Monday, 1 November 2010

Halloween 5 Nite Run

Yesterday I ran the 2nd Halloween 5 Nite Run in Reading. It was a 5k race (as the name suggests) and a fantastic alternative way to celebrate Halloween. It took place in Thames Valley Park at 8pm and fancy dress was strongly encouraged. We had a lot of rain over the weekend but the evening was thankfully dry. I was glad I turned up early to take in the atmosphere. Jack-o-lanterns lined the path from the car park to the race HQ, there was spooky music being played (everything from the Munsters theme to The Automatic's Monster and more) and punpkin soup for sale. A lot of people had gone to some effort with their costumes. I hadn't given it much thought but found some white face paint in my makeup bag so at least looked somewhat ghoulish.

It was an off-road course, flat but slick with mud and wet grass. As we set off I knew this wasn't the evening to be attempting any heroics or PB's. Staying on my feet was challenge enough! Every one of the 480 runners had to wear a headtorch which made for some pretty spectacular sights as we rounded corners and could see the trail of lights behind or ahead. The marshalls did a great job of warning of slippy spots, sharp bends and generally being encouraging. The course was well marked with signs and yellow glow sticks, tree roots painted white and other obstacles marked with orange glow sticks. There were "sheet ghosts" in the trees (very effective) and a drum band dressed in black with skeleton masks playing, which could be heard across the whole course.

I had such a brilliant time. I managed 29.38 which I was pretty happy with, but I now realise that if I can do that in those conditions I have no excuse for poor times at parkrun any more. Also I could really do with some trail shoes. Everyone got a souvenir mug and I'd bought one of the skeleton race shirts too as seen below in the very unflattering photo I took of myself post-race.

Brilliant event, thanks to the organisers. Might well do it again next year!

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