Davis Moo-nlight 1/2 Marathon Recap

Admittedly, It has been a while since I havewritten anything here, but that all Changes TODAY!

This all started with a trip to visit my Folks at their house on Lake Oroville in Northern California. When the trip was booked, I started looking for races in the area, and came across the Davis Moo-nlight Run, which included a 1/2 Marathon, a 10K, and a 5K. The difference that sets this race apart from any others, is that the Start Time is 7:00PM! Davis California prides itself on being a Cow Town, and so there is a bit of a Double Meaning in the Race Name. Anyway, I signed up to run the 1/2 Marathon, and my Daughter Kenzie, and her friend Madi signed up for the 10K (their FIRST!).


Kenzie, Mitch, and Madi before the race

On Race Day, we loaded up the truck, and headed out from Lake Oroville, for the 90 minute drive to Davis, California which is just below Sacramento. They were blocking off many of the parking lots and streets in the area, so getting there early and finding a good parking spot was crucial. I found the Race, and had to turn around to get back to the area, and stumbled upon a parkinglot that wound around a building, and low and behold, the spot that I parked in was 100 yards from the Finishing Chute! I was pretty happy to have a great base of operations!


Finishing Chute 100 yards from my truck

I got my bib number and went back to the truck to start getting ready. I hadn’t decided yet on whether to go with my Fuel Belt or my Handheld bottle, or go Commando, and hit Every Water Stop. It was pretty warm still, so I decided to go with my Nathan Handheld Bottle, which I love, the more I use it! I also brought 2 GU Energy Gels, because I can not really stomach any of the PowerBar Energy Gels, I had heard would be out on the course. My fueling has not been the best lately, and I was a little worried about being in a new place, racing at a different time, so I really tried to almost overeat before the race. About 30 minutes before I had a HoneyStinger I love those things and the new Lemon flavor is really tasty. Its always good to have something to add to my list of pre-race foods. About 15 minutes before, I had a GU Energy gel, and packed my 2 others into my Handheld, and headed for the starting area.

I watched Kenzie start her 1st 10K, and she was excited to run “In the Dark”. Unfortunately, she would have to run REALLY slow to finish in darkness. she finished about 8:15pm (duskish) and with a time of 1:10:?? not bad for NOT training at all! My race was going to begin a bit late, as they still had some areas that needed to be closed off and marked. I had decided to try running with a pacer, since this Race offered Pace Groups, and I SUCK at pacing myself. I can easily get sucked into running someone elses race and go out too fast! I decided to drop in with the 2:10 pace group and thought that would be 5 minutes off of my PR. My Pace Leader’s name was James Young, and he had Run Boston, and a few other bigger Marathons, and he said this was his way of giving back to the Run Community. I kinda liked that.

At about 7:15PM the 1/2 Marathon started off with a bit over 1500 runners! I started my Garmin 405CX as i crossed the Start/Finish line, and we were running.  Miles 1 and 2 were where everyone was trying to get spread out, and we did catch up to a bunch of the Walkers for the 5K and 10K, so it was pretty jammed up, but I just dropped in right behind my Pacer and he picked the lines and we followed. It started out that there were about 10 others that also were in my group. Just before mile 2 and the first water stop, came our first HILL. It was a pedestrian bridge that took us up and over Highway 80. being that Davis is about 52 Feet above sealevel, it was not bad. First waterstop comes up and the group slows to get water, which I bypass but do sip off of my bottle. miles 3 and 4 are very flat, winding through a business park before getting into a rather large sprawling park, that had lots of spectators. WS 2 comes up, just after mile 4 and I bypass that one too, but am still sipping water. I feel really good, but have to fight the urge to leave my Pace Group and go out on my own. By mile 4, the pace group is only 3 people, myself and 2 other ladies. we are starting to pass a bunch of people who went out too fast (that could’ve been me!) Miles 5 and 6 wind through town on some Greenbelts and Bike Paths, before dropping us into another park with more Cheering Spectators, and lots of signs. WS 3 is just after mile 6, I have 1 of my GU Energy Gels, and I do grab some water there. James’ strategy was to speed up a bit before each stop, so we could slow down for water, and not lose much/any time. It certainly seemed to be working, and at the 10K mark, I still hadn’t walked a Step. Miles 7 and 8 were almost all Bike Path, or Dirt trail through neighborhoods, and still very flat. Coming around a corner, before mile 8 were a group of people, rendering aid to a runner who did NOT look good at all! I slowed to ask if they needed anything, but 3 people were helping lower her to the ground and 2 others had phones and were calling 911. Not much else I could’ve done, so I caught up to my pacer, who never broke stride. Just before WS 4 they were giving out HUNDREDS of the Neon Tube necklaces. It was starting to get dark, and we WOULD BE finishing in the Dark. I grabbed 2 and was able to get them around my neck before teh Water Stop. I grabbed water there too, and lost track of my Pacer. I did, at this point walk about 3 steps as I turned around to find him. He was right behind me, and we were still on pace. At this point, we had dropped everyone and it was just James and me! Just after mile 8, we ran past a house that had about 15 people in the driveway, cheering us on and all drinking wine! I asked for a beer, but they only had Red Wine, maybe they will change for next year. Miles 9 and 10 were more neighborhood bike paths, and some street running, but not much. It is about mile 9.5 that I realize that both knees are starting to ache, but I do my best to put that out of my mind, I popped both earbuds in, and triy to zone out to some of my music. It works for a bit. Mile 10 has us back on the streets and really close to teh Start/Finish area, but I know, I still have a ways to go. Right around mile 10 is WS % and they have PowerBar Energy Chews, so I do grab some, but somehow completely miss the water. Luckily, my Handheld still has water to get the Chews down. Miles 11 and 12 are Tough for me. I lose contact with my pacer for a bit, but caught back up to him just before the overpass back over Highway 80 and the Train Tracks. My knees are really bothering me and my Left hip is too. This is the last time I see James. I still get up and over and down the Overpass, and we are running through an Industrial Park area, which is really not well lit at all. Now we are all thankful for the Neon Glowstick Necklaces! Mile 12 has us going BACK up and over the Overpass and dropping us at Mile 13. I have only walked 3-4 steps, and an starting to feel stronger. Mile 13 is pitch black, except for the flashing of the Photographer’s flash to teh side of the road. I pass the 13 mile marker, and I have 1/10th of a mile left. Afterburners are on, and I just want to get across teh finishline so my Knees will stop hurting.Chip Time was 2:10:12.97 and Garmin was 2:10:14. I get my Finisher’s Medal, and Water, and there is James! I show him my watch, and THANK him profusely for his help.


Mile 1 9:39

Mile 2 9:51

Mile 3 9:41

Mile 4 9:58

Mile 5 9:31

Mile 6 9:53

Mile 7 9:47

Mile 8 9:47

Mile 9 10:15

Mile 10 9:57

Mile 11 9:46

Mile 12 10:32

Mile 13 10:34

Mile 13.1 7:26

9:55 Total Pace


my GLOW-IN-THE-DARK Finishers Medal!

I think that overall things went well at this race. It was only AFTER I got home, that I found out the the 2:10;12.97 was a new PR! I thought my best to date was a 2:05, but I was wrong. This was a great Race, and I would recommend it to Everyone. Now I have to find a way to get out there next year!




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