Saturday, May 23, 2015

Firefly run 5k Race Recap

Firefly run 5k
Free photo from Photo Booth!
So, why did I decide to do the Firefly run? Running at night is usually not my thing. I like to run in the early AM before work, and on the few many occasions I missed my morning run I usually say I will make it up after work but never do. Since I don’t have time to drive somewhere nice to complete my AM runs, I usually end up doing the same loop around my neighborhood every morning, which is getting boring.

Last Friday, I came across the Firefly Run 5k Groupon. $55 for 2 entries to the run in Rahway at 7:30, which is the neighboring town to where Brian and I grew up.  Entry was to include 2 LED wrist bands, a T shirt, and a “mystery gift”, plus the bonus of a change of scenery without having to worry about traffic… It sounded like a no brainer, and it would force me to get in a PM run where I otherwise likely wouldn’t have made the after work effort.

The run of course is a fun run and many people’s first 5k, so timing would have been an extra $5. Brian and I wanted to just have fun with it and we were treating it as a training run so we didn’t get timing chips and instead used map my run.

The firefly run is a national race series, but it appears the town of Rahway was in charge here 
as they were the ones bringing most of the updates via Facebook and the race definitely had a local feel to it. 

Packet Pickup - This was at the Rahway Rec center that day from 10am to 7pm. Being that the race was on a Thursday, Brian and I arrived at 6:30 thinking most people would be doing the same. Well we were wrong! They ran out of T-shirts, saying they would have them available for pick up this coming Tuesday. Worse than that, they ran out of race bibs! This I really couldn’t understand as they just said “Firefly run” on them and could have been reused at the next event. We got generic road ID bibs, which I was bummed about because we like to save our bibs as souvenirs. 

Swag - The best part of packet pickup was these 2 LED “wristbands” (I used them on my calfs as they were rather large), which had “Firefly run” on them. They even lit up and blinked!
They were also selling some glow kits and sunglasses at packet pickup for a few dollars each.
Brian and I picked up some glow sticks at Party City beforehand for