I saw no fewer than six brides, fourteen Green Bay Packers, eleven cats, two "Scream" killers, and fourteen monsters. There was also a family dressed in black that had glow sticks stuck to them. I asked them if they were the characters from "Tron" and the tallest one replied, "We're stick people!" On closer inspection he was totally right--the glows sticks were arranged perfectly on the black background the make them look like stick people.
I've run the "Scare in White Bear" once before, in 2009, but this was the first time I ran a Halloween race at 7:15 PM on a Friday night.
We met our friends Matt, Joy, and Tom at Matt and Joy's place in White Bear Lake. After Matt and Joy transformed into C.M. Punk and Clay Matthews and I turned into a member of the Minnesota Running Wild we hopped in the car and drove out to the race. After warming up and snapping some pre-race photos it was time to get our speed on and rock a 5k in the dark.
The course was the same as it'd been in 2009, except in 2009 it was on a Saturday morning. The darkness and larger crowd made for a little more interesting run. Even during the kids' run at twilight things were getting sketchy; I watched a kid take a spill on the first turn. Fortunately, he was dressed as a football played and his pads prevented any serious injury.
Though the route was flat and fast this was yet another race where a turnaround had us running back towards other runners. The street wasn't closed and all 164 runners were "officially" supposed to stay on the bike path after making a quarter-mile loop around the park. After turning around I was running back on the left side of the bike path next to the road. I figured I could drop off the curb if I needed to--unfortunately after a couple of encouraging words from runners someone yelled at me to get to the right so I did.
There were a lot of sections where I couldn't see very well and sometimes people didn't see me coming so I had to kind of stumble into the leaf-littered grass next to the trail. My second mile was 5:45--sandwiched between a 5:23 and a 5:29--costing me my chance at breaking 17 minutes.
I still had fun even though I was one of maybe ten runners without a costume. I won the race in 17:17. The second place finisher was the patriarch of the stick people family. I also got a high five from some guy in a costume that consisted of a sweatshirt, sweat pants, and mask I didn't recognize.
After grabbing some water, chips, and a banana I hung out with Tom and Laura until Laura had to call our friend Brit to tell her about my "fun run." Tom and I left her to cheer for the costumed runners and Matt and Joy. Joy and Matt finished strong looking smiley and happy the whole race.
The next day Laura and Brittany hit monstrous PRs at the Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon. Jared and I followed them on our bikes. We also saw Jared's brother and lots of members of MN Running Wild. I tried to talk Laura into writing a guest post on her awesome race but I guess I might have to write one for her. She's crazy busy right now-- she'll be leaving for Florida to present at an early childhood convention (during my birthday).
Speaking of my birthday if anyone's interested in running with me (virtually or otherwise) I'm going to hit up 29 kilometers for my 29th birthday on Saturday morning (November 5).
Here's some shots from the "Scare in White Bear:"
Joy pumping up the crowd:
I'm in there somewhere:
Matt and Joy flying to the finish:
Matt and I getting pumped for the race: