Friday, November 2, 2012

Zombies + Darkness = Fun

When I first saw that Coastal Trail Runs was putting on a Half Marathon on a Wednesday night, I was a bit more excited than you would think. I'm not a night person and knew I would be finishing at about the time I normally head to bed. All this after being at work all day.

But I've done a night race in this area before (Palo Alto Moonlight Run) and remembered it as being fun. And since Zombie Runner was involved, there would be medals (and as it turned out, Zombie Runner hats!).

So I signed up.

There were quite a few costumes - many that looked highly inappropriate for a trail race.  Some that were burned into my poor brain forever.
Oh, and it was on Halloween.

Yes, that's someone in a Dodgers uniform wisely hanging close to a nun. On the same day as the Giants World Series parade. Ha ha ha ha.
It was just starting to get dark at about the time the race started. There was also a rain storm threatening the event, but forecasters (who weirdly turned out to be right) said the rain would hold off until the race was over. If only they knew how slow I was.

I loved that these two stood in the dusk with this sign at about the 2.3 mile point.

This was the first aid station. It's really starting to get dark now.

The course was marked with light sticks on each of the trail ribbons, which made following the course no problem. The course was also an out-and-back which meant it should look at least a bit familiar on your return.

The trail was fairly smooth, so finding good footing in the dark was not that hard. Many runners didn't have headlamps or flashlights, and seemed to be doing fine. There was a nearly full moon, and even with the clouds, it provided enough light to be helpful. (I used a headlamp since I figured otherwise I would stumble into the one pothole on the entire course.)

The Half Marathon turnaround, at a bit over 7 miles. Yes, this meant the course was an ultra Half Marathon.
I took some pictures on the way out to the turnaround, but quickly realized that they were not going to come out well. So I ended up taking no pictures from the turnaround back to the finish.

A cool thing was that I caught up with the Trekie at the turnaround and we stayed together all the way back to the finish.

Compared to the darkness of the trail, the finish line looked like Las Vegas.
The coolest bit of the race was about a mile from the finish - the Trekie and I managed to pass the Dodger and the nun. I was pretty tired, so I restrained myself from taunting or tripping the Dodger (the nun made me a bit nervous too - anyone that can run a Half Marathon with all that clothing on is someone to be reckoned with).

And that's about it. The race was a blast! The costumes were awesome. The weather was perfect - there were a few sprinkles over the last couple of miles, but nothing to worry about.

And I'm pretty sure the zombies went home hungry.

That's it - move along…

PS: You can see more of my pictures here.


mary ann said...

Love the Dodger uniform! Weren't you afraid of tripping in the dark? I have enough trouble on sidewalks...
but good for you!

notthatlucas said...

Wait - "Love the Dodger uniform???" Are you channeling The Great Plotnik? The headlamp helped me a lot, although the course was remarkably smooth for being mostly trails.

Beth said... that a pink Tony?? Who knew he had such great legs??