End of May 2017 I ran the Moonlight Half Marathon with my Dad in Jesolo, just a bit North East of Venice, Italy. It was hot, humid, but also a great race.
Travel & Accessibility to the Moonlight Half Marathon
Jesolo is a beach resort area North East of Venice in Italy. It is about 30 minutes from Venice Airport. The town is very far spread out along the 20 km beach, with one main street. We had a car in Jesolo, but a lot of people ride bikes to get around town. The finish line, bib number pick up and bag drop is located in the town center close to the piazza internationale. There are large parking spots 5-15 minutes walking distance away. The Start isolated in the West of the peninsula, so buses takes the runners to the start. You can also have someone drop you off at the start. There is an extra bag drop there.
The bib pick-up for the Moonlight Half Marathon is at the main square and was fast and easy.
We had to pick a time for our bus and then could pick a t-shirt in a bright colour. There is a small stall where you can buy last minute supplies, but I did not check it out.
Before the start of the Moonlight Half Marathon you have to drop your bag in one of the big tents. There are enough portapotties in the back, but not a lot of shade and nothing to sit down.
Once you are at the start, the waiting begins. There is even less shade at the start as the area is really exposed. People were sitting along the shore on the rocks, or just below the wall to get some shade.
It was really hot, but the race organizers provided water. There was also a small food truck where you could buy food.
Jesolo Half Marathon course
The course starts in the West side of the peninsula, where Venice is just on the other side of the bay.
The course then heads East along the laguna before it continues on the main road of Jesolo. It finishes on the main square.
The Moonlight Half Marathon starts at 8 pm, around sunset and ends in the dark. Hence the name “Moonlight”.
This race time is not my favorite. It was very hot at the start, making the first 10k really unbearable. Once the sun sets, the temperature get better, but the visibility gets worse. There are parts of the course that are poorly lit, especially on a relatively narrow trail just before the main road. Once you arrive there, the lighting is fine.
However as the main road is long and straight, it was mentally challenging. Especially as you could see the finish line two miles ahead.
Overall the course was flat and straight, except one bridge that we had to cross. There were aid stations every 5km which was definitely enough.
A big downside however is that is quite exposed to the sun in the first half, and that there are millions of mosquitoes due to the laguna.
Once you cross the finish line you are directed towards the bag drop zone which is a block away. Unfortunately this area is very narrow, and people crossing the street does not help. There was no water immediately after the finish line, as this was set up in the first big tent of the bag drop area. This setup is quite unfortunate for a hungry and thirsty runner, but given the narrow road it would probably cause more congestion to have it closer to the finish line.
So be prepared to walk additional 5min without water.
I was not aware of any changing rooms or showers there, so I quickly changed my t-shirt in the dark.
The walk to the parking spot took us another 15 minutes, as of course we only got a spot in the very, very last one.
Jesolo is a popular holiday area for Austrians and Germans. The beach is 20km long with a lot of beach hotels and the main road, which turns into a pedestrian zone at night.
There is no nice town center, and the crowd is usually middle class families with kids.
However there are a few nice hotels in the area like the Falkensteiner hotel where we stayed.
And there is always Venice round the corner – see my blogpost about Venice Marathon.
But beware: while we were there the famous Bienale was happening at the same time, which made everything crowded and super expensive.
Overall, it is a good excuse to get a nice long weekend at the beach.