Race Report : Jackson Night Glow 5K

I will fully admit this report is being completed a month after the event. Part of this is because I have been unable to log into my site when I wanted and needed for the last few weekends. Finally it loaded this afternoon. Who knows.

Friday July 1st Dave and I ventured into the night for one of my favorite races. We spent the day running our usual errands of going to the library and random shopping. This week’s random shopping had taken us back into Amish Country for Dave to explore various wood working wonders and antiques. It was unusually warm that day (we had no idea what we were in for this summer!) and we talked about skipping the event or at the very least skipping dinner. We decided fried chicken wasn’t exactly great fuel for a 5K. However despite all the discussion and our semi-laid back attitude when visiting the shops we found ourselves dressed and headed out the door to the event only “slightly” late.

Slightly late was still late though and I forgot the size of this event required road closures and re-direction of traffic. Even if the road wasn’t closed we were still cutting it quite close. We arrived with maybe 10 minutes to spare. I’m serious. We ran from the parking lot down the street to the starting line and were just jogging in behind the last of the crowd as they crossed the starting line. We decided we would get our bib and other stuff later. If anyone tried to pull us off the course we knew we were legit and didn’t need to feel guilty.

The first mile was beautiful as always. The starting line comes alive with fireworks and the road is lined with luminaries. In previous years I’ve seen halved milk gallons with candles or bottles with glow sticks. This year it was glow sticks and the colors were all mixed red, white and blue since we were so close to the 4th of July. After going up the main road which is slightly uphill we take a right into a neighborhood and a glorious downhill slope. Dave was enjoying how everyone was lit up against the darkening sky. At the bottom of the hill and mile one we were pleased to see it was around 18 minutes. Considering we were mostly walk/jogging that wasn’t too bad. There was a man handing out more glow sticks and we each took one or two. I felt more like a part of the race now that we were glowing too! I also loved we were “fast” enough to get some of the goods and to see the crowd!

Between miles one and two are a few more hills and residential neighborhood. More signing and dancing. Kids had taped glow sticks along their arms and legs so in the dark and from a distance it seemed like stick people were dancing in the yards. This isn’t my picture, I found it on Google, but it looked like this:

glow stick people

One street had balloons in the air with glow sticks creating a breath taking canopy. It looked like floating lanterns, but with balloons…again not my pics, but it helps you imagine the scene:

Schermafbeelding 2012-07-11 om 22.37.28 download

Of course we walked/jogged with each other and with different paces, but I was most thrilled because I didn’t feel weak or tired! Unlike the other events we had done this year I was having FUN! Dave was struggling a little though, but I stuck with him.

The last mile was rough and I always remember it being that way. We leave the one neighborhood and hit the main road for a stretch before entering the last residential area. There’s people, but not as many. We take a turn down a path which leads into the football/soccer/multi purpose field. I don’t remember if this was here in years past, but this year the path was decorated with a series of lighted archways. Running through the lights blur and it feels like you’re being charged up for super sonic space mode or something.

This lets out onto the track surrounding the field and where the community fair is taking place. A lot of people sense the finish line and start booking it. This is a bad idea, because the distance is misleading. The path winds and it is a GOOD half mile or more to go before the finish. We paced and talked and jogged and in time we were done! It was under an hour too which was VERY exciting.

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We then spent a good 30 minutes trying to track someone down to see about getting our shirts as we were late (remember). A few people tried to help but the main guy was no where to be found. We left our names, numbers and emails with someone, but sadly we never heard from anyone. I’m glad we got to do the race, and it was totally our fault for running late that we didn’t get the shirt. But DANG if I knew we could have just showed up and ran then maybe I wouldn’t have spent $50-60 lol. JK I know the money is used for a good cause.

I’m glad we both enjoyed this race and since it’s a unique one given it’s at night I look forward to doing it again next year and hopefully many years to come!

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