Highlights from my four Midnight Express runs include sweating amid a reported tropical storm and walking on a bed of hot coals prior to last year’s race.
Participating in the event for the first time? Consider these tips:
Arrive early. Even if you’ve pre-registered, there’s a chance you’ll still have to wait in a fairly long line. Things are usually pretty efficient, but you’ll want to have time for a pre-race bathroom break.
My wait for a portable toilet has often exceeded the time I spent waiting for my Midnight Express T-shirt.
Expect a crowd. If you don’t care about your finish time, stand wherever you want at the race’s onset.
If you’re serious about your time, secure a spot near the front of the pack ASAP. If you get stuck in the middle, you’ll spend some time navigating the massive crowd.
Savor the cheerleaders. This local 5K is heavy on encouragement from the sidelines. Spectators gather near residential areas and cheer you on.
Thank them for their enthusiasm — even when “you’re almost there” means you’re a long way from completing the 3.1 miles.
Defy common sense. It’s not logical to devour a barbecue sandwich when you’re breathless, nauseous and covered in sweat.
This is common behavior at the Midnight Express, however. It’s best to join the crowd, rather than question them.
Your stomach will thank you. Maybe.