Hallowe’en, and I’m a huge fan of dressing up! So as Saturday was actually 31st October, I was determined to go to a parkrun that was embracing the season.
But which one?
My home base at Wallace Park had been hosting firework celebrations for the previous 2 nights, and I was a bit concerned that there would be a few obstacles around on the Saturday morning. Also, I didn’t see any specific fancy dress requests, so I thought I’d re-visit one of the other nearby events.
Yeah yeah, those who know me (Jemima, if you’re reading!) will know how much I love a good spreadsheet, so I listed the 6 or so nearby runs which had declared they were a costume-friendly zone, had a look at what my PB currently was there, how many runners they had last week, and from memory, did they have an indoor area. This was important because I wanted to bring along Cracker, my lucky parkrun mascot, in his friendly ghost costume, and he’d be much happier away from the wind and rain.
Armagh was tempting, promising apple pies, and a charity collection. Victoria was calling, but they have a big crowd, and are still having upgrade-carpark problems, and I’d been there recently. Valley was first to announce their intentions, and I was tempted, but didn’t think I could match the 25 minute time I’d managed there last time. Although, part of me was reasoning that in costume, I wasn’t going to PB anyway! Larne is a bit far away, and I’m planning to go next month for their birthday. So that left Queens – they have a lovely indoor area, do good buns, the crowd is young and enthusiastic…..and there might be pwizes! (Ok I specifically arsked this question. No shame. )
Costume wise, I had an idea what I wanted. I’d really enjoyed the kids movie “Book of Life”, which was visually stylistically very influenced by the Mexican Dios de la Muertos (Day of the dead) celebrations. I whooped when Tesco had a suitable dress and head-veil, and I started searching for a skeleton costume for Minnie. Amazon had them for £25, but I called into Lisburn’s Diva Dogs salon, and they had a perfect simple slip on for £12. Minnie is fairly used to wearing a T shirt – she has an Addidog one I got her at last year’s Christmas market, which does keep the muck level down! I did snip up the seams of the back legs, and add a bit of elastic instead, to make it a bit less constricting. And we did a trial run on the Wednesday ( to much amused looks from passing drivers. Good job it wasn’t at night – the costume is glow-in-the-dark.)
Costumes sorted, it was onto make-up. I fancied doing the sugar-skull style look which would be in keeping, and used Pinterest to get some inspiration for a simple version.
I found face paints in Lidl, and went to Boots armed with some money-off vouchers, which I used to acquire black liquid eyeliner, and industrial strength eye make-up remover.
The Queens crowd were excellent, lots of age ranges, and speed ranges, and many many brilliant costumes.
I really enjoyed my run! My veil wasn’t the easiest thing to run in as it kept slipping off, and I’d also been feeding Minnie biscuits to keep her quiet during the brief, so at one point I was running with a veil in one hand, and half a dog-biscuit in the other.
Cracker the friendly parkrun ghost had been left in charge of the post-run goodies, and what a marvellous selection there was!
Strangely Appropriate Song on Shuffle:
Ah, how I grinned when “Calling All the Heroes” came on – the costumes were brilliant, and included many super heroes ( and villains).
I’d altered Minnie’s costume to allow for more freedom of movement, and my own costume was pretty comfortable. I was wearing a black sport top underneath, which made the outfit safe-for-work, but also looked quite unobtrusive. I did think the lime green phone holder wouldn’t blend in, so I kept my phone and other bits and bobs in a black waist belt pouch.
My main difficulties were – not smiling, as it would spoil the look (you don’t know how hard this was for me!), not getting facepaint smears on my Garmin, and not wiping the sweat off my face.
Notwithstanding the props, I knew I was hitting a good pace, probably sub-25. At the 3km marker I was 14 and a bit, and at the 4km corner I was 19 something. I was trying to remember what my previous best time here was, in the 26s?
I didn’t feel too hemmed in, though there was a fair bit of manoeuvring and overtaking going on.
The finish stretch is all uphill, and I replaced my veil for any finish photos. Crossed the line in 25.32, which was a good bit off my previous time here. Yay!
And another thing….
I got chatting to lost of different people, and stayed to cheer on the final runners across the finish line before leaving. I did hear later, via Facebook, that we were the costume prize winners, but we’d gone! So they gave it to the 118 guys (who looked fab!) No matter, I’m happy to take the glory, if not the chocolates. There was a super photographer taking shots during the run, so maybe one of those will appear on the parkrun Uk Facebook showcase, eh?