18 Miles + Fun Glow 5K Race Recap

This weekend I kicked off my Fall & Winter 2015 racing season!

On Saturday I got in 18 miles of marathon training in the morning and then I raced the Fun Glow 5K. I use the term “race” very loosely because the whole thing was a disorganized mess from start to finish. The best part was definitely getting to run the final miles of my super long run in a big group. Normally I like running alone, but after 18 miles by myself it was nice to have motivation all around me.

The biggest motivator for me was this guy who was maybe 300lbs being paced by a friend or trainer. For the first half of the race I stayed right behind them because my legs were super sore from earlier in the day and watching them was so cool. I think I may have shed a tear or two to be honest! I swear, nothing can make me cry except for stories about animals and runners doing inspiring things.

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It was also cool that the race was held at night and everyone came dressed in glow bracelets, rings, headbands, glasses, etc. We all really lit up the night!

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The race was supposed to start at 8pm but it didn’t begin until closer to 8:15. There was no singing of the national anthem or anything like that. This guy who I supposed was the announcer said “3, 2, 1 GO!” and we were off. The late start wouldn’t be a problem in most cases, but this was billed as a family friendly 5K and a lot of younger kids go to bed between 8 and 9pm. By the time I was jogging back to my car (to get in the rest of the 3.1 miles because the course was only about 2.65 miles long) I heard kids whining and crying. I’m guessing they were cranky and wanted to get into bed. I know if I was a parent I would have been upset that an already late starting race started even later.

The biggest FAIL of this race was that there was no finish line! Before the race started I had jogged around a bit to warm up and I didn’t see a finish line, but I assumed it must be there somewhere. Unfortunately, as the course came to a close I ended up in a mosh pit of people and foam bubbles.

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I was really confused and thought maybe I somehow went off course, so I just kind of stood there for a few seconds looking around and being pushed by people dancing. Finally I moved out of the pit and asked a volunteer where the finish line was and she said this was it – the dance pit. Um, okay? All of the other fun 5Ks I’ve done including The Color Run and Color Me Rad had a finish line that you crossed over indicating the end of the race.

There wasn’t anyone handing out bottles of water, so I just turned my Garmin back on and jogged back to my car to get in the remainder of the 5K distance.

Speaking of water, this race also made you grab a cup and pour your own water at the aid stations! This means that the stations were super crowded and if you wanted to stop for water you would need to be there for a little while. Given how hot and humid it tends to be in South Florida all year long, and especially on race day, I would have thought they would have handled this better.

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The race was held at Vista View Park in Davie, FL. I had never raced there before or even visited the park, but I assumed it would be flat like all of the other parks in Davie. Adam used to bike a lot at Vista View and as I was leaving he said, “do you think they’ll make you run over the hills?”

The hills?

We have hills in South Florida? Oh yeah, apparently we do and they were definitely on the course! I took the below pic before the race. This particular hill wasn’t on the course, but a similar one was. To be honest, I really liked having a hill in the middle of the 5K because what goes up must come down, and flying down the hill was nice. I definitely want to do more 5Ks at this park, just not any more glow runs.

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I don’t have an official finishing time for this race. It was untimed which is just as well since the course was quite short of the 3.1 mile distance and I was running for fun/on really tired legs anyway. I averaged about 13:45 pace which included my jog back to my car. This is about what I was aiming for, but later this year I’ll go for my 35 minute 5K.

Normally during 5Ks I’m obsessively checking my pace to make sure I’m on track, but this time I just let myself go with the flow of people around me and that was nice (especially the guy with his friend/trainer who I am sure kicked butt – he seemed really motivated).

While this 5K wasn’t super exciting on its own, it did get my excited about this upcoming season. I tend to have it in my mind that if I sign up for a race I should actually race it, but I may try to incorporate more 5Ks this fall/winter into my longer training runs just for fun!

