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Monday, September 5, 2016

TheGloRun Indianapolis Race Review

This past weekend, Josh and I had the opportunity to run TheGloRun, a nighttime 5K with glow sticks.  We were given two free registrations for the Indianapolis event in exchange for reviewing the race.  All opinions here are completely ours.

Registration & Pre-Race

Registration was really simple.  The website is easy to navigate and loads quickly.  The mobile version works well too.  There are two options for registration: an untimed fun run for participants who want to take their time through the course, taking pictures and enjoying the glo zones; and a chip-timed race for runners who want the extra challenge.  Both options come with a cute t-shirt and three glow sticks.  (Josh is wearing the shirt in the pic at the end of this post.)  Timed racers also receive a finisher's medal and a small flashlight.  There is extra gear for purchase - light-up headbands, extra glow sticks, upgraded shirts, sunglasses for teams of 5, etc.  

Pre-race communications were good.  We received several e-mails reminding us of packet pickup times and locations, event schedule, and just hyping the fun.  Packet pickup was conveniently located at Blue Mile in Broad Ripple from 11am to 6pm the day before the race.  It was well organized and we didn't have to wait at all.  There were also options for event day pickup, or having your packet mailed to you ahead of time for a small extra charge.

Race Day

This is a nationally touring event that partners with a local charity in each city.  Here in Indy, they raised funds for Easter Seals.  The race started and ended in White River State Park downtown.  We had no trouble finding parking and got to the park about 30 minutes before start time.  We didn't see any long lines for event day packet pickup.  Everything appeared to be well organized and spread out so it was easy to find.  There was a station where people could get glow-in-the-dark body paint if they wanted, and a DJ playing music and making announcements.

The race this year has a 1980s theme, and there was a costume contest before the race.  Josh didn't participate in the contest, but if you've ever read this blog or checked out my Instagram, you know I did.  I love dressing up!  And I really love races where everyone is encouraged to dress up.  Costumes aren't just for Halloween!

I had so much fun planning out my costume.  I received a lot of compliments on it, too.

Gear List

  • Pink scarf, dangly earrings, a few vintage 80s buttons
  • Blue Culture Club t-shirt, knotted at the hip
  • Black mesh fingerless gloves, several jelly bracelets
  • Momentum Jewelry "Accept No Limits" band
  • Nike+ Sport Watch
  • Flashlight from the race SWAG
  • Black Nike shorts
  • Glitter Skirt in Pretty in Pink (use discount code HAZEL for 20% off your order)
  • White sequined leg warmers
  • Saucony Guide shoes

 The DJ called the contestants up and explained to us how the contest would work (judging based on audience cheers), then called us out to face off two by two.  There were a lot of fun outfits.  A lot of day-glo colors, spandex, side ponytails, leg warmers, headbands....  I didn't win, so I joined Josh in the audience to cheer for my next favorite.

The Race

After the costume contest, it was race time.  Chip-timed racers had white bibs, while fun run participants had black bibs.  They called white bib racers only to head to the starting corral, and they actually had volunteers checking to make sure only racers with white bibs were lining up to start.  That was much appreciated.  I am all for anything that gets people to be active, but I am glad they gave runners the chance to start first so we wouldn't get stuck behind large groups of walkers.  The course was very narrow in some parts.

The course ran across the pedestrian bridge, north along the West Side of the White River Trail to 10th Street, east across 10th Street (where we had both the sidewalk and one lane of the street), then south along the East Side of the White River Trail, back to the park.  I didn't wear my headphones for this race, because I didn't really need them.  There were "Glo Zones" set up along the course - black lights, bubbles, inflatables, tunnels - each blasting 80s songs, so I could hear music all along the way.  The course was well marked and there were plenty of volunteers along the way.  There was one water station at slightly over halfway, and there were enough volunteers handing out cups of water that we were able to run through smoothly without having to stop or wait.

I had already run 12 miles earlier Saturday morning, but I didn't have any soreness and my legs still felt fresh.  I didn't push, but ran my usual 5K pace.  As the White River State Park came back into view, I started my kick just a little bit earlier than I meant to.  Silly of me - I've run that course so many times I knew how much farther I had to go.  It worked out ok though, as I was able to sustain it.  I finished 5th in my age group with 34:55.  

I had passed Josh on the 10th Street bridge, at around 1.75 miles, so I headed over to the Finisher's Tent to collect my medal and a snack (they had fruit snacks and granola bars), and then I hit the dance area while keeping an eye on the spot Josh and I had agreed to meet.  The DJ was playing some fun dance songs from all eras, not just the 80s.  There was a good-sized crowd out there dancing, and I had a great time.  

When I saw Josh finish, I left the dance floor to meet him.  He got his medal and snacks, and we found someone to take our picture by the giant boom box.  We both agreed we had a really great time.  The race was well organized, the course is a nice route to run with really beautiful views of Indy at night, and the Glo Zones and the 80s theme made it a lot of fun.  Everyone we saw and all the people I overheard while running seemed to be having a good time as well.  I've talked to several friends who also ran and enjoyed it.  I definitely recommend this race if it comes to your city, and if I am still in Indy when it comes here next year I will run it again.

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