Nothin’ like a spur of the moment race to test your resolve, eh? How about a last minute race out of your comfort zone? Say, at night. In the rain. Not in the dark, not on a train! (Let’s see how many of you caught that…)
Well, a last minute, out of my comfort zone race is exactly what occurred on Saturday night. As you know, I just completed the Rock Hall Half Marathon, plus I moved. So last week, instead of a regular training week, I took it easy. I ran a few miles here and there. I’m sure my coach would have preferred that I run more, but it just wasn’t gonna happen. I was tired. I needed a break. A fun 5K was exactly what I needed!
I asked my husband, somewhat on a whim, if he wanted to join me for the Glow in the Dark 5K on Saturday evening. To my surprise, he said yes. After several failed attempts, I finally found a babysitter, and we headed out for “date night.”
500 runners or so gathered at Pub Frato in Concord, Ohio for the Glow in the Dark 5K. There were runners of all ages — literally! There were babies in strollers and wraps, there were elementary school kids, there were seniors, and every age in between. Unfortunately, despite the radar saying quite differently, the weather was less than ideal for a glow race. It poured almost the entire evening, but somehow, some way, the rain gods were looking down at us and took pity. Just before go time, at 9:15 pm, the rain let up. And it didn’t rain again for the rest of the evening. Whoop!
The Glow in the Dark 5K was awesome, and I will definitely do it again. But I had a couple things working against me.
- This was my first night race. This probably wouldn’t be a big deal except for…
- It had rained. I don’t really like running in the rain. Not so much for the wet factor, but more for the slippage factor. I’m really paranoid about slipping and I don’t tend to trust my feet or footing when it’s slick. Plus…
- I had pizza for dinner. At 7.
Hubs and I ran together for almost the entire race. We talked a lot. I was going slow. See reasons above. When we got to about 2.6 miles, he asked me how far we had gone because he hadn’t seen a mile marker. When I told him we were at 2.63 miles, he was super stoked. I told him to go ahead of me if he needed to. I just couldn’t go any faster for fear of seeing my dinner again in the bushes… He ran ahead and had a decent finish. I kept it nice and controlled, and despite my pressing urge and desire to blitz it out at the end, I kept my composure. I clocked in at 29:40. If it weren’t for the above factors, I think I would have done pretty well. I felt pretty darn good, which really surprised me to be honest.
After we finished, we headed over for a post-race celebratory beer! Because what better way to refuel than with alcohol? Am I right? This was actually a first for me — despite being at races that offered beer for of-age participants in celebration, I’ve never partaken. It was kinda fun! I felt like I was doing something illegal, though… Hmmm…
The start area was fun, and would have been much more awesome had the weather cooperated. There was a DJ (as there is at all Greater Cleveland XC races), awesome balloon sculptures, and I’m sure there would have been glowsticks galore had it not been so soggy.
The course itself was also awesome. Glow-bar lit cones lined the course. It was really pretty awesome. I’m disappointed I didn’t take any photos, but due to the weather, I had my phone wrapped in plastic so it didn’t get destroyed by condensation.
The finish area was super fun! The music was loud, the crowd cheering people in was really fun, and I was handed a water bottle immediately upon finishing. This is a really nice touch from the Greater Cleveland XC races, I will say. At some other races, you have to wander around aimlessly looking for water. But at the GCXC races, a bottle is handed to you right away.
The volunteers and police on the course were really helpful as well. Plus, from what I could tell, the course was quite beautiful. It wound through a quiet, residential neighborhood with beautiful homes. I would have loved to have seen them during the day — but that would defeat the purpose of this race now, wouldn’t it?
Let’s talk swag bags! Because let’s face it, the swag for this race was the best. We got a Pub Frato pint glass, a glow bar (which I lost on the course! So sad… whomp, whomp…), an awesome race shirt, and a beer! Holla!
|Fabulous race shirt!|
Takeaways from the Glow in the Dark 5K — do it! It’s a super fun, low key race. Also, skip the pizza before the race. Because even though I was considering it a “fun run,” I wish I had been able to race it.
Up next for me? The Akron Marathon Relay!
Official finish: 29:40
Have you run at night before? And/or run a glow/electric race? What did you think?