On Saturday, May 7, we did the Night Nation Run 5K. This is advertised as the first running music festival (very punny?).
Registration Cost: With the coupon code, it was about the same as most other 5Ks in the area. Also, this was billed as a fundraiser for Stand-Up to Cancer, so presumably some of the registration cost may get contributed to that organization.
Packet Pick-Up: We had opted for the Friday pre-race packet pick-up (because day-of pick-up cost an extra $5). There were several reminder emails sent with the information that was needed. Charcoal wasn’t able to go to the pick-up so Violet got both packets. This ended up being easier than the race FAQs led us to believe. Although the website said we’d need a copy of Charcoal’s license and a signed waiver, it turned out that Violet just needed the registration confirmation email with the barcode to scan.
The pick-up line was a bit slow because many people were picking up multiple packets. Otherwise, it went pretty smoothly.
For swag, there were cotton t-shirts and a glow necklace.
Pre-Race: There were a lot of emails and the communication was not bad. The highway exit for the race area was closed and we needed to go one exit further to get there. Related, we ended up parking where there was a space available… and as it turned out, this was about 1.5 miles away from the race start. There were no other lots available (this was on-street parking), and this was the best option. Seriously?! It was a long walk, both to and from the race start–not what we were expecting based on the information in the emails. More specifically, the emails said there would be ample free parking by the course. Although this was free, it was not close.
We didn’t try to take bags into the race area, but they had security at the gates to check. The security guard also needed to see our numbers before we were allowed into the race area.
Once we were in the race area, it was a little confusing to tell where the line to the start was–there was just a big group of people who were standing around. It was hard to tell if they were in line to start or if they were in the “party” area. There were some food trucks in this area.
When we got into the line to start, it took a while to get to the starting line because they were letting people go in waves every couple of minutes (not sure how many people were in a wave, but there were employees at the start lines to regulate this). There was an emcee/DJ who was at the starting line, along with two young women who were kind of like Night Nation Run cheerleaders.
The release form indicated that protective eye-wear should be worn at all times on the course. We were rebels and didn’t wear our safety goggles, but we saw one person who had them. We weren’t sure what they were for–most likely for the strobe lights?
Course: This was a bit treacherous with potholes and puddles. It was a two-loop course, meaning that we could have finished in half the time. But we didn’t. As it turned out, we ran through a muddy connecting area to start our second loop. Not surprisingly, the course was much emptier the second time around.
There were about four stations along the course where DJs were playing music, there were strobe lights, and selfie stations with blacklights. There was also one water stop that was in the mud between the first and second loops. Rather than having a paper cup with water, each person was given a 20-ounce bottle of Aquafina.
Approaching the finish line, there were a lot of people cutting through to get out of the mud. As you can see, this course was not very regulated and was not timed, adding to the party atmosphere.
There were some nifty arrow lights to point the way along the course. There were also some other lights along the course to help with the non-music areas.
Finish Line: It was a little unclear where this was, but there was a selfie station with blacklights, and another water stop (that also gave out whole bottles of water).
Post-Race: The after-party was nearby, with a stage where the DJ and cheerleaders were interacting with the crowd. There were some giveaways with glowing sticks/swords. We didn’t stay at the party to scope out the food trucks or other festivities.
Weather: It was cold (40s-50s), rainy, and windy by the water.
Apparel: Violet was wearing running tights from Target, a light fleece-lined C9 turtleneck, a fleece jacket, Smartwool socks, a rain coat, and Asics GTX 1000-4 (goretex) shoes.
Charcoal wore reflective running tights, a long-sleeved technical t-shirt, an activewear sweatshirt, and Brooks PureFlow shoes.