GLO Run ~ Twin Cities September 2012
Always on the lookout for fun 5K's to participate in, I was intrigued when a friend of mine suggested The GLO Run. Like most 5K's our registration helped support a local charity, the Way to Grow organization works with Twin Cities families so that all children have the opportunity to succeed.
This is not your ordinary run, with black lights, strobe lights, DJ's and lots of Glow Swag along the way you are guaranteed a illuminating experience. Available in several cities across the country, this race is definitely worth the click to see if there is one near you.
The GLO Run
Race Warm Up
Always weary that there will be an equal distance to travel to the run, as the run itself I was pleased to read in the confirmation email that off-site parking and shuttles were available. Upon arriving at a local high school we were able to leave our vehicle in a well lit parking lot and catch a shuttle to the start of the race.
Once there, we were quickly greeted with high-energy music, a sea of neon yellow shirts, and fun and exciting costumes. Packet pick-up was easily located and the lines moved quickly as people received their race shirts and GLO Swag. From there you were able to move on to the "Paint Area" to get splattered with neon paint.
As the race area grew darker, we were instructed how to line-up for the start. Runners first, with walkers following. Battery packs were activated on tulle created costumes as beach balls floated across the crowd and the DJ balanced music with race instructions.
...and we're off
While very organized, the narrowness of the race route created a bottleneck at the start. Well aware that I am not a "front wave" runner for these races, I generally choose to start near the back. This allows me to get my running stride, while staying out of the way of faster runners. This theory usually works as most race routes have wider paths. This route was a path around Mt. Normandale Lake, very narrow with little "shoulder" to pass on.
Finally crossing at 6:32 on the race clock the first 100 meters or so was spent politely trying to weave thru walkers in order to get into a running stride. From there we moved onto a sidewalk that outlined the park for approximately half a mile until looping around and running in a closed off section of the road back to the park entrance. This half mile provided a little more area for finding your place in the pack before heading back onto the lake trail.
Relying on the GLO Swag of those in front of me to help navigate the route, I started to feel guilty about removing most of my mine prior to the start of the race because I was worried the "flapping" of it would bother me along with way. If you are considering this race, plan ahead, bring tape to attach glow sticks to your back, if you have long hair stick them into your ponytail, or bring enough to weave around your arms and legs.
Keeping in the spirit of the race, there were three areas GLO Run Map along the route that provided fun in the form of black lights, strobe lights, and fun lights. Volunteers were there to inform you of these areas, and alternate routes were provided for those that might be bothered.
Life most races, volunteers, family and friends of specific runner or groups, and others just wanting to show their support lined the race route to provide words of encouragement. Waving their own GLO Swag and waving cleverly worded signs these individuals provided encouragement and fun to race participants.
Finishing in the same shoot as we started we were greeted with the same high-energy music, water treats and camera flashes. Lines were again well organized and we were able to move quickly thru the water and snack tent.
The party continued after the race for those that wished to stay and celebrate. Having a two hour drive home, and a daughter who does not enjoy loud music, we decided to find the shuttles, head back to the car, and celebrate on our own with a Dairy Queen frozen lemonade on our way home.
While a somewhat crowded race, it was still one of the best runs I have had. The "Fun Stations" made the miles go by fast and before I knew it I was only half a mile from the finish. While my ending time of 35:33 was a little more than a minute longer than my personal best, I was encouraged by the fact I was able to run the entire race and feel great at the end.
Definitely a race I would encourage any runner to do. Whether you are a first timer, or seasoned vet the atmosphere of this race is friendly and exciting.