Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Electric Run 5K

Last Friday night, the noble team Splendiferous, led by makeup expert and neurobiology PhD candidate Special K, ran a 5K. That's about three miles, which is barely any distance at all if you're a regular runner. What made this non-race so special was the fact that (a) it was at night, (b) it had glow-in-the-dark courses, and (c) everyone was there to party. Welcome to Electric Run.

I took the above images from the Electric Run website to offer an idea of what the funsies looked like. Electric Run Boston took place at Gillette Stadium. The event was supposed to start at 7:15 PM, but at that time Splendiferous was still doing photo-ops. Despite all the extra glow-in-the-dark gear we brought -- mostly bracelets and night sticks -- we still couldn't hold a candle (wink wink) to the other, younger participants of this event. One guy had re-purposed a biker helmet into a giant bug's head, complete with glittering eye appendages. Many folks had glowing mohawks. And tutus were very popular for some reason. Special K wore one, which, combined with her neon hoodie, made her fairly easy to spot.

As for the "run" itself, no one really took it seriously. People stopped frequently to take pictures against the backdrop of lighting effects, and no one was shy about strolling. There were even mommies with their tiny humans in baby carriages. The only thing missing was dog participation, which is probably a good thing because nervous dogs would have gone insane in those crowds. There must've been at least 10,000 kids in this thing. There were so many people that we just resorted to bellowing out our friends' names to keep track of where everyone was. "Crispy! Crispy!" "Here!"

I lost Fragrant Husband at one point, and while I was hollering for him, one dude yelled, "Christian! Raise your hands!" Without thinking, I waved my hands around like an air traffic controller having a seizure. "You're not Christian!" said the guy. "I was raised Catholic!" I replied gaily, before resuming my search for my mate.

Electric Run organizers plotted a course that started out straightforward, and then became an exercise in uphill exertions. We had to run around some paths that were tricked out with glowing balloons or laser displays, and sometime around the 3K mark, people started pointing and gasping. We looked over and saw dozens of little lights bobbing up and down on ramps. "We have to run up the stadium!" someone panted. This was when Special K and I decided that we were going to get slightly less silly. Until then, we had been freely skipping, jumping, and waving our arms madly, but at that moment, team leader and I just buckled up and ran. Up and up and up we went, and when we got to the top... we discovered that we then had to run down the opposite ramp. So we scrambled to the bottom, only to discover that the finish line was nowhere in sight. "Where does it end?" we grumbled. Eventually, we found out.

The organizers could have used more volunteers, especially when it came to herding us toward the starting line, and it would have been nice to get sandwiches or something at the end. We got Rock Star energy drinks throughout the course, and there were a few water stations, but once we triumphantly crossed the finish line -- which did not even pretend to time our run, unlike actual 5Ks or marathons -- we were starving. We managed to find a sandwich shop that did a really good job of feeding all the crazed runners and non-runners. Special K wanted to stay and join the rave afterparty, but the olds (me and Fragrant Husband) voted for home and hearth.

Electric Run promised an experience, and it delivered. 5Ks out of 5K. Fragrant Elephant out.

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