After my "un-fun fun run" earlier in the year I resolved that fun run redemption was required. I wanted my next group run to be in a totally pressure-free, enjoyable environment...so, when I saw a newsletter advertising the inaugural Melbourne Glow Run, I knew it was meant to be.
This race was exactly what I needed. There were no timing devices, lots of ridiculous glow-in-the-dark paraphernalia and fantastic DJs pumping out music at around half a dozen spots on the 5k course. The atmosphere was absolutely buzzing and, despite the crisp temperature, people kept warm by boogieing by the main stage. The average age of the crowd was slightly younger than a typical group run, where most people seem to be about my age (read: late 20s, early 30s) - I guess the prospect of being in the city late while listening to loud clubbing music appealed to the underage crowd.
It was just as well the run wasn't timed, because there were some issues in the first kilometre, where the trail narrowed (under the Swan St bridge) and created a real bottleneck, slowing everyone to a walk for about 50 metres. It didn't matter though - people weren't at this run to PB - they were there to chase down the party!
I personally felt great throughout the run and, with the exception of the aforementioned spot of walking, managed to jog the entire way at a comfortable pace. In fact, with hindsight, I realise I was so conservative in my efforts that I didn't really get puffed at any stage of the run and could have definitely pushed a bit harder.
The Garmin said we finished in about 35 minutes. I'm pretty stoked with this given a) how comfortable I felt; and b) the fact that we stopped and boogied momentarily at each of the DJ tents on the course. It was also the first time that my beloved has run a 5km event and I'm so very proud of him!
This event has definitely spurred me on to participate in more runs throughout this year. There's something about the buzz of a group run that is definitely motivating and inspiring and each time I find myself in a pack of runners, I can't help but feel blessed - thankful that my body can carry me over distances and thankful that I live somewhere where running is a pleasure and not a means of survival.
Of course, no run is complete without pizza and I'm pleased to report that after completing the event, we left the dancers dancing and headed to our favourite local pizza joint for a good carb-fat fix.
A great night on all fronts!