I’ve taken a week off work and planned to stay home and just paint and do things around my house and of course that didn’t happen. Neither did the Electric Run, a run I was really looking forward to for months.
I’d trained my sister for months for her first 5K and I was more excited about that than anything else. She was ecstatic, saying that she never understood my excitement for running until we arrived at the race site.
We arrived at the site (near the Please Touch Museum) and were charged $15 to park on the lawn, then shuttled about 1/2 mile up to the Belmont Plateau. We arrived around 6 PM and it was just starting to get a bit crowded.
A very kind married couple who were volunteering (thanks so much!!) offered to take pictures of us and we sort of goofed off a bit, which had my sister and her friend laughing hysterically.
We grabbed bottled water from a food truck (there were two and the lines seemed never-ending) and sat down on the hill waiting to start. People were playing frisbee on the lawn while others were getting artsy with latex paint. My sister wanted paint on her arms and legs but was too shy to ask, when this girl said she had all this extra paint and offered it to us. Thanks, girl!!
It’s close to 8:00 PM and they announce that they would be starting soon, therefore we headed down and lined up. We glanced over to our left and saw a man stooped over on a park bench. People thought he was asleep but my sister’s friend who’s a firefighter ran over there. Turns out the man was suffering from heat exhaustion/possible heat stroke and taken out by ambulance. The roads were crammed with over 14,000 runners and cars were trying to get by. A pick-up truck turned towards the runners (not sure whether this is a worker or a volunteer) but it literally came inches from a mom with a stroller.
Apparently an announcement was made that the race had started, although it was very difficult to hear. The DJ was not loud enough, we just saw the lights running up the hill, when suddenly we see them turn right back and announce that they were told it was canceled and to go home because it is unsafe. There was a 60% chance of thunderstorm and while it wasn’t raining at the time, the lightning was pretty bad. Not once were we told it was canceled and we simply just followed the crowd back to the cars.
There were only two shuttle buses and we had no choice but to walk back to the car. The streets (which were closed to general traffic) were filled with runners and these two shuttle buses literally threw themselves at the crowd. We were all walking through a pitch black Fairmount Park when it started to rain heavily. People were lost trying to find their car, as my sister and I were since it was so dark out. 1.5 hours later, holding the panic button on the car key, drenched from head to toe from the heavy downpour, we finally find my car. By that time, I’d already gone into full-blown panic mode. Walking in the grass, through the park, under trees during a thunderstorm and someone almost walked into a pond (again, pitch black) and not a single sight of a race coordinator/worker/volunteer that could direct us in the right path.
This is all you could see.
Once in the car, it took us an hour to get out of the park and into the road. I’m not upset that this run was canceled as it was done for our safety, but upset that there was not a plan in place. No announcement that it was canceled, no one to help us, nothing. I heard that they are thinking about rescheduling for sometime in October and not issuing refunds. I’m on the fence about whether or not I want to do this again. Disappointed that I looked forward to this race so much and to have it go down like this. Not cool at ALL.
5 weeks until I leave for California for the DIsneyland Half Marathon. Now that, I’m looking forward to 🙂