Once I realized I was in fact not dreaming I quickly agreed to her request to run a race. I hurried up and signed us up so there was no backing out. The race was set to happen the week of her 18th birthday. What a perfect way to celebrate! It was going to be her, Jim (my husband/her daddy) & I running the Neon Vibe.
Normally, I'm not into the craze of these types of races. I'm not dissing anyone that is. I hear & agree with all the arguments of it's getting people running & they are so much fun....yada, yada, yada. Great! Horrah! It's just not of interest to me. Not to mention that because it's a specialty type of race they want to justify charging you an arm & a leg ($40 for this race, times 3, plus internet sign up charges.....we paid a tad over $120 for us to race this!!). I admit, I'm a cheapy when it comes to races. If I'm going to plop down some moolah I better be getting something really great out of the deal. Being splattered with paint or colored neon powder is not on my list of "now that's worth some good money". But remember, this race is not about me, but doing something special with my daughter for her 18th birthday. So I plopped down the money & just rolled with it.
When the day of the race came we ended up taking some of the other kids with us (against MY wishes), but hey we were going to have a good time no matter what & it actually worked out well to have them along. Angel had sort of, kind of, not really completed the couch to 5K. I was pleasantly surprised when she told me she could run 1 mile without stopping. (Baby steps here people, it's make or break it with potentially steering her toward running). So ready or not Neon Vibe.....here we come!
We arrived with plenty of time to grab out stuff & get ready. You are given packets of your own neon powder stuff & douse yourself before the event even starts.
Adding some color
Ready to go!
Well, then all we had to do for almost an hour was wait, wait, wait. They were starting groups of people every 10 minutes or so, but there was so many people it took that long to get up to the start gate. By then it was completely dark.
The start line.
If you look closely you can see Angel & I taking off.
We entered a field of darkness that was lit with a mass of glow. I stuck with Angel & she did a great job of pacing herself. The course had some rock, unstable areas which made it more tricky especially for a newbie to not only running, but in the dark as well. I had my gps going so I had an idea of where we were on distance. Eventually the course went from winding through an open field to zig zagging through animal buildings (it was held at a fair ground). With the exception of the color stations the course was not well lit, most especially at this point. I'm amazed no one was hurt. Even for a seasoned runner the course was tricky. We hadn't even hit 2 miles yet, but came up upon a crowd of people. Angel said "I think it's the finish line." Impossible since we hadn't even ran that far. Sure enough we were ushered right into the finishing gate. I was MAD! What kind of race is heavily promoted as a 5k and then falls short of 2 miles? I thought maybe we had taken a wrong turn or something, but after hearing many others they confirmed that it was in fact short. I still celebrated with Angel that we had finished the race (as well as many others who felt accomplished that they had ran a "5k").
An idea of what the course was like.
We looked over at the starting area and they were STILL releasing people. I was reeling from disappointment when Jim had a great idea for me to run it again. He gave his bib to John & Angel gave her bib to Mandy & the 3 of us took off to run the course. Gosh darn it, I paid to run a 5k I was going to get my 5k & some!! We took off. This time it was every man for himself. Since I had an idea of where the course was going I took off and ran full speed. It felt good to release some frustration & have fun (not that the first time wasn't fun, it was just different sticking with someone else & their pace vs. my own).
If it was up to me I would never do a race like this again. So not worth the money & now I have trust issues as to whether or not the distance is going to be accurate. If it means doing a race with Angel again I might do it. She's worth it to go & have some fun & sneak in some running as well. At least I'll have an idea of what I'm getting myself into. I shouldn't have put so much stock into this "race" to begin with. Oh well, live & learn......
p.s. I'm extremely aware that it's been 2 weeks since I posted & it took me that long to get this post done. I'm not even going to give you the sob story. It is what is it. I'm just going to pick back up where I left off & continue on.