Electric Run Cleveland- a party where there was running, sort of.

28 06 2014

Back in late fall last year, the BFF and I had discussed attempting to do a 5K each month together. We really have to work at it as the starts have to align perfectly for it to happen. Two working moms, nontraditional schedules in both houses? It’s a logistical nightmare.  We started with a Trick or Treat run in October, a Turkey Trot in November, December and January were a bust, February was an insanely snowy and cold Frosty 5K in Medina, then she broke her foot so we took a hiatus for February and March. April was our Alma Mater Glow run with the boys. In May I had the  Cleveland Marathon 10K and Medina half and we just couldn’t get it together between busy schedules.


But back in like, November, maybe? We registered for the Electric Run Cleveland in June. Friday Night? Warmer weather? Music and cheezy glowy stuff? We were in. It’s a very hyped up, over advertised run. But hey, it looked like fun, and we are known for being two crazy bitches looking for a good time (not that way, get your head out of the gutter!).  A few weeks before the race a friend asked if I knew anyone to take her registration as she had a conflict.  I found my Nightowl Niece to take her slot. It would be her first race ever, she’s a treadmill runner, with occasional solo neighborhood runs. She sleeps as late as she possibly can and hence is not awake when 5K races are run.  This was going to be jump in the deep end kind of run for her. I was excited to have two fun people to hang with.


We left with plenty of time to hang before the race, or so we thought. One would assume that 90 minutes would be plenty of time to drive the 20 miles to the venue. One would be wrong. So, so wrong.  We did awesome getting to the exit ramp, then spent nearly 30 minutes on the actual ramp. The mile or so to the venue, off the ramp? Another 40 minutes, or so. We did a fair amount of people watching during our lovely traffic debacle. Discussion ensued about how just a few traffic officers could have made a world of a difference, why so many people were wearing tutu’s and how this was basically just about what I had expected based on a friends review from last year in a different city.  We finally parked off site and walked the rest of the way. So much for my VIP, guaranteed start in the first 4 waves. The best part of this is that after raining for 8 hours solid, it finally stopped while we were on the ramp.


We followed the “start” banners to a corral of a sea of people,  the waves were about 100-200 people start at a time, every 5 or so minutes. They threw glow sticks out while we waited, there was music blaring, they tried to pump up the energy. They encouraged walkers to stay to the right and let runners take the left side of the course. People had been quite creative with their attire. My favorite of the night was a pair of ladies with skirts made entirely of duct tape and glow sticks, almost like a hula skirt. They were great! We also saw the husband of the friend who Nightowl Niece was replacing. So crazy that we saw him, without a concerted effort to connect.


Sea of starters

Sea of starters

As I mentioned before, it rained for 8 hours straight prior to the start time, so mud was inevitable. My goal was to keep it below the knees, and was later revised to finish with both shoes actually still on my feet.  We made a concerted effort to not get separated, which was amazingly successful, possibly in part to my ridiculous dayglow green, fishnet fingerless elbow length gloves. I’d throw my arms up if we got separated and bring us all back together. Weaving in and out of walkers, often 4-5 abreast, on the left- there were mud puddles on the right (and on the left as well, but I digress) we made our way through the course. It zig zagged a bit, and we did finally hit a paved section. The “electric” parts of the run were awesome. Lit up glow arches in multiple colors, floating umbrellas,  blow up lit ice cream cones and then a few barns with floating jelly fish and lots of music. And mud. Lots and lots of mud.


Floating jellyfish

Floating jellyfish

We would be able to keep a decent, not fast pace for a good 500 or so feet, then come upon another pack of walkers, likely from each previous wave. It definitely increased the challenge of staying upright. BFF was rocking the huge mounds of mud on her shoes, showing off her 5am workouts with Jillian Michaels have her ready to kick some serious butt with her strength.  Seeing the string of participants ahead and behind us, lit up in various manners was pretty damn cool. The humidity was high, but it was high sixties, so tolerable. One water stop at about half way was staffed very well, and there were many volunteers along the course. Some were very in to it, dancing and swinging around glow stuff, some completely oblivious to the fact that there was an event happening. Overall the volunteers were attentive, but there is no controlling crowds that size.


This was not a timed run, which is good because it would have been abysmal. The after party was rocking by the time we crossed the finish line, we attempted to grab a drink before heading over, but the prices were quite steep so we skipped it. Having parked a ways away it wasn’t reasonable to go back to the car and come back with more funds.  We got to the front of the after party stage and scored cool foam glow wands quickly which were super fun. We then hooked up with a high school classmate for a bit. We headed home after sampling some Rockstar (hind sight: Rockstar at 11pm? not such a stellar idea!). Traffic was moderately better than our arrival, they had a few of Berea’s finest assisting by now.


After party, complete with Cheezy DJ and SoCo girls. And more glowy stuff.

After party, complete with Cheezy DJ and SoCo girls. And more glowy stuff.



Overall there were some real fails on the part of the race organizers. A few people directing traffic at the exit ramps and the main intersection between the venue and the highway would have likely improved the satisfaction of the everyone involved. I felt really bad for anyone who happened to chose to eat at the Olive Garden that evening, their dinner likely took double the normal time with the traffic. Better explanation of the start times/procedures in the race information emailed the days prior to race would also have been helpful. I had registered VIP, but no email stating my items had been shipped came. I expected a “your packet is on the way” email instead of a generic “the race is a week away, if you registered VIP you might get your packet, if not come to pick up on Thursday night.”

Overall we had fun, but I had very low expectations due to a friends’ previous report. Nightowl Niece seemed to enjoy herself, and even said she would do another night run with us if we found one.  The first 3 pictures are courtesy of her Iphone. I really enjoyed the time with her before she heads off to college soon, as well as with BFF (always a given).  It seemed as though many were treating it as girls night out or something along those lines, there were people drinking on the race course even. I like to keep my running and drinking separate, and generally in that order as well, so that hadn’t even really crossed my mind.  I can’t say that I won’t do it again should it return to Cleveland in 2015, but I will go at it with a different mindset, likely that of a 20 something college co-ed, with a designated driver, of course.




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