Home friends The Illuminite Run NYC 5k Fun Run Recap

The Illuminite Run NYC 5k Fun Run Recap

by Nellie

The Illuminite Run NYC

The Illuminite Run NYC

There have been so many fun run’s happening lately and I just love them ALL! So when my girlfriend Yonnie let me know that she was signing up for The Illuminite Run, I was down! (Partly because of the fact that I have never run a race at night before and partly because of the after party but really because of the after party!)


I had a lot of anxiety about this race because I knew i’d be super tired. When I signed up for this race, I hadn’t yet started Jamie Eason. Usually when I go to run a 5k I like to give myself a few days of rest so that I can go out and give it my all for the run. Since this week’s program required 5 days of strength training and I had to teach Zumba on Saturday, I honestly wasn’t sure how much more I had left for this race. I figured, I’d run as much as I could and I’d walk the rest of the way. The only “running goal” I had with this race was finishing (in one piece!).



It was THE most perfect weather ever. A beautiful breeze, low to no humidity and high seventies. Even though I taught in the morning, I was hoping to get a nap in but I ended up grocery shopping and doing my Sunday cooking on Saturday (while caught up in that Scandal marathon on BET!). So before you knew it, I was putting on another set of workout clothes for the evening.


I strapped on my SpiBelt that I won from Carli’s blog (which is so much better than my old method of stuffing all of my items into my bra…I am a bra stuffer professional!), my girls came to get me and we were off!


When we got there I picked up my packed which was full of glow sticks and my bib for the evening. We waited around for about an hour, there was beer and other refreshments for purchase but we went without and waited for the race to begin. We took some fun pictures, like this one (we are passing batons :)):


This race was much smaller than The Color Run which was great because we started within 5 minutes as opposed to waiting for 45 minutes in the blazing sun. The course was extremely flat which I was happy about, but since it was still a very crowded race, I ended up running around a lot of people who just wanted to cruise. Since I am not a regular runner, this drove me nuts because all I want to do is keep going and it helps when I am on a straight path.

I had no big goals for this race but before you know it, it turned serious! I started running and I felt good. I never feel good! Considering that I hadn’t run since the Portland 5k I was expecting to feel quite awful. I felt the exact opposite! I felt strong. When I was running I set little goals like making it to the next light, or making it to the  next volunteer, this helped me to cut the race up into small pieces. When I was still going strong after making the turn to come back, I knew I had a chance to not only beat my personal record but run without stopping which is always a win to me considering I had only done that one time ever.

The last half a mile was definitely the toughest. I wanted to stop over and over, but I kept taking deep breaths and telling myself that my body was actually much stronger than I thought, and I could do it. I repeated to myself over and over “you are strong”, I may have been running slowly but I was running–not walking. That is a victory in my book.

When I saw the finish line I was overjoyed and I got a kick of energy (funny how that happens!). I crossed the finish line and stopped my Polar. I was so happy with the result. It was not near my personal record, BUT I ran my second 5k without stopping and I am SO proud of my body and my will to keep going. I do believe that my recent increase in strength training may have something to do with why I felt so good during the run, so now I wan’t to complete the program more than ever!


Running in the Dark

Running 3.2 miles in the dark was very interesting. There was lights along certain parts of the route but it wasn’t the most scenic route. I was thankful that I had my 80s reggae blaring through my Beats By Dre to keep me going. It was never pitch black out there but it got pretty close. The actual route was clear though so there was no chance of someone getting lost. I like it though because of the lack of sun, and the nighttime breeze was lovely.


I would totally do this run again (pending fabulous weather) because running without the sun makes a huge difference. Also, I have gained a bit of confidence in my running abilities after this race. Feeling stronger in my body helps, so I am so open to new running possibilities!

The after party for the Illuminite Run was fun, lots of nice techno pop music to move your body. Lots of lights and dancing people high off endorphins…my favorite kind of party! We had a blast, we didn’t stay the whole time, we left around 10pm, but for the 30 minutes or so it was soo much fun.


I would absolutely do another evening run, apparently this is very popular and I can see why!

Have you ever run a race at night? Would you?

You may also like


Joi August 13, 2013 - 5:40 am

Your outfit was too cute! Seems like fun running in the dark. The after party, hmmm techno music, lol!

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:15 pm

Thanks Joi! I should sayyyy pop music. Techno is such and old term. Think of your bodypump music!

Allie August 13, 2013 - 6:39 am

YEAH!! Good for you!! Don’t you just love it when you feel good through the whole race? That is a victory for sure!! It looks like you had a blast with your friends too. Great job!

