Running While Glowing

Sorry I've been neglecting you, Internet. Between hurricanes, elections, grad school and work, I'm struggling a bit. I do have some fun stories coming up from my time on the campaign trail but first, I'll tell you about my latest race- DC's first Glow In The Dark 5K Dance Party, yet another event I couldn't resist from LivingSocial. Everyone wears all black and as many glow sticks as they want, and we run for 3 miles then all join a giant dance party inside the DC Armory.

Now, the video above kind of explains the event except we didn't actually run through the streets of D.C.

We ran around a parking lot.

Stay with me, it was still fun. But first let me start at the beginning of the day.

Since the race was at night (hence the Glowing In The Dark part), I brought my race clothes into work with me and was planning on catching a ride from there with a friend to the start line. And as I’m parking in my garage at work, I pull into a spot and inch up –

And hit the car in front of me.


I’ve had this car, oh, 4 years. I’m pretty familiar with how long the front end is. I don’t hit things typically but for whatever reason, this morning I misjudge and get to see the car in front of me rock from the impact. Thankfully, it didn’t cause any damage but of course I'm surprised it happens. And just wait, because it becomes funny later on.

For now, let's fast forward to mid-day, when another girl that is running the race tells me that apparently we are getting “misted” with glowing paint during the race.

This is the first I’ve heard of this.

So now I’m thinking – the shirt I brought to wear is from my first marathon (well, the first attempt anyway, the Country Music race that was explained here) and I really don’t want to get it stained with whatever they are “misting” us with. So now what?

Well, there are some random clothing stores in the basement of the building I work in. So I pass one that has a black shirt in the window with the words “First Lady Obama” bedazzled on the front.

That is so going to be my race shirt if I don’t find something at the next store.

Sadly (?) I did find a slightly more appropriate sweatshirt on sale at the next store, but even it still had the name of a Pennsylvania hockey team emblazoned across the front in shiny gold letters. But let's face it, I’m about to be covered in some kind of radioactive mist, I suppose I shouldn't be worried about how “serious-racer-like” I look at this point. I buy the sweatshirt.

I change clothes just in time to jump into my friend’s car and head to the start line outside of RFK Stadium. And as we pull into a parking space, my friend pulls his emergency break and looks down at his phone. And I suddenly realize we are still moving forward and I can’t even get the words out before – BAM! I see the car in front of me rock from impact for the second time today! Seriously, how weird is that!? Twice in one day?? I immediately just apologize to my friend because he knows me well enough by now to know I’m bad luck and totally made that happen somehow. He agreed. Sigh.

Anyway, back to the race. We meet up with some others and head to the start line and realize – we sure are just running laps inside the RFK parking lot. But, in retrospect, I suppose it’s probably not the best idea to unleash 8,000 people wearing black clothing onto the streets of D.C. on a Friday night. Good call, LivingSocial.
Me at the start line. Yeah, not so easily seen.

But it ended up being really fun because they pumped music throughout the course, created different stages where we could take dance breaks, had lit up archways, and of course -the misting tents.

Which ended up all being broken when we ran through them.

Every. One.

I bought that stupid sweatshirt for nothing… Kinda wish I’d chosen the First Lady shirt now. At least I'd have something new to wear to cocktail parties…

So after running and dancing (and skipping, ballet leaping, doing the Gangnam Style dance – pretty much whatever we felt the urge to do...I definitely swung a glowstick over my head like a lasso through a good portion of the race…gotta say that was a first…) we started to lose steam and decided to start cheating and cutting through the course wherever possible. (Stop judging – it’s not like they time this thing.) But the funny part is, we were so busy dancing and being silly that we started just making random turns until we realized we didn’t even know if we were going in the right direction anymore and in fact may have made our race longer by rejoining waves behind us accidentally, thinking we were joining waves in front of us.

I forgot to mention this thing had multiple waves. I suppose it was to prevent us from stampeding over each other in the dark but it was a little annoying at first because we had to stand for quite awhile before our wave was finally set free. But you know what made it worth it? The fact that our Wave name was: “The Hustlers.” Best. Wave Name. EVER.

But now we’ve spun around so many times we don’t know how close we are to the finish line and at one point, we actually pass a race volunteer and we hear “why are they running that way??”

Not a good sign.

Thankfully, we finally did find the finish line and was able to join the Dance Party portion happening inside the Armory.

And now that I think about it, the last time I was inside that place for an actual event – was for an Inaugural Ball for President and First Lady Obama. I SO WAS MEANT TO BUY THAT FIRST LADY SHIRT.

But back to the party. We get inside and it’s like an adult playground. First, everyone looks like varying degrees of ridiculous. Three girls who ran with us were in tutus, a guy near us was wearing a Banana Costume, and another guy ran by wearing what looked like a football helmet made of glow sticks. And everyone is just dancing with abandon and tossing around glowing balloons. There was even a Twister mat where various glowing bodies were playing and I heard there was limbo somewhere as well but I was too busy trying not to lose my friends in the dark to go find it. We left not too long after the Balloon Drop, very satisfied with our random race.

The only other race I have left this year is an 8k where everyone wears jingle bells. I’ll keep you posted on whether or not I lose my hearing and/or sanity. Until then, enjoy the pics of this one:

Rockin' the new "fly" sweatshirt - pun intended. (I have no ties to the Philly Flyers but the UT Vols shirt I found next to it was too small...and lacked the tacky gold letters, so, obviously also inferior.)