Races Road Running

Golf Course Races

I have no idea how common golf course races are elsewhere, but it seems to be a semi-popular thing to do around here. I’ve been doing one (The Glow Run, which hopefully I will write about sometime) out at the golf course at the Encanterra Country Club for several years now, and the Illuminations half marathon (which was awesome) was on the course at the JW Mariott in Scottsdale. I know of a couple others that I haven’t tried, but I should sometime, because I love them. You do races that run up and down city streets, and you’re looking at a lot of long, straight, mostly-flat miles. Golf course races are mazes that curve and twist and cross each other over and over again. It’s a lot of fun.

This is on top of the fact that they’re beautiful. Water features, bridges, perfectly-manicured grass–I’m not a golfer and likely never will be, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate how much care goes into those courses. They’re lovely.

And finally, as someone who used to sneak onto a neighborhood golf course at night illicitly, there’s something about using a golf course for a purpose for which it was never intended that makes me feel both privileged to be there and like I’m getting away with something at the same time. It’s just fun.


Night Runs

Night runs are awesome, and love them. Here’s why:

As a night owl by nature, night runs are just going to appeal to me more than day runs right off the bat. I do most of my training running at night. You don’t have to get up at 4 AM to make a 6:30 start. You can show up early and tool around at vendor booths. It’s just a way more relaxed atmosphere than you have with early runs.

On top of that, night runs physiologically match up to your race temperature patterns more than morning races. The longer you run, the more you heat up. With a morning race, the temperature outside is heating up, too, meaning that you have one of two choices: schedule for a more-ideal finishing temperature, which usually means you start real cold, or schedule for a more-ideal starting temperature, which means you finish hot. With a night race, the temperature goes down as the race goes on and you warm up. So you can have something like Illuminations, where you start with a cool temp, and you can keep on gunning through it because it just gets colder as you go, and you’re in no danger of overheating. And even if it does get chilly (it did), you’re generating enough of your own heat to offset it. At least until you get to the finish line and start cooling off!

Seriously, night runs are the best. If you haven’t done one, you should.