Monster Dash 5K - Race Report

Halloween - my definition of a useless holiday.  As a kid, I wanted to be the one who got to stay home and pass out the candy and I could not wait until I was old enough to do that.

Running - the only time I will wear a costume.  Although I typically wear this costume for August running, it does meet the Minnesota requirement of fitting over cold weather gear.
Monster Dash - A race I may or may not get roped into doing after an October marathon.  Monster Dash has a 10-mile, Half Marathon and 5K option.  The 10-mile and Half marathon course are in St Paul and the 5K course is in Minneapolis at Lake Harriet.  Why don't they share courses?  I expect Minneapolis won't give permits for the Monster Half anymore after this fiasco(Really, they haven't been back since.)

I was not expecting to run the race this year but a friend had an extra bib.  For free.  Which resulted in an extra shirt and race entry.  For free.  I was still all "but I have to miss Zumba" and quite ambivalent about the whole thing.  Then I thought it would be fun to try for a 5K PR and I should go.  Later I realized it's a 'fun run' with no timing so no chance of PR.  Sigh.  Amy came to pick me up this morning and I showed her the super secret, super close parking.  It was Amy's first ever race and her goal was to run the whole way.

Timing - The 5K is a fun run only.  There is no timing and no race results.  It seems chintzy until you show up and then you see why they made this decision.  Timing and race results would've been an impossible nightmare. Also timing wasn't really needed with all the families and kids who showed up just to have fun. 

Costumes - As you may have guessed I repeated as a Reno 911 cop.  I was accompanied by Super-Y and Princess Pesto who are Super Readers.  (If you have kids you understand.)  The costumes today were very family oriented and fun, quite a different take from the Half Marathon crowd.

Course - We ran on the road around Lake Harriet.  About five steps into the race I was all "I'm so glad I'm not running this for time" because it was absolutely packed.  The course is on the road around Lake Harriet.  The road is one traffic lane wide, sometimes with bump outs for parking and sometimes with a 3-foot bike lane.  But yeah, basically there are 10,000 people running on a one-lane road.  Lake Harriet is one of my favorites so I knew what to expect and enjoyed it, but it was really almost too crowded.

Dogs - One of the few races where dogs are welcome.  There were a few places along the course where I was all "I smell dog poop".  The dog owners all seemed responsible with their dogs in such a large crowd.  I suspect anyone with a non-crowd-friendly dog just left their animal at home for this.  Some dogs were in costume including a shark dog and a working dog.  We lined up with a Green Dog.

Strollers - As you can see, Super Y had a running stroller. (Would a parent/runner please explain the "locking front wheel" question.  This front wheel was not locked but had the option.)  At the beginning Amy said I was going too fast and then was all "here, push this, it'll slow you down" which was true on the uphills but definitely not the downhills.    About five seconds later Amy ran into some people she knew from a running group and stopped to talk to them.  She got separated from Super-Y and I but I kept going.  I was all "whatever, I have her kid, she'll find us at the end".  Super-Y and I had some great conversations like "police men help keep us safe"; "those are brides, we say congratulations to them" and "Iron man is a good guy".  I kept the "this stroller is heavy going up this hill" to myself.
Finish - Holly Traffic Jam Batman.  The finish was crazy.  Like we could barely get across the line before we were in a see of runners all waiting to get medals and food and other goodies.  That's where Amy pushed back through the crowd and found us.  The food bags were hit and miss, not all had the same things, some were just chips, some had cheese too, some had a banana with them.  It's what I've come to expect from a Team Ortho event.
Medals - They do give out medals, the same ones as in the half-marathon.  It's the only 5K I've run that gives out medals to all participants.  I'm of mixed emotions about the medals.  My brain is all "it's a 5K, wasn't the shirt enough?" but there were so many kids doing this race that it's fun for them to have something to take home too. 

Overall this race is good for - people who want to run with their kids or people who want to run in costume but not do a half marathon or 10-miler, or people who don't care about their times and want to run on a super crowded big race.
Would I do the 5K again?  Maybe if I was with a kid who was super excited to try it.  Definitely would not do it for myself.
Am I glad I went?  Yes, because it's super exciting to see people race for the first time.  Congratulations Amy!  Also, Super-Y was an excellent conversationalist and am glad he kept me company for the day.

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