Attempted Runner.


Race Recap: The Neon Run.
06.09.13, 19:11
Filed under: running | Tags:

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Last night, I headed out to Candlestick Park in San Francisco with my running buddies to partake in the first ever, San Francisco Neon Run. Needless to say, you can tell this was the first ever event (For San Francisco, second event ever for the Neon run series).  The run was supposed to start at 8pm, so we got there around 6:45 – 7:00. That way, we had plenty time to put our bibs on, crack the glow sticks, apply glow in the dark / UV reactant paint to our bodies and yadda yadda yadda. We headed over to the starting area around 7:30pm and I started my stretches.

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It takes a certain finesse to perform stretches like these.

8:00 rolls around and the race doesn’t start. We thought they were a little behind. 8:15, no start. Perhaps they are waiting for it to get darker. I was getting irritated and cold, but finally they let the first wave go…..I figured I would be in the second wave, but no they just kept letting people run. Oh goodness! There were sooooo many people. I would say it was a good 2-3 corral’s worth of people in the first wave alone. I took to the outside and hoped that would help. It did a little, but it wasn’t until the first color paint station or so that people started thinning out. Then, the course was marked out in street cones, but it had a bunch of turn backs, so pretty much the cones just became one big mess and you really didn’t know where to go. At one point, I actually stopped on the course for a good 10 seconds and just stood there, I had no clue where to go. People were turning short, but each set of people kept making the turn even shorter. I eventually followed this one guy, who was yelling, “CHEATERS!” to everyone else, so at least my course was longer…yet my IPod still said 2.82 miles, not 3.1).

J and I stopped around the mile marker (I guess it was around there..they didn’t have mile markers) to give a little kid band aids. He fell on the loose gravel and tore up both his knees. Runner safety comes first, so we gave him three of J’s band aids, ointment and antiseptic wipes. J’s running pack is like the Mary Poppins bag of running. At least he fell at the gravel part and not farther up where there was just a ton of broken glass on the course.

We continued running. We started to go up the first hill and that was when my hip started to get tired. It didn’t get but was getting tired.  I just kept going. When we reached the other side of the stadium, it was a down hill again. I’m afraid of downhill’s ever since my dreaded 11 miler hip pain pop, so I walked the downhill, then it immediately looped back around and so I walked up that part too. Started running again, ran through another paint station and this time, slowly ran down the other side.  Hit another paint station, then had to go back UP the hill. I know, right! Like I said, we did a few turn backs. It was getting darker at this point, so I took to running while looking down. I was afraid I’d trip over broken beer bottles, glow sticks, you name it. I walked through the paint stations, because they had us run through tents, but they had tarps laying down. Watered Spray paint and slick tarps do not equal a good running surface. Finally, we came up to the last 1/2 mile or so and that’s when I was feeling some pain developing in my hip. I kept going cause I was so close!

I finished in 41:41. My IPod read 2.82 miles but J’s said 3.08…so I’m not entirely sure whose IPod was off. If it was mine, then I did horrible even though I felt like I did better this run. If I ran it according to J’s time, although it was at 41:41 AGAIN! I looked at my iPod, and if I took off the time I stopped to help Jackson (the little kid who fell) and the 10 seconds or so I just stood there not knowing where to go, I did 40:04. IM GETTING SO CLOSE TO 39:59!!!!

Now, parking at the event was free. Which was a surprise because it seemed like everything else, we had to pay for (i.e.. bib pick up was mandatory the Thurs/Fri before and there was no day of packet pickup, unless we paid $5 to get our stuff. We didn’t get free t-shirts like most races we do…we had to pay for that too. Granted they are a new company, but still.. I’m use to signing up for races because I get free t-shirts). Yes, back to my point, Parking was free – which was great….BUT! After the event, they still had all the lights in the stadium/parking lot turned off because people were still running the course. Put roughly 5,000+ runners, whom about 3,000 of those runners had a car. In a pitch black parking lot, we couldn’t find our car. I knew where we parked, so at least we were in the generally vicinity of the car, it was just too dark to locate it. Good thing, J has a car with the key fob thing to lock the car and have the horn honk.

From the reviews I read at their Southern California event (That was the first event ever put on) they had a HUGE improvement. They still can improve though. If I did this run again, I think I would wait at least a year or two…that way they have some experience behind them.

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