I will start by saying this was my first “color” run of any kind, in fact the only other 5k I have ever done was the Royal Family 5k during Princess Half weekend in 2012, so I didn’t exactly know what to expect. After looking up some blog posts on other neon night runs I started to get a little worried. I had seen several reports of pre-race drinking, and rowdy rave-like environments!! Thankfully this race was not like that.
My mom, Officer P, Artsy Girl and me got to the venue around 6:30, about an hour and a half before the scheduled start of the race. There wasn’t a whole bunch going on in the pre-race area but we did wander around and take our “before” pictures with the Neon Splash Dash backdrop. They had a promo where you could post your before and after pics on a social media venue and tag them for a chance to win some “swag”, so we figured why not??
After taking our pics we went over to the Activate booth to get a free bottle of Activate water. If you haven’t heard of Activate water, which I hadn’t before this, it is a vitamin water where the vitamins are stored in the cap and only “activate” with the water when you twist the cap to release them. Their claim is that the potency of other vitamin water products is compromised by sitting on the shelf. I had a choice between lemon-lime and grapefruit and chose the lemon-lime. Mine was really cold and tasted fine. It was a bit gritty toward the end, but overall not bad. Artsy girl had gotten blueberry-pomegranate and hers was pretty good. My mom had the same one as me, but hers wasn’t as cold and didn’t taste so good.
After wandering around for a bit taking pics it was finally time to line up at the start line. Unfortunately, this line was in soft dirt which made it very dusty every time we moved up in the line, but I will say they did a real good job and letting each wave go so it wasn’t too congested. It wasn’t quite dark when we started, but it was dark by the time we got to the first color station. The first color was green, and honestly I think it was the one I was hit with the most. It surprised me a bit that it was warm. I was expecting it to be cold, but now that I think about it, it was probably sitting out in the heat all day in the buckets, and I appreciated that.
The first 2 colors were pretty close together and then it seemed like a long time until we got to the third color. Around this time it was getting pretty dark and I started getting a little nervous because the pavement wasn’t in the best shape and it was too dark to see the groves and potholes in it. There was one water station at the halfway point and it was right around here that people started cutting across the course to the third color station. That annoyed me a bit but I decided it was a fun run so I wasn’t going to let it bother me.
Overall I would say it was a very fun race! I loved looking back and seeing a line of blinking and flashing lights glowing behind me. There were also a lot of kids there!! I know it said it was family friendly, but I was a little worried it wouldn’t be. We didn’t spend a lot of time at the post race party since we didn’t eat before the race, but it was mainly only people standing around dancing and taking pics under the black lights.