I picked this race up at the last minute. I wanted to run about 6 miles this weekend so this race fit nicely in my schedule. My broken toe is still a little sore but after three weeks off I needed to get back on the horse. It was probably a poor choice to run at night in a place I was unfamiliar with. If I kicked anything with my toe I probably would have been out of commission for a few more weeks.
Pre-Race: The event organizer’s website (Falls Road Running Store) was under construction and not helpful at all. They were proactive with sending emails and posting on their Facebook page. With the weather on race day calling for (and delivering) thunderstorms and rain, the run was in doubt throughout the day. About two hours before the race I saw Facebook posts and emails saying the race was on. They also posted a parking pass that you needed so you would not get a ticket at the race location. Good communication all around.
Race Day: As I mentioned the weather was not cooperating. Rain all day with some thunderstorms. The Full Moon Run was going to be without the full moon.
I was about an hour early and the parking lot was nearly empty. I walked right up to the registration table and they passed out bibs and glow sticks (and parking passes if you needed one). A special thank you to the girl at registration who patiently untangled the strings for me (I actually tangled 3 piles of string in the process). You could pretty much have as many glow sticks as you wanted. People were attaching them to just about every part of their bodies and made for quite a sight by the time it got dark. People driving by had to be wondering what was going on at the park. I went with a conservative look consisting of a green glow stick and a red necklace.
The Race: I should have tried to find someone to run with either beforehand or at the event. Most people were run with groups of friends and I think that would have made the whole experience much more enjoyable. I heard a lot of people discussing the upcoming Zombie 5k Race For Your Lives. This would have been an interesting night for a Zombie Race…. You had light fog, occasional drizzle, and no lights on the quiet NCR trail. I could imagine zombies crawling out of the fog…
It was really cool to see a mass of multi-color neon glow sticks bobbing down the trail. Those lights that weren’t well attached, fell off leaving a glowing trail of bread crumbs to follow. The path was composed of crushed white limestone which made it pretty easy to follow the trail.
The route was a simple out-and-back along the trail and by the halfway point the crowd had spread out a bit. If there was going to be a dangerous moment it was going to be heading back against the traffic in the dark but the glow sticks did their job and as far as I know there were no collisions between runners.
The night really screwed up my sense of the trail. I am pretty sure I ran uphill in both directions. I also had no idea when I was close to the end until I saw a glow stick created finish line which I really liked as well.
This was an un-timed, non-competitive fun run so their were no times or places. Since no one can prove otherwise I was 1st place among the 40-year-old crowd. Hooray for me. I finished in around 65 minutes.
POST-Race: It was 10pm already and I was an hour from home so I got a quick drink and got out of there. They had water, some soda and light food for the runners which is always appreciated.
GOODIES: This wasn’t a race for goodies. It was a lean $15 entrance fee (thank you) so as we say in our house: “you get what you get and you don’t get upset”. Technically you received all of the glow sticks you could possibly want.
Overall I would give it 4 out of 5 moons. I blame the race organizers for having a full moon run and no full moon. Would I run it again? Only if I could find someone to run with. Running by myself I definitely missed out on the experience. It was a great run to have a friend by your side to enjoy the surreal experience with. It was a well-managed run with a really fun crowd. The cheap 15$) registration fee is always a wonderful thing.