The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

by On Dec 25, 2016

You don’t have to be a vampire or a zombie to love night running, so why not focus your efforts on some of the top night running events in Asia, where the nights are cool and the runners you meet are even cooler.

The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

Whether you wish to round off your 2016 marathon schedule literally on the dark side, or you’re smart enough to have your 2017 plan in motion, it’s possible to stick to nothing but night races and still have a full plate.

Night runs are not only dazzling affairs thanks to full moon, light displays and runners who share a passion for running events that begin after the sun goes down, but even if the weather is hot, sticky and humid, you can expect to run longer and harder, perhaps setting a few records you couldn’t achieve when that hot sun saps your energy.

If you’ve the urge to sample some of the best nighttime marathons scheduled to be held in Southeast Asia in the upcoming months, our 6-event night marathon menu can get you off to a great start - but first, a word about how to pamper the body that’s going to get you to your goal at every one of the following!

How to fuel your body for a night run

Should you train or behave differently when running a night race? You bet. After all, you’re turning your internal time clock upside down, so meals you take can mean the difference between feeling comfortable during the late hours or finding yourself queuing at multiple potty stations.

The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

Experts recommend working backward to re-orient your body to a nighttime eating schedule:

  • Eight hours before the race, eat breakfast so there’s lots of time to digest what should be your biggest meal.
  • Six hours before you hit the start line, snack on fruit, nuts, pretzels or jerky.
  • Four hours before the race begins, consume around 500 sensible calories to top off your glycogen stores.
  • Two hours before the flag off, eat almond butter and bananas for a sensible 300 calorie snack.
  • Carry your favourite energy chews or gels in case you feel hungry at any point in the race.
  • Don’t pig out on leafy greens beforehand. We don’t have to explain this, right?

Drink up, says Monique Ryan

We turned to nutritionist Monique Ryan for the second part of the night runner’s equation: how to handle your hydration requirements so you ingest the right amount of liquids before your race without spending half of the event in the loo.

The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

Monique recommends drinking both water and energy drink favourites in the following order:

  • Down 16 ounces of your favourite fluid on the night before you run.
  • Drink 16 ounces more within an hour of awakening on race day.
  • Up the ante by taking in from 16 to 24 fluid ounces of beverages, 2 to 3 hours before flag off.
  • Even if you’re a coffee addict, no caffeine up to 4 hours before the starter gun goes off (it’s a diuretic).
  • Alcohol? A really bad idea leading up to your event. Keep the champagne iced for after you claim your medal.

6 awesome races guaranteed to keep you up at night!

Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run

The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

Date: 7th January 2017
Place: Puteri Harbour, Johor; Malaysia
Distances: 21km, 12km, 5km Fun Run
Extras: The Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run 2017 is the final event in the 3-race series follows the successful Penang (2nd April 2016) and Putrajaya (30th July 2016) night runs.

Viper Arena Penang 2017

The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

Date: 25th March 2017
Place: Great Eastern Viper Arena; Batu Kawan Stadium; Penang
Distances: The route consists of 7km of obstacles that are not for the faint of heart.
Extras: The theme for the Viper Arena Penang 2017 is “Challenge the Dark,” so expect the unexpected when confronting 15 “awesome and unique obstacles” at Asia’s only night obstacle event. Come alone. Bring the family. You’re not afraid of the night, right?

Run For Light 2017

The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

Date: 14th January 2017
Place: Gardens By The Bay (Bay East), Singapore
Distances: 10km, 5km
Extras: Run for a good cause as Run for Light 2017 empowers and supports the less fortunate community by helping to create enough awareness for the association or community to raise fund through the event and to raise their own fund in subsequent years.

OSIM Sundown Marathon Taipei 2017

The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

Date: 14th January 2017
Place: Dajia Riverside Park, Taipei
Distances: 23km, 10km, 5km Fun Runs. For the super fit, perhaps only the 42.195km will do. The 10km team event is only open to locals.
Extras: OSIM Sundown Marathon Taipei 2017 was certified by the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and partnered with the “2017 Taipei World University Games,” so this Sundown has plenty of prestige.

OSIM Sundown Marathon Singapore 2017

The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

Date: 25th March 2017
Place: F1 Pit Building, Singapore
Distances: Choose from 7 distance categories at this 10th Anniversary Sundown Marathon: three categories of 5km Fun Runs for varying age levels, two 10km categories (one for individuals; one for 4-member teams) plus a 21.1km half marathon and a 42.195km.
Extras: Shoot hoops, too! In conjunction with the OSIM Sundown Marathon 2017, athletes can push themselves to the extreme at this Sundown’s 3-on-3 Basketball Competition. The 2016 hoops event was so much fun, it’s being repeated on 25th March, at the F1 Pit Building, so if you’ve got energy left, why not show off your Michael Jordan moves, too?

Coimbatore Dusk Marathon

The Best Night Races and Night Marathons in Asia

Date: 5th August 2017
Place: Coimbatore (also known as Kovai), the second largest city in Tamilnadu, India
Distances: Choose from a 3km, competitive 5km plus 10km and 21km to test your mettle.
Extras: Too early to plan for August in Kovai, India? Not if you’re committed to making 2017 the year you get out of your comfort zone and try a marathon venue that offers both a summer vacation and the chance to compete. Coimbatore is the city’s only flagship night marathon - Coimbatore Dusk Marathon and its popularity is growing, so keep tabs on the event website so you’re privy to all event details just as soon as they’re posted.

Does running by yourself at night make you feel fearful, empowered or simply comfortable in the cooler night air?

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What we can do to help the situation is to keep our body and immune system in peak condition. If you are allowed or able to run outdoors, please do so cautiously but not panicky. Join our free online race to motivate you and pay tribute to our frontline heroes.

Nathaniel is a disciplined casual runner and a lover of bananas. As a columnist for RunSociety, he is always on the lookout for exciting and controversial topics that touch the heart of the running community in Singapore, often adding in his funny observations. He has embarked on a mission to start a world class running group in Asia.

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