I don’t do write-ups for 5Ks, really. Why bother? 3.1 miles is less than what I do on short or conditioning runs. You get to the site, wait until it starts, usually with some DJ banter and generic hoo-hah dancing, then you’re off, and you’re done before you know it. You grab a banana and a bagel, shmooze with the local color, feel like you’ve done a good deed for whatever charity benefit is involved, go home, shower, and watch cartoons with Humberto.
We all have an Humberto to face…
However, I will do a quick rundown on the Neon Vibe 5K that took place Saturday night, June 29, 2013, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL, benefiting Miami Children’s Hospital. Mostly I’ll be sharing pics and trying to be both pithy and perspicacious.
For those of you too lazy or uninterested in clicking that link up there, Neon Vibe is one of those nighttime PARTY runs, full of black lights, colored corn starch that gets tossed at you (in hot pink, mellow yellow, mean green, and orange… orange) and glows madly in twisted neon amazingsauce, food trucks, beer trucks, all sorts of wondrous shenanigans. Lots of music and dancing and all sorts of fun and frivolity to be had.
I live about 5 minutes from the BB&T Center, so this time there was no big hurrah to get prepped and head out there. Besides, I didn’t even run this race. I joined a race team called Neon Bratz with some of my running buddies from FIT, and we planned to just have a blast. That meant filling up my running bottle with a fifth of Captain Morgan’s and fruit punch, doing some shots in the parking lot, waiting in a registration line that seemed to wrap around the entire venue, SKIPPING the registration line (and that’s all I’m gonna say about that), and meeting up with my buds for some pre-race hootenannying.
The usual pre-race, DJ and dancing was in full force. You know the tunes. “Gangnam Style”. “Cupid Shuffle”. “Harlem Shake”. A whole bunch of other stuff I didn’t recognize. On and on and on. Like being at a freakin’ Bar Mitzvah. But everyone was in good spirits, and the Captain Morgan and punch didn’t hurt either. After a pretty long wait period the sun began to set and we were corralled into the Start Line. I have to admit, by now it was super cool looking under the black lights, the neon, and with the corn starch really glowing nicely.
Finally, amid all the cheering, chanting, drumming, corn starch flying through the air, and all the palpable excitement you could possibly muster in sweltering humidity and near blindness, we were off… and that was that. I had long since finished my cocktail, so in my nice buzzy lilt I walked and chatted with my buds Tina, Denise, Denise, and Marcela. Mostly I was just comic relief. I had to bring my A-Game. I think it was totally broughtened, if I say so myself. I can’t remember exactly what material I came up, but I think I had them in stitches. Maybe.
There were neon stations throughout the race where volunteers would pelt you with more colorful corn starch. They weren’t allowed to throw it in your face, no matter HOW much I begged them to. So I got my race buds to do it for me. I looked like some kind of Pride March Braveheart, which in and of itself would probably give Mel Gibson a coronary. No matter. We were having a blast. Here’s my favorite pic from the walk:
It was a fun time, although the urge to pick up and run was always there. But I enjoyed the people, conversation, and atmosphere. Soon after — I didn’t time the race, so I have no idea how long it took — we crossed the finish line and went to grab some much needed water. The party was still going on in full swing, but I was ready to head home, rinse off, and hit the pub. Bidding everyone a fond adieu, I met up with Boots, walked back to the car, and we made our way back to Hokey Central. I took one last selfie…
…hit the shower (the corn starch washed right off easily), changed, and headed out to the Inn-Field for drinks, dinner, and karaoke. Amid pitchers of Yueng-Ling and a platter of amazing garlic wings, I sang INXS’s “Don’t Change” for the first time, along with standards “Beauty School Dropout” and Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” (they didn’t have “Jailbreak). I *OWNED*. Boots did even better with Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” and Kiss’s “Hard Luck Woman”. A fine capper to a great time.
So overall, would I recommend the Neon Vibe 5K? Sure, why not… if you’re into fun nighttime party runs, this is definitely worth your time. If you’re looking to PR or something, you might want to try something a little less fantastical. I’ll probably do it again, but only for fun, really. Next time I’m packing more cocktails. Maybe some vodka gummy bears? There’s an idea. Anyway, here’s the video: