The Electric Run

Spring is here…which means I may actually wear shorts soon…

which means it’s time to try to shed all those pounds that seem to stick on my thighs after every long winter. (sigh)

So, I bought running shoes (“trainers” in UK speak) and hit the pavement.  Honestly, I thought I was in half-way decent shape, but I quickly learned that I was completely dillusional!  My first several runs lasted a measly two miles and left me nearly crippled afterwards.  I have slowly and painfully worked up to three miles and am proud to say that I can now walk the next day without feeling like I am dragging 50 lb weights on both legs every time I take a step!

On the other side of the Pond, Katie has been zealously participating in Girls Track and just completed a half marathon a few weeks ago.  She flew through the 13 miles course and  finished second in her age group, proudly wearing a cheeky Tshirt that read: “Your pace or mine”.

Unlike Katie, Jackie is never one to exert unnecessary energy.  Yet, she enthusiastically signed up for the 5K Electric Run in London last weekend.

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I happily helped her fill out all the forms, thrilled that she was showing both initiative and a desire to exercise. I decided to go for it too, and while I was at it, I signed up Jeff as well.  Why not?

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Well it turns out there are several reasons Why Not.  What I failed to note was that the run took place at Wembley park in the dark on a Saturday night.  Jeff was not too thrilled when we canceled dinner plans with friends to go to the run.  But the former track star in him slowly emerged, and he got psyched for a race.

Which brings me to the second reason Why Not:  This is not actually a race.  Jeff got a bit concerned when he noticed the least fit looking people ever lining up for the event.  Some people did not bother to wear trainers.  Most were dressed something like this:

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Apparently people take the electric theme quite literally.  Over 15,000 people swarmed Wembley and packed in like technicolor sardines behind the starting line.  There was no shot gun to announce the start of the “race” but rather a loud set of concert-worthy speakers blaring out the latest hit tunes as a man dressed in neon threw glow sticks into the jam-packed crowd. We did “the human wave” several times while waiting for our turn to enter into the course.

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Which brings me to another reason Why Not.  There was no way to actually run in this kind of crowd through the narrow passages up and down Wembley stadium.  Instead, we jogged on the outer edges of the course, through the black light tunnel that made every neon outfit glow supernaturally, under the day-glo lanterns suspended in trees and shrouded in the mist of a fog machine, and past the industrial speakers pounding out techno-bass thumping that drowned the sound of feet stomping.

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And this brings me to our last reason Why Not.  As we looked around, we realized that we were the oldest people by far in the crowd of teenagers, twenty-somethings, and young hipsters in their thirties.  According to Jackie, the whole point of the experience was to get to the finish line and hear the DJ spin his tunes.  One of her friends even got dragged on to the stage.  Jackie was content to ride on the shoulders of her pal with the Wembley arch illuminated behind her.

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Despite all the reasons why NOT to participate in the Electric Run, I had a blast!  Crowds, music, neon… I loved it all.  Even Jeff ultimately got into the spirit.

IMG_2967If the Electric Run ever comes to your town, I say: 

Just Do It!!

 

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