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:33 pm

Yes, This is a new feeling for me so I love it! Thanks Allie!

Ilene August 13, 2013 - 7:44 am

This makes me want to do a night race! You look gorgeous by the way!

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:16 pm

Thanks Ilene, you should try it out!

thedoseofreality August 13, 2013 - 8:12 am

I bet it was really fun! We did the Light the Night 5K in Manhattan when Emma was just a baby, and it was amazing. Love the baton passing picture…SO CUTE! And I am now officially obsessed with your shoes!-Ashley

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:17 pm

Ha lol I love a nice bright shoe. Anything neon is winning!!

Kita August 13, 2013 - 9:02 am

That’s different running in the dark….girl when I first read the post I thought it said Illuminati race I was like whaaaaaa.

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:18 pm

LOL Kita!!! Omg. I would not be running no illuminati race No way!

veronica August 13, 2013 - 9:54 am

I like your pre-race pictures. Ms.Sassy! I really need to buy some cuter workout gear. Your workout clothes are cute. I’m still working with the stuff I’ve had from 3 years ago. They are hanging on by strings.ha
Maybe my next weight loss milestone I can have a workout clothing shopping spree.
I’ve never run a race at night although when I used to run outdoors I mainly ran at night because it was an ungodly type of hot during the day time.

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:34 pm

Thank you! At one point when I lost all the weight from the first baby, I would get a new workout outfit every time I dropped 5 lbs 🙂 That led to a lot of workout outfits. I take my workout wardrobe just as seriously as my work wardrobe 🙂

Leah Davidson August 13, 2013 - 1:11 pm

Congrats! I’m so glad it was a great experience. I love how you broke the race down into small chunks. And, I love your “you are strong” mantra. I’m going to steal that as I am up for a 5k in September – and inspired that I can do it without stopping too!

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:36 pm

You totally can, the mantra is so helpful!! Running is so much more mental than anything, so I am learning!

catherine gacad August 13, 2013 - 1:43 pm

THAT LOOKS LIKE SO MUCH FUN!!! i want to do that run. you look amazing too!

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:36 pm

Thanks Catherine! 😉 It was so much fun!

Tamara August 13, 2013 - 2:40 pm

Oh those perfect low-humidity and cool breeze days/nights. This looks like a ton of fun!

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:37 pm

It was awesome-sauce Tamara!

LaShawn August 13, 2013 - 7:49 pm

Yay for finishing your 2nd 5K! This looks like a lot of fun, expecially the night part. And I love your running outfit!

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:38 pm

Thanks girl! I’ve done tons of 5ks this is just the second one that I ran non stop. I hope its a trend!

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:16 pm

Look for it Miz, it’s a national race!

Nellie August 13, 2013 - 8:35 pm

My bra THANKS YOU! LOL I did slip my ipod in there though 🙂

Leslie August 13, 2013 - 9:36 pm

Congrats on another great race! It’s really interesting to see how all your recent strength training has improved your running skills. You’re an incredible inspiration. Keep up the good work!

Nellie August 14, 2013 - 7:13 pm

Thanks Leslie, I was actually pretty shocked how well my body held up!

Losing in the City August 14, 2013 - 9:37 am

this looks like so much fun. my friends and i recently registered for the 5k glow in the dark race but had to cancel at the last minute 🙁 i definitely want to do one. i am also thinking of the next color run in nyc which i think is in September.

Nellie August 14, 2013 - 7:14 pm

Yes, the color run was amazing, I think there is an electric run at the end of september…let me know if you want to come!

Patty August 14, 2013 - 10:47 am

Congrats on a great 5k! This one also seemed like lots of fun. Must check it out next year 🙂

Baby Teems August 14, 2013 - 3:15 pm

I liveeeeee. I want to do a fun 5k. These cool themes are the only thing that can get me to run.

Nellie August 14, 2013 - 8:12 pm

I don’t think I can ever go back to regular!! 😉

Kimberly {Manifest Yourself} August 14, 2013 - 4:21 pm

Woooohooo! Congrats on your 2nd non-stop 5k, girlie! You betta WERK!

Nellie August 14, 2013 - 8:13 pm

ha, thanks girl. 🙂

{Weigh in Wednesday} Week 44 February 24, 2017 - 10:41 pm

[…] I’ve been pretty horrible about getting enough strength training in, and inspired by this post from Nellie, I’ve decided that November is muscle month.  I’ll be focusing on getting strong and […]


Leave a Comment