Tim was off work on Saturday. We had a relatively leisurely morning around the house. He cleaned out his jeep. I folded laundry and emptied the cat’s litter box. The kids played/fought with each other. Then we took Jaden to his tae kwon do class. After we got home, we fed the kids some lunch and put Logan down for his nap. My mom came over around noon and we finished loading our things into the jeep for the trip to Madison.
We were staying at my aunt’s house and enjoyed a lovely dinner at her house. She always makes such a wonderful spread.
She had gone to pick up our race packets for us on Friday. The event charged for race day pick up. When she got there, they told her that Tim’s shirt hadn’t come in yet and that he would have to pick it up prior to the event. But, because it was their mistake, there wouldn’t be any charge.
We weren’t sure how much of a delay to expect, so we planned to get there plenty early. The event took place at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison. They charge for parking. Boo. Because we were so early, we got a great place to park. We easily found where to get Tim’s packet. There was almost no line.
So, we had a bunch of time to kill. We went back to the car. Tim played around on his phone. I read a magazine. We are so lame.
We noticed many groups of people in the parking lot getting ready for the event. There were a lot of families with small kids. There were a lot of college-age kids. There were people of every shape and size. This event really appealed to a large demographic.
I think this would be a fun thing to do with the boys when they get older. Tim and I both mentioned several times that Jaden would have LOVED this. There were a lot of kids in the 5-10 age group and they all seemed to be having a blast.
As the start time approached, we started assembling our glow gear. Our packet included an LED bracelet and a pair of glow in the dark sunglasses. I couldn’t get the sunglasses to stay on my face. They were super uncomfortable. But, Tim managed to get his on. We had also stopped at the dollar store and picked up a couple other glow items for the race.
The weather was a little cool as the sun started going down and I was happy I had a jacket to put on.
We made our way into the starting corral. There were several waves that went off a few minutes apart to keep the course from getting too congested. There was an MC standing on a platform at the start line. His job was to get the crowd pumped up and get everyone dancing. At one point we ended up standing right in front of one of the speakers. It was so loud and I realized that I must be getting old because I was wishing I had ear plugs.
We went off in the second wave. By the time we started it was pretty much completely dark.
The course wound around behind the Alliant Energy Center. There were parts that were paved and parts that were gravel. The gravel parts made me really nervous. It was pitch black and I was running on an uneven surface, scared that I was going to roll my ankle. Another sign pointing to my advancing age!
As you can see by the map, the course is broken up with different glow areas.
Some of them were really cool and psychedelic. We kept mentioning how much Jaden would love it. We would run for a while and then when we came to one of the glow areas, we would stop and walk and take some pictures. There were a lot of people who were doing the same thing.
I didn’t wear any sort of watch or timer for this event. But, I looked at my phone when we started, and I checked the time again when we finished. We completed the course in roughly 37 minutes. Honestly, it felt like longer than that with how many times we stopped and how many pictures Tim took!
When we got done, we grabbed a bottle of water and went to check out the after party. There was a stage with a DJ and the same MC. There were a bunch of college-aged kids dancing around and volunteers were handing out energy drinks. We pretty much stood in the background and commented on how amazingly cool this environment would have been 15 years ago. (We’re old!)
We thought about getting a beer, but when we saw the prices, we decided against that. Instead, we agreed to call it a night and head back to my aunt’s house to get some sleep. Maybe I can blame our early departure on the mosquitoes and not the fact that we are lame and like to be in bed by 10:00!
*Approachable to many people who normally wouldn’t run a 5K
*Really expensive for a 5K
*Lots of extra charges…race day pick up, parking, extra glow stuff. Price of post-race beers was astronomical.
*Gravel/uneven surface in the dark is a recipe for my clumsy self to get hurt.
Overall Grade: C
I think this is the type of event that can encourage a lot of people to become active. For me, it’s not the kind of thing I enjoy. Part of it is that I’m probably older than the target demographic (unless I bring the kids) and part of it is that I prefer an event where I can push myself to see what I can accomplish. And, I like to be in bed by 10:00!