We were to bed early Friday and up butt-early to take the dogs out, have a mini-breakfast, and hit the road by 6:45. This was the first time either of us had done the race, and I wanted to leave extra time for parking and picking up our packet. As it turns out, we probably could have slept in a bit. Packet pickup took all of 60 seconds and we headed back to the car to stay warm – it was about 48 degrees, which is actually perfect running weather.
When I looked up our bib numbers the day before I discovered that my sister-in-law was running the race, too. She decided to run with us, having signed up for the day for fun rather than a PR. We chatted, people-watched and admired all the people running in costume (the extent of our costumes was some skeleton gloves I found). I admit I was a bit nervous that we would be dead last in this race, considering the light crowd when we first arrived, but it turned out that everyone else was also keeping warm in their cars.
A few minutes before the start I realized I had left my Garmin in the car. Eeek! I ran back, against the steady flow of people walking to the start line, and grabbed it. THEN my husband decided he wanted to ditch his athletic pants. I told him I wasn’t going to wait for him, but he made it back in plenty of time. The three of us lined up at about the 12:00 minute/mile pace marker and within a few minutes, we were off!
The first mile was pretty slow as we weaved around 5Kers in costume and running four across. I was a bit annoyed, but reminded myself that this was a fun shakeout run, not really a race. We also went through part of a haunted hayride, and after a giant, fake snake jumped out at us, I overheard one little kid ask her dad if they could get one for their house. As we were running by the car my husband decided to ditch his sweatshirt – and ran off the course to throw it on the car! I was annoyed (again) that he didn’t think to do that when he ran his pants back. My sister-in-law and I were feeling generous so we decided to wait for him at the first water stop after the 5Kers and 10Kers split up. He actually wasn’t that far behind us – we lost a minute at most. Plus, he got a better idea of what running clothes are appropriate for what temperature, which will help us next weekend.
After the haunted parts, it was a pretty course going through a park, on some paved trails and some dirt trails. There were a few “hills” (southeast Michigan hills) but nothing that we couldn’t handle. There was a slippery spot or two and one or two scary downhills, but we just took it easy. We chatted and cheered for my husband, who was keeping a good pace. Not many 10Kers were in costume but we cheered for the occasional Ninja Turtle or vampire we passed.
Everyone was ready to be done at about mile 4.5-5 but we just put our heads down and kept running. After a while we could hear the finish line. We looped back through another part of the haunted hayride with more scary snakes and clowns, and kicked it in for a finish line sprint. We were done, hooray!
We took some fun pictures, enjoyed cider and donuts, and headed home. When times were posted later, we learned my husband took 6 FULL MINUTES off his 10K time, which is amazing! A batch of pancakes and a nap later, and we were as good as new.
Overall, this was a really fun race and I’d definitely do it again as a shakeout for a big fall race. It was great for people watching, the course was a nice mix of trail and paved without being too challenging, and the cider and donuts were a nice touch. It definitely put me in the Halloween spirit and ready for the next race.