This past weekend I went back to the 518 to run a 5k with the family.
My mother, a few of my cousins, and I have run The Great Pumpkin Challenge in Saratoga Performing Arts Center State Parkfor the past three years. Usually we do the 10k, but, quite frankly, we were all feeling a little tired, so we decided to do the 5k. My mother, who is the ringleader of pretty much every running adventure (including next week's, which will be in Salem, MA), decided that we NEEDED to wear tutus. There was some debate and discussion over exactly what theme we would go with. Eventually, it was settled when my mother decided that she wanted to be Cruella de Vil. Naturally, she needed some puppies!
I freely admit that I wear makeup to just about every race. Whatevs, yo, we take a lot of pictures (and often make the papers with our ridiculous outfits!).
Enter me, 3 of my cousins, and a family friend. I will admit, my mother made my tutu. Her and my aunt worked tirelessly to make tutus and cut out dots, and I think they came out wonderfully. I know she has some kind of tutu extravaganza planned for Disney, too. Personally, I think they should go into business!
Here's my breakdown of the race:
This years Saratoga Bridges Great Pumpkin Challenge in Saratoga Spa State Park was a different course than in the past...and it was horrible. Much of the course was random paths on the gravel and grass, dodging large puddles. The paths were not marked so there were people all over the place, although they did have volunteers at corners. Unlike the past, the course was not flat. There were several hills, notable one large downhill and one very steep (probably around 50 degrees) gravel and dirt hill in the last .5 mile or so of the race. I admit, I walked. I still finished in under 30 minutes, so I refuse to feel shame.
None of my action shots came out, but this one was pretty awesome. Better run, little puppy, Cruella is gonna get you!
Apparently these changes, which were made in the last couple weeks preceding the race, were made because the size of the race has dramatically increased. I'm not sure if they will cap the race or keep this course. Since it is a charity race, I doubt they will cap it. If they keep this year's course then we will likely run a different race next year.
Aside from the course, this is a great race. There are indoor bathrooms and port-a-potties, but the number was the same as last years, even though there were significantly more runners. I can't testify to their state, since for the first time EVER I did not go to the bathroom before the race (I am just realizing this now, epic!). The food spread was awesome, as always.We're not talking the average bagels and bananas, people. Nope, there's homemade apple bread, pumpkin pie, oatmeal cookies, muffins galore, brownies, etc. Delicious. Parking might be difficult if you don't know where you're going, but since there were so many people, it seemed to be a free for all: people were parked all over on the grass, which I've never seen before for any event at SPAC. There were not many costumes this year, but whatever, we do what we want.
In regards to the course in past years - the 5k has been an easy, flat run. The 10k had the same first 5k, but the second half was ridiculously hilly and definitely a challenge.
We were lucky in the weather held for us, especially since it rained out our later plans - a Haunted Hayride. However, Saturday night, after the race, we ended up having a great time going to a Halloween movie marathon at the Drive Ins. It was raining, but we lifted up the back end of a SUV and all cuddled in under blankets and watched the movies. It was pretty perfect, if not the start of a horror movie of our own:
It's a miracle we survived ;)