The ING Night Marathon Luxembourg on May 28, 2016 had two major positives for me. It was nearby which meant we didn’t have to hustle to catch a flight, and held on a Saturday which freed up our Sunday.
We slept late on Saturday but we were on our way before noon to Parc des Expositions to pick up my bib. It was also the site of the start and finish lines. The drive took two hours and 15 minutes. Everyone seemed to have already picked up their bibs because there were very few people milling about when we got there.
We booked a room at Sofitel Luxembourg Europe about three kilometers away. Sofitel was in a business area and along the race route. The hotel told us everything in the mini bar was free which was a nice perk. Once we were inside our room, I laid out the contents of my goodie bag to check out the race shirt, two oranges, water, SebaMed shower products, magnetic race bib holders, and a wrist sweat band. Not bad.
I took a quick nap and by 5:00 PM, I was dressed for the race and hungry. The hotel restaurants were not open yet for dinner. We ended up at the hotel bar where Richard ordered chicken teriyaki and I ordered pasta.
We took advantage of the free bus rides to and from the race site. The excitement of the runners was palpable as soon as we arrived at Parc des Expositions. Music was blaring. Sponsors were giving away lots of freebies to runners and supporters alike; we scored a couple of orange ING cowboy hats ourselves.
People were milling about, including a group of stilt walkers in the race area. I got to know some young runners who were running for the Philippine Luxembourg Society. They told me their organization has some lumpia waiting for runners at the 14K mark.
We were off a little after 7:00 PM. It was another well-organized European race with plenty of refreshments at the aid stations and a variety of entertainment at critical spots. I even heard Swiss long horn performers and saw traditional dancers. Being in this part of the world meant that the sun was up longer so there was sunlight even at past 10:00 PM.
The highlight of the race was the lantern village at the 30K mark. The riverside area was bathed in an ethereal blue light and lined with various colorful lanterns.
The party atmosphere was in full swing by the time I crossed the finish line inside the exhibition hall around midnight. The whole area was packed with finishers, family and friends drinking the alcohol-free and the real beer. Richard and I took the bus to the hotel and climbed into bed pleased with the thought of another race done.