hundreds of Girls on the Run who gathered estatic to run, trying to hold back their excitement as the time ticked down until it was time to run.
We arrived early about 5pm, and I could not believe the crowds that were already there. Bag checks greeted me as I entered the track area and smiled as people oohed and awed at my ‘Dug’ costume from Disney’s Pixar Film UP! Robin ‘Mr Carl Fredrickson’ spotted me quickly and came over (Read Robin’s Recap here). We were so energized! Bib pickup was a breeze, and we had plenty of time to visit the booths; Cliff Bars, Dave’s Bread, Legacy Healthcare, Fit-Right NW, and more. Soon our group was complete! Rod as Russell the Wilderness Explorer, Sandy as Kevin the bird, Myself as Dug the Dog (Sandy made all three of our costumes- learn how she made Kevin and Dug here), Carl the old man, and Mel as the House (See her blog on the event here)! I won’t bore you with all the details as we waited for the costume contest, but they involved trying to stay cool and posing for lots of pictures!
Although our costumes were a hit with the crowd, it was not enough to win the coveted costume contest*. This year’s judging was a little chaotic for a first time pre-judging, and this is understandable. Next year the organizers have also confirmed this will go smoother, which I have no doubt, and the costumes will be able to go up on the stage individually. Iwo Jima Soldiers won top prize (they were moved to the Adult Group because they had one adult in the group) and who can lose to kids honoring our service members? Although it was very close (the applause sounded very similar) the judges awarded the BLT Sandwich the second place prize. All the costumes were amazing though and I want to give special shout outs to the awesome Kid Pirate Arcade Claw Game, The Lego Man, Scooby Doo, and the Killer Octopus with the tentacles around scuba divers, swimmers, and mermaids. You were all winners in my heart! (*We did however win the Cliff Bar’s Fav costume and they gave us a box of Clif Bars! thanks Clif!)
Soon it was time to line up. We lined up about half way back from the start. We were planning a 12-13 MM. The weather had cooled off like the weather man promised! We were in such luck, I cannot imagine if it were hotter. We had my husband and Mel’s Husband (the House) helping crowd control from people running into us, through us, and cutting us off up front, as well as holding balloons out of the face. (Next year we are getting them Costume Security Shirts!)
This course starts on a short steep hill and you could feel it in costume, but soon we were on the downhill portion for a majority of the race. The energy was amazing. I cannot say it enough! It was worth it just for the crowds who would uproar and yell as they saw us coming and passing by. The kids! Kids we love you. Seriously, thank you to all the little kids who keep us going with shouts of joy and hand slaps. The Girls on the Run Runners who would run by my side and a few who took my hand (almost made me tear up!).
We took votes to see how many times ‘Squirrel’ was yelled, but we should have taken votes for how many different types of Bird Kevin would be called! (For the record it was 25 times on the ‘Squirrel’ but do I count the one after I came through the finish line?) He was called Kevin, Dodo, Chicken, Bird, Monster Bird, tall bird, weird bird, and long neck thingy from what I heard. Soon that bird was getting hot, she was covered almost head to toe and had a head wrap. But we were doing great on pace, so we were able to walk some at the end and still beat the pace bus!
We came into the finish line and held hands in pride and joy as we finished together at about 52 minutes time. Waz-Mix Pix took some excellent photos of us (and several others) so we have some great memories! The afterparty had the same booths with free samples, goodies plus a live band, The Cronin Tearny Band, that played before and afterwards. We were all pretty hot, starving, and it was late, so we did not stick around too long afterwards. Plus the starlight parade was going on!
Follow this race on Facebook so you can keep up with them for next year! This is not an event to miss if you are a costumed runner, or a runner that thrives on the energy of a crowd! It was amazing and so worth the months put into the costumes. Next year we are coming back bigger and better!