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