Monster Dash 5K Race Review


When I signed up for the Monster Dash, it was really on a whim.  I honestly hadn’t heard many positive things about Team Ortho’s event management skills or the Chicago Monster Dash.   But the jacket was cool. Reflective skulls on one sleeve, and a reflective Monster Dash Finisher logo on the back.  Here is Amy C  below modeling hers with her son Quinn, and Mr. Michael.  Yes, Michael photo bombed their adorable photo!  He just couldn’t imagine anyone would want their photo taken without his presence.

Monster Dash_2012_Michael PhotoBomber

   Kids Hoodie:

    Monster Dash_2012_Kids Hoodie

Once I was signed up and not necessarily expecting a great race, I figured we better make our own fun and dress up.  Well what fun is it to dress up solo when you can get a group of  F’N Runners to do the same?  So we had 18 Brides of Frankenstein (photo below on the left) and lots of others who participated by wearing a costume.  F’N Running Club photo below on the right. 

Monster Dash_2012_Brides of Frankenstein

 Monster Dash_2012_group

Run with Jess from Peoria even caught wind of our plan and decided to join us!  Jess & I below (her photo, which I stole):

Monster Dash_2012_Jess & Me

As for the race, it was everything I expected and more.  Yes, the race was crowded at the start, on the Grant Park broken and cracked sidewalks, and on the lake front path.  Yes, the run/walkers refused to line up in the proper pace group.  Yes, people were handing out candy and I was constantly tripping over candy or someone trying to grab candy. Yes, Aby beat me again.  Yes, it was disorganized and lacked direction at some very key points, like near the finish line where the front running 5K runners (like Aby) were stumbling up onto the back of the 5K field and nobody was there to give proper direction.  However, it was very festive and the atmosphere was charged with energy & excitement.   We also had a ton of F’N support came out to hold our bags, cheer for us and take photos.  Here are Aby and I (left below) about a half mile into the race.  I tried to pass her about 30 seconds prior to this photo and she kicked it into overdrive and left me in the dust.  And you can see that she is still floating while running UP THE HILL into the finish! 

Monster Dash_2012_Aby &Me beginning   Monster Dash_2012_Aby finish

I’m looking a little crazed happy in my on course photo (photo credit to Chicago Monster), and you can definitely see that I’m NOT floating up the hill to the finish but totally representing the underpronated foot strike which I have been trying to correct.

Monster Dash_2012_Me big    Monster Dash_2012_Me finish

All in all, I basically decided that the fun of the event outweighed the poor management, the fact that they didn’t have half of our sizes in the guaranteed SWAG, the fact that this type of event draws non-runners who don’t respect the fact that its important to line up by pace newbies who don’t race much, or the fact that the 5K race was considered a “fun run” and wasn’t chip timed.   The day spent with my friends, my kids and my F’N Runners made it another glorious race day in the CHI.  And it was a glorious day to race.

I even enjoyed hanging out for a few minutes listening to the band at the post-race party in Grant Park.  Plus, those medals that I normally don’t pay much attention too……well, these are pretty cool.

Monster Dash_2012_Michael & Aby medals Monster Dash_2012_Medal & Bib

If time and scheduling permits, I would run the Monster Dash again in the future.   The venue was great for this event.  If everyone lined up properly by pace at the start, I think it would take off much smoother and the course wouldn’t initially seem so narrow and crowded because it did thin out once you ran away from the idiots. I also have hopes they will get a little bit more serious about the 5K portion of the event and decide to throw us a chip in the future.  I need to run this distance when the family is in tow and although I always “run for fun”, it is a serious distance to me and I’d like to knowhow fast Aby ran it to get a little respect.  I also hope they work things out a little better in the SWAG department and get people the proper sizes.  I know Team Ortho is taking on a lot right now and growing fast so I’ll give them some slack but they’ve gotta get it together if they want the want to continue to grow and be successful in the CHI.   Good start but needs work.

So what’s your 2012 Halloween running costume?

**  Happy Running & Racing! ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

9 thoughts on “Monster Dash 5K Race Review

  1. I am doing the one in Atlanta this weekend as my first 5k. I partially chose it because it was more of a fun atmosphere which can hide my slowness. I figured it would be a fun way to get my first 5k done. I was a little bummed when I realized it was not chip timed, but oh well, save official time for the next race. Thanks for the write up.

  2. I am so bummed the 5k was a bust for you! The peeps in the half didn’t seem too bad, though the course was very crowded at the beginning and during a few stretches. At least you guys had fun and looked CUTE. Aby looks like an Olympian in that photo, talk about a stride!

  3. Cool report and once again ya making racing fun! Many races are disorganized and all kinds of S…early on…but looks like this one definitely makes up with the swag, the jacket, bling and other goodies. The Brides of Frankenstein….like that theme! Way to go F’N Runners!

    And lastly…this coach notices those pics of Abby…if she kicked it in earlier on when you passed her…then those pics she is definitely in acceleration and fast-run mode. I can tell by the leg extension, back-leg kick and how high both fee off the ground. You will never finish ahead of her unless you can achieve that kind of gait and cadence. But…I don’t expect you too and just be happy ya got a kid that fast! One thing…I notice in the one pic…one arm crossed fairly far over to other side of body….not good…arms need to be moving fully forward…the x-ing arm suggest rotation at the core and that wastes energy and works against forward momentum. Tell her I recommend working on those arms pumping totally forward and she will finish even farther ahead of you! You’re not worried bout that…TTF…now are you? LOL

  4. I am signed up for the Monster Dash half in Minneapolis this weekend. I have only heard good things about Team Ortho’s events, but the few people I have talked to did longer distance options. I hope I’m able to get the right sized SWAG! Supporting my girlfriend in her first half and the SWAG are the main reasons I am even showing up to run in the cold!

  5. What a schweet medal! My bff in NYC runs 5Ks and we keep trying to find her one with a medal!

    I am happy you were still able to have fun despite all the messups by Team O. I met Jess the day before – she is such a sweetie! So cool that she dressed up too!

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