I was thinking that I wouldn’t be back with a race report until next week after the Tyranena Beer Run ½ Barrel – I forgot completely about Pumpkins in the Park! I’ll just do a quickie recap for you all.
Registration: Full disclosure – I do some work helping to promote the Chicago area Fleet Feet stores so I usually get a code to register for their branded races either for free or for a pretty major discount. I actually paid full price for this race because I wanted to get my registration in early because I asked them to assign me the number 666 so I could indulge in my devilish ways. Registration was easy and on-line.
Packet Pick-up: Very easy. It was held at all three Fleet Feet locations and when I went there was no line.
Shirt: A long-sleeved cotton ‘lifestyle’ t-shirt – black with a cute Halloween themed logo on the front and a minimally logoed back – just the FF logo and the Chicago Park District logo. As is the case with most shirts it ran a little small, but more on the fitted side less on the obscenely tight side so it’s ok – I’ll probably wear it to work on Halloween.
Getting there: I was going to take the bus with my friend Becky, but we decided to drive to avoid waiting at cold bus stops. We were pretty early so we didn’t have much trouble finding free parking close to Lincoln Park Zoo.
What I wore: It is a costume race although I’ve never run it in a costume before, but since I had #666 I had to go all out. I bought a devil costume on eBay (think Jon Lovitz as the Devil on SNL) that consisted of a fabric hood with horns, a cape, and a pin-on tail. This was perfect as it allowed me to wear regular running clothes underneath – I wore a pair of old Nike full-length black tights and a black long-sleeved tech-t from a race that I turned inside out to hide the logos. I wore my Adidas Boost shoes which I frankly don’t really like running in, but they are all black so they completed the look. Since it was chilly I wore my Smartwool knitted glove liners. Since I didn’t want to wear any kind of make-up that would sweat away and into my eyes I wore a pair of zany cats-eye sunglasses.
Pre-Race: We had our IDs checked so that we could get our post-race beer without any hassles, walked around and visited with a few friends and then headed to the Farm in the Zoo to stay warm.
The race: They changed the course up a little this year and it was way better. I had run 10 miles in the morning so I knew that I was just going to be treating this as a jog with a friend – I almost ripped off my timing tag but really, who cares – not me! We started at the back and although it was crowded it did open up enough that we could pass people when we needed to. There were some annoying strollers and weaving kids, but it is billed as a family friendly race so that was to be expected. I have to admit that I was hurting from the 10 miles so even if I wanted to bust a move and run fast there was no way it was going to happen. I have got to remember to stretch after long runs – the older I get the more important this seems to be. Running in costume presented a couple of issues. The hood made my head really hot – lucky it was a chilly day or I’d have been a sweaty mess. I had to hold each side of the cape in my hands so that it didn’t strangle me and I would up having to grab my tail and hold it too since it had the unfortunate habit of coming between my legs and looking very much like a penis – plus it was threatening to trip me. But, since it was only a 5K it was no biggie – I figure I can suck it up and do or wear most anything for a half-hour.Post-Race: The line for professional stretching was small so we each got stretched out and picked up our beers (Harvest Ale for me, Green Line for Becky). I didn’t eat any of the food, but it looked like there were packages of cookies, pretzels, and bananas – somewhere there was popcorn being given away too. We didn’t hang around for the Thriller dance-off or the costume contest because we were both pretty cold and I had a pumpkin carving party to get to.