Unlike most racers, the more than 450 runners preparing for this weekend's marathon in Hamilton don't have to get out of bed well before the sun comes up. At the 3rd annual Hamilton NightGlow Marathon, the running starts when the sun goes down, well, almost.
"We wanted something different and unique," says Race Director Jill Huffman. "There are only 35 night races in the entire country, so (it's) something fun, something to draw people to Hamilton and just to have a good time while racing as fast as you can."
The race includes a full marathon, a half marathon, a marathon relay and a 10K. The full marathon begins at 6 p.m. and is U.S. Track and Field Certified, meaning hopefuls can use their time to qualify for the 2019 Boston Marathon in April.
"This is one of the very last weekends of the calendar year that (people) can qualify to race the following April," says Huffman.
The course starts and ends at the Fitton Center on Monument Avenue. It winds south from Monument to Knightsbridge, then along University Blvd. circling around Miami University Hamilton for an up and back on Neilan Blvd before heading north along the Great Miami River.
"It is an ideal runners, closed-loop, get-qualified race course," Huffman says. "We have the bike path within Hamilton and that part of the course will be lit up with different lights. The runners are encouraged to wear glow items and there will be glow items for them for this race."
One lap of the course is 10 kilometers. Half marathon runners will complete the circuit twice, and it's four laps for the full marathon.
Unlike Cincinnati's Flying Pig Marathon, the Hamilton NightGlow course is mostly flat.
And at this finish line, the medals glow in the dark.
This Canadian high school math teacher is doing 12 marathons in 12 months, including the Hamilton NightGlow. Here's his story: