – A. Still
    Mar 20, 2014 at 16:11

2 Answers 2


I would suggest at least a few of your longer runs be at night, around the same time as the race will be. Most of the time, the reason for the early morning start times is a combination of it being cooler in the morning, plus there is (usually) less traffic to have to reroute for a half marathon route than during a race that occurs closer to mid-day.

Other than that, you shouldn't have too many problems, unless you happen to be a morning person. If that is the case, or you are an early sleeper, then I would recommend a nap midafternoon or so, then when you get up do your normal prerace routine, including the normal food that you eat before an early morning long run, etc.

Another thing is to check the race rules. If it is a night run, they may be requiring headlamps, tail lights and possibly running vests. If that is the case, I would recommend the Petzl line of head lamps, at least 30 lumens, and I really like the minimalist Nathan running vests. Get them early, as local stores may run out close to the race time (If the race is local) and get some runs in using them, so you know what the lighting is like and what the vest and light headband feel like.

  • +1 on the headlamp. You can't have too many lumens--at least in a package you can stand to run with :)
    – alesplin
    Mar 21, 2014 at 2:42
  • @alesplin You say '+1' but this answer is still on 0?
    – user2861
    Mar 21, 2014 at 6:46
  • Whoops. Must have got interrupted between comment and vote.
    – alesplin
    Mar 23, 2014 at 8:33

Considerations should be for when to eat. You need to be fuelled for the race, but not so full you are uncomfortable to race. YOu will need to see what works best for you. Whether to eat your last meal later or whether to fuel the race with snacks or a carbohydrate drink. The only way to know this is to practise during training. If it was me I could probably manage a couple of slices of toast and honey about 2 hours before, but everyone is different. Enjoy your race.

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