The race will filled with things that you would never see in most normal races. People along the course were squirting runners with water guns. The water stops were combined with the support teams throwing water balloons at the runners. In two instances runners had to circle through garages and run through spraying water. By the way water was a welcome aspect for most of the runners since the temperature at race was still in the mid-80s. But the water and garages were not the only obstacles along the course. Coming out of one garage, the runners were entered a mock paint ball battle. At first it was a little disconcerting, but once you realized that there are no paint balls exploding, it was all a lot of run.
Then just before finish line, Peter added an inflatable obstacle course. Now, you were not required to run through the obstacle course, but those choosing not to, had to count 10 "Mississippi"s before crossing the finishing.
But best part about the obstacle course was that instead of runners milling around or going on cool down runs after the race, almost everyone stayed around to cheer each runner as they made their feeble attempts to negotiate through the obstacle course.
Okay, so you may be wondering how my race went.
Well, I left Charlotte at 5pm. Thus the trip to Albemarle was struggle in traffic and for a while I wasn't sure that I would make.
Arriving just twenty minutes before the start, I barely had time to pick up my number, drop off 2 dozen Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for Peter (my part of the Winter Flight Bet), and get in a 1 mile warm up.
My legs felt like two lead weights and didn't feel much at all like racing.
Peter gave some last minute instructions and we were off. A police car lead the way which helped because there a number of turns on the course. Peter had marked the course with pink paint which also helped.
I got a few water balloons tossed at me but their aim was bad. And a few squirt guns were fired at me again mostly misses. The paint ball battle was really a surprise. At first, I felt like ducking for cover, but once I realized there were no paint balls exploding, it was time to move on.
Running through the garages were definitely different.
But the inflatable obstacle course definitely the best. Someone asked me at the starting line if I was going through the obstacle course. I was like "Yeah". I didn't drive all the way to Albemarle to count "Mississippi"s.
But being the true competitor that I am, I did recon the obstacle course beforehand. So I had pretty good idea of what was in store for me.
Coming around the last few turns, I was checking over my shoulder to see who was close. I was trying to gauge how much time; I could fumble around inside the inflatable.
Fortunately, my recon paid off handsomely because I made it through cleanly.
For my efforts, I picked up a nice Brooks running bag with the "April Fools 5k Champ" embroider on the side pocket.
At the awards, Peter threw another twist at the runners. Instead of giving awards to the top 3 fastest runners in each age group, he gave awards to the 3 slowest in each age group. Now, that is something not seen in most races.
My read was that most runners liked the idea. Although, I am not sure if they would like it if all races gave awards using this process.
There were a lot of people shaking their heads that they would come back next year. Peter sold out with a 100 runners and he could have probably had twice that many.
What else is there for a runner to do on a Thursday night on April 1st?
-btw enjoyed the cool down run with Bobby, Stan, and Jinnie after the race. I appreciate the miles with you guys.
Look for the Cool Down Runner to be back next year.