3/4 of Team WestEnders capped off our first week back from vacation by sitting around on the couch scarfing down potato chips and binge-watching trashy television shows. Hahahahaha! Admit it, I had you going there for a second, didn't I? No, really, we signed up for another 5k event. But...we just did a race earlier in July...so you might be wondering why we'd register for a second one just a few weeks later. Well, this one took place at night...which would be a first for us.
So, we were anticipating something new and exciting...and an experience in which we would NOT have to get up early, forgo breakfast and coffee, and run first thing in the morning, for once. The particulars of this one were: beginning and ending at the DBAP (stadium for the Durham Bulls AAA baseball team), starting gun at 8:30 p.m., and the promise of a veritable banquet of free food afterwards. Husband thought he'd be too wiped out after driving home from Maryland earlier the same day, so I just got the boys and myself on the list.
We arrived that evening to find the atmosphere quiiiiiite a bit different from the placid, low-key morning races we're used to doing. DJ working the crowd and playing tunes at a high enough volume to vibrate your entire body as you walked by...signs constructed from glow-sticks, pointing you the correct way along the route...people sporting head-to-toe reflective gear, light-up hats and belts...and my absolute favorite: the team that showed up decked out in multicolored nylon tutus....with built-in strings of flashing LEDs to make them twinkle as they chugged along.
(And yes, I was TOTALLY jealous! Where can I get one before my next 5k? So I asked one of them as we paced beside each other in the first few steps of the run, and the answer is apparently "Amazon"....so consider it D-O-N-E! Hmmm...I think I need a special running tiara as well, to, you know "complete the outfit". Right? My family may never want to be seen with me again...and since we're generally not moving along at the same pace during these things anyway, I think I can definitely live with that...)
The route itself presented a few long, fairly steep hills. And the humidity was, of course....how shall I put this....does "drenching" paint a clear picture? But at this point, each of us knows what we have to do to get through it, and we just put one foot in front of the other until it's over. Speaking of which, this event--as expected--had the best spread we've encountered--pretzels with hummus and cheese, Bruegger's bagels, Kind bars, barbeque sliders, Moe's tortilla chips and salsa...none of which I actually felt inclined to eat after jogging 3.1 miles, mind you.
However, I will say that this is the first time I've ever been rewarded for finishing a run...with a complimentary adult beverage. Is plain old water a healthier post-exercise drink? Sure...but the novelty of being gifted with a cold, crisp cup of sparkling pear cider was absolutely too enticing to pass up! (Don't worry, I did chug some agua along with it...) As people trickled in across the Finish Line, the dance party environment just kept getting louder and more festive. We, however, were tired and ready to go do some of that "lounging on the sofa" that I joked about previously. So we took our sweaty selves home....with our glow-in-the-dark souvenir t-shirts as a reminder of our first successful post-sunset 5k. It's gonna look GREAT with my tutu, I'm tellin' ya..