Now it’s TIME FOR THE TAPER! I have no idea how it’s already time to taper for Chicago but it is. As Hanna reminded me last week, when you’re running a plan based off of Hanson’s your taper still incorporates a lot of running. For instance, this coming weekend I’ll still run 18 miles (8 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday). I’m pretty happy about that though, I’m in a really good groove right now and I don’t want to lose that.

I spent so much time earlier this year allowing my hip to heal that it’s taken me half of this training cycle to feel “normal” about long runs again. When I first started training back in June I could run 10 miles but it wasn’t pretty. I’m finally back to the point where I can bust out 10-12 miles and still feel pretty good. It’s nice to feel like that version of myself again! More on that later though because this post is getting really long!

I’ll talk to you again soon! 🙂

Do you have any September races planned?
Ever been to a race that didn’t have a finish line?!?!

24 comments

  1. Heather @ GirlGoesRunning

    How is Chicago approaching so quickly?! I have come down with such an annoying cold and didn’t get my last long run done yet. I am sure I’ll obsess about this all week until Sunday! lol. I’ve never run a really disorganized race before. I’ve done fun runs but the organizers around h ere are usually die hard runners who know the things to make sure go well in a race. I hear that Chicago is one of the best organized marathons around…even over Boston I’m told! I’m so excited and definitely want to meet up with you. We fly out Monday night so I’m around for a bit after the race. 🙂
    Heather @ GirlGoesRunning recently posted…Chicago Marathon Traininig Week 15My Profile

    1. Kristina

      I just sent you an email!!!! Can’t wait for Chicago. I know you’ll kick this cold quickly!

  2. cheryl

    Even if the 5k is billed as a “just for fun” there should be some baseline level of organization. Great job on getting in a LONG run! I have a few weeks left until the taper. I have a half in 2 weeks.
    cheryl recently posted…A fun way to get in a long run…My Profile

    1. Kristina

      That was my line of thinking too, especially since the race entry fee was on par with other 5Ks (I paid $25 + $5 for glow in the dark glasses).

      That’s so nice that you’ll get to race a half before your full marathon. I really wish I had the opportunity to incorporate a half in my training cycle. It’s just too hot down here for that sort of thing. I was boiling up after the 5K over the weekend and the sun wasn’t even out!

  3. Heather

    Wow that race sounds like a mess! I’m glad that you were running it for fun and the disorganization/short course/aid stations didn’t cost you a PR.
    Heather recently posted…Grand Rapids Marathon – 5 weeks of training remain!My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Me too! I knew it was an unsanctioned course so I wasn’t expecting it to be 3.1 miles long exactly, but 2.6-something seems really short. All of the other factors really annoyed me more than the course length though!

  4. Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola

    I’m sorry your race was so disorganized. At least you looked awesome!
    Sam @ Grapefruit & Granola recently posted…Lately: SeptemberMy Profile

    1. Kristina

      Haha thanks so much! I had to ditch the glasses, they were too big for my head and I was too sweaty anyway for them to stay up, but it was fun to see everyone glow in the dark!

  5. Lauren @ Lauren Runs

    Kudos to you for doing 18 miles + a 5K later in the day! I did a Glow Run here in Chicago a few years ago and it was similarly disorganized. Untimed, no gear check (which is important for an evening race – temps dipped drastically!), and course ran on top of itself – chaos!

    Enjoy your taper! Give some extra TLC to those legs with the foam roller and putting your legs up!!!
    Lauren @ Lauren Runs recently posted…Ironman Wisconsin: Complete!My Profile

    1. Kristina

      Ohh that’s very interesting to hear that the race was disorganized up there too. I assumed the group putting together the Davie one were just off their game, but it sounds like the organization itself has some issues!

  6. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    This sounds like a great way to finish off your long run! I definitely prefer small hills to completely flat races. I did a 10 miler in Florida once and it was really strange to run for that long with no elevation changes!
    Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine recently posted…Route 66 Marathon Training Week 7My Profile

  7. Maureen

    Woohoo taper!!! That stinks that the race was so disorganized. I was considering doing it but my son definitely can’t hang for a late race. I raced at that park over Labor Day weekend at the King of the Hill challenge and in an organized race it’s a really great and challenging course!
    Maureen recently posted…Random Ramble….My Profile

  8. Jennifer @ The Final Forty

    AHHHH, can’t believe you’re in taper already! That race sounds crazy, but it was definitely an interesting way to get in a couple of extra miles, right?! Enjoy your taper…even if it includes running 8- and 10-milers back-to-back, haha. You are a FAR stronger woman than I, that’s for sure! 😉

  9. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor

    Congrats on making it to taper!! Remember that week 1 can be a bit of a teaser, but it’s all downhill from here!

    That race sounds like a hot mess, but sometimes you just gotta laugh about these things. While I am no fan of disorganized races, especially ones that don’t even have a finish line (!), I think races like this are nature’s little way of reminding us not to take ourselves so seriously and that running is supposed to be FUN.
    Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor recently posted…The Fear of Not Doing EnoughMy Profile

  10. Sam

    Oh man, this race would have driven me crazy! At least you got to wear a fun costume and finish up a long run with glow sticks. Congrats on making it to the taper with your hip feeling better, that is an achievement on its own.
    Sam recently posted…Monday Monday MondayMy Profile

  11. Megan @ Meg Go Run

    Well that 5k sounds like a clusterfuck!!!!!
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Weekend Wrap Up!My Profile

  12. Lizzy

    Taper time! I can’t believe Chicago is so soon! I’m so excited for everyone who is running.

    Your experience at the glow run sounds incredibly frustrating. I’m glad you were able to take it in stride (ha ha) and still feel inspired from the people around you. It would have been too easy to just get mad at the whole situation I think.
    Lizzy recently posted…What I’ve been doing when I haven’t been blogging: The good, the bad, the uglyMy Profile

  13. Margaret

    Dang, good for you running a 5k the evening after running 18 miles! Yay for taper!!!

    I did a Color Run once (fortunately it did have a finish line), and while it was fun-ish, it’s definitely not something I’d do again unless it was like, a friend just getting into running wanted to do it or something like that. Definitely more a social experience than a running experience.
    Margaret recently posted…Hansons Marathon Method Week 16 & NROLFW Phase 4 Week 3My Profile

  14. Courtney @ Running For Cupcakes

    I ran a different Glow Run a couple of years ago and I will NEVER run one again! I had such a bad experience. How weird that they didn’t have a finish line? Yay for taper, hopefully the taper crazies stay far away from you!
    Courtney @ Running For Cupcakes recently posted…Bulu Box ReviewMy Profile

  15. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running

    Man, you’re amazing for getting those 18 in PLUS a “race”. I did 11.5 this weekend and had to walk a ton. So, so hot. You’re nearly there!!
    Ali @ Hit the Ground Running recently posted…Mindless vs. Mindful RunningMy Profile

  16. Annette @ Sweating Through Life

    So disappointing to read about bad races, but this seems like the worst organized race I’ve read about. No finish line?! Sorry you experienced that, but awesome job on the long miles!!
    Annette @ Sweating Through Life recently posted…MVP Half Marathon – Race RecapMy Profile

  17. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust

    Haha, how does a race not have a finish line? It sounds like it really was a disorganized mess, but at least you look put together and ready to party! I have never done a glow race before, but it sounds like a fun change. Plus, you got to put in a few extra miles in a group environment. Congratulations on making it to the taper. Enjoy these weeks before you venture off to Chicago! I’m getting excited for you. ☺
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Learning to Have Patience and Setting New GoalsMy Profile

  18. Races Races Races! | KRISTINA RUNNING

    […] weekend I ran a 5K at Vista View Park and said I would like to run there again someday  – the hills really intrigued me. Well, […]

  19. Jenn @ Running on Lentils

    I had to laugh about how disorganized that race was! But it’s nice you got to do it as the last miles of your long run.
    Jenn @ Running on Lentils recently posted…BCHM Training with Hansons: Week 11My Profile

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