Dear Race Director of Area 13.1,
What a brilliant idea it was to have an alien themed half marathon at night in Roswell! Roswell, Georgia. A cool concept that about 15+ runners from my running group embraced and signed up, even though warning bells were very insistent about the heat and humidity of Atlanta in mid-August. Humid-er than humid summer runs did not deter our enthusiasm for the run and messages on facebook made some of us painfully aware of our shortcomings – in the costume department!
My enthusiasm spiked as I fell in love with the Tshirt at packet picket, especially as you were so nice to let me exchange it for a different size – something that none of my past 5 “big name” races have done.
On race day, with different parking options available, some of us parked at the St. Francis Day School and took the shuttle to the start. We got dropped off about 200m from the start, just in time to find port-a-pottys next to the start with ZERO lines! Score! I was personally running the race as part of my training plan towards a fall marathon, so I wasn’t looking to set the course ablaze and was quite content to hang with the back of the pack.
You got lucky when some amazing people volunteered for the race! So much enthusiasm and smiles from everyone!
They shared my embarrassment as I scuttled along clutching my belly from miles 2 – 7 praying desperately for a port-a-potty that was non-existent.
And shared my disappointment mixed with sadness as the water stop at mile 5 ran out of water for the back of the pack when it was only 7:30/:45 pm.
When one of the water stops ran out of cups, they tried to lift our spirits by joking about the cooling effects of water in the heat as the water ran down our cupped hands that we used to drink up water.
Even towards the end of the race, they had some great music playing at Mile 10 as we waited patiently for the trucks to unload water gallons.
When it got dark at 8:30pm with about 1-1.5hours to go for the back of the packers, the eerie darkness that stretched on for miles made for great ambience.
The volunteers, bless their cheerfulness, were still enthusiastic as silhouetted moving figures with splashes of mostly yellows and greens stealthily shuffled past them, vary of tripping.
Somewhere around mile 12 was my personal favorite – a long line of desperately thirsty runners (yes, I still call ourselves runners even though we were barely moving along in front of the dreaded sweeper) lined up in front of one of the park water fountains. With one of the water fountain on low water pressure, and the other one squirting water for a much needed hose-down rather than drinking, it made for some hilarious moments.
As we neared the finish line, the spooky alien balloons welcomed us with eerie silence and three volunteers cheering us in!
The proof that a race is all about fun is when you receive a medal, but not water or bananas. Who needs water or food when I’ve just survived an alien invasion! And for this bling-snob, it worked out just fine. After all, 9:45pm is still young enough in the night to go out and celebrate running 13.1 miles with food!
All in all, except for glossing over some minor lack water and portapotties which was offset by the abundance of alien-like ambience in the stretches of eerie darkness, the race was a very different experience than my earthly ones! Enclosed are some fun pictures with friends.
Smitha a.k.a The FauxRunner
|We would’ve won the award for most enthusiastic group!|
|Running with a friend is the best way to run|
|My friend Rebecca and her husband, Jerry. All the way from Raleigh, NC.|
|Pretty Alien-Wannabes – after with our cool medals|
ps: Contrary to expectations, I would love to run the race again next year. I am a sucker for fun, even when it posts logistical challenges.