My nephew Gavin has started running 5K's in the past year. He had done 5 so far and this run would be his 6th event. He just turned 8 in February and is quite the competitive little runner. He just loves to run and liked it when we all ran the Color Run together. My other sister has a 5 year old and she is just getting into races but the 5K distance is still a little long for her so she was wheeling it in the race via the Bob stroller! All together we had a group of six participating.
Packet pickup was held the day before at a local running store and it was a hot mess. It was one of the worst packet pick up experiences that I think I have ever been to. They didn't have a very good system of checking people in and giving out bib numbers. I waited for about 30 minutes and finally had to cut the line and ask for help since we were going to be late to pick up Gavin from school if we didn't leave then. I felt awful for cutting the line but just couldn't wait any longer.
I left packet pickup with our bib numbers, gender specific shirts (loved that ladies got v-necks!), glow necklaces, and glow glasses for all of us. They also had merchandise for sale including fun LED dreadlocks and mohawks but I passed on that.
On Saturday, the run was slated to begin at 7PM near the zoo in Oklahoma City. We left the house in Norman around 6 ready to get our glow on. We were all decked out in our neon outfits and I had a bag full of glow sticks and goodies for us to accessorize with.
|The Glowing Maniacs!|
We added some LED light up balloons to the stroller and that proved to be a good addition because it helped make it easy to spot in the crowd. My brother in law Tim also sported the most awesome glow ninja costume. He was super easy to spot in the crowd!
|We were properly attired to Glow!|
We arrived at the park and it was full of crazy glow runners! We saw every kind of outfit and everyone was in good spirits and ready to have fun. The race started a little behind schedule. We jumped in after the first 1000 people got started and it was crowded. Gavin held my hand for the first few turns just to make sure that he didn't get separated from us. It was surprising just how dark the course was even with all the runners in their glow gear. For most of the race, Gavin and I ran ahead while Tim, Lindsey, Kristen, and Lily Cate in the stroller stuck together. I had to persuade Gavin every so often to pull aside and wait for the others to catch up. He just wanted to compete and I had to remind him that we were doing a family event together...not racing.
Around the first mile marker, we came up on a glow party zone. They had tons of blacklights set up and the music was pumping. Gavin didn't want anything to do with it...luckily there were a couple more and we eventually wore him down so that we could take some pictures.
|Me, Tim, and Lily Cate|
|Gavin's rocking moves in a Party Zone!|
The course seemed to be more downhill than uphill and we just kept a steady pace. Around the halfway mark, Lily Cate got out of the stroller and ran for about 1/2 mile with Tim by her side. He's a good uncle and held her hand the entire time. I don't know how but she also got him to carry her on his shoulders. Lindsey, Tim, and Kristen all took turns pushing the stroller which really upped their workout load since a 5 year old is heavy!
|Here's Tim, Lily Cate, and Kristen...but somehow only Tim's costume shows up!|
The finish of the race was down a short, steep hill along the horse track in the park. We were all surprised by it since we were expecting to finish at the start line. The finish area was a crowded mess...you could barely move once you crossed the line. There were volunteers on one side passing out water and medals and then on the other side was a DJ dance party zone.
|Finish line celebration!|
We were all surprised to receive a medal especially a glow in the dark medal! We eventually made our way through the maze of people and then headed out for a celebratory ice cream.
|Lindsey and her ice cream|
Overall, I enjoyed the Glow Run experience. It was a lot of fun to do with my family and we all had a good time. I would hope to see improvements in packet pickup and the finish area for next year. There are two local glow runs coming up in Northwest Arkansas this spring. They are locally organized but I'm hoping they will be just as much fun as this one was.