Thursday, August 14, 2014

Glo Run DC

As I mentioned, I did the Glo Run with friends this past Saturday.  We had a phenomenal time, but there were a couple of logistical issues with the race.

The race was at RFK stadium and parking seemed plentiful, but one of the friends I did the race with lives in the area.  So I parked at her place, dropped off my stuff, and we walked over to the stadium for the race.  They had people directing traffic and it was pretty easy to tell where to go.  Packet pick up was available before the race at a running store in Virginia but we choose to just do packet pick up the day of the race.

This was where the first problem arose.  There was a tent which said Check In so we knew to go there to get our bibs.  There were separate lines divided by the first letter of your last name.  You were given your bib and a bag and then told to go to another tent to get your shirt.  When you got to the front of that line, you realized that there were different lines for different size shirts, but that wasn't marked anywhere! Then there was yet another line to pick up glow stuff and finally a fourth line to pick up the light up glasses.  Um... Why couldn't everything just be in the bag so we could stand in just one line?

Photo of the check in tent and lines/crowds

We finally finished up with getting all our stuff, got decked out, and hung out before the race enjoying the DJ and taking some photos.

The race started and we were off.  There were waves but they were just organized first come first serve, not by pace or anything. This was an untimed fun run so that was to be expected.  But I wish that they had said something about walkers staying to one side.  I'm all for walkers participating in events like this and that's how I started out doing fun runs last year,  but at least try to be cognizant of others around you and don't take up the whole width of the course.

The race was just in the parking lot of the stadium and set up with cones.  I felt like once you got past the initial crowd, there was plenty of room in most parts of the course.  And they did a good job of making it interesting.  There was music, glow tunnels, bubbles, weird glowy unicorns, and a whole lot of costumes.  

One of the glow tunnels

An official race photo in a bubble tent

Horrible photo but you can see one of the light up unicorns in the background

But I'm not sure that it was a full 5k. My Garmin only said 2.8 when we finished and my friend's RunKeeper also was less than 3 miles.  So we kept on running around the parking lot a bit after the course was technically done. I think one of my friends might have hated me at the moment but I'm sure she appreciated me later :)

You can see that I also forgot to turn off runkeeper right away so it was probably on an extra three or four minutes after we stopped running.

Overall our time was slow but I think the actual time we spent moving was pretty good.  We stopped for several photos so we were definitely not shooting for any time goals.  After the race, they did provide water, granola bars, and fruit snacks.  Additionally, there were several food trucks available if you wanted to purchase more substantial food.  The trucks had been there at the beginning too but I don't know if starting a 5k with a cheesesteak is the best of ideas.

Overall, I enjoyed the race in spite of the issues with pre-race packet pick up.  They did a great job with entertainment, and isn't that what fun runs are all about?  I have to say that I registered for the race via Groupon so did not pay full price.  At this point, I don't know that I would pay full price for a fun run.  I love that they provide such a wonderful entry into running for people and encourage people to get out there and be more active while having fun, but they are usually priced a bit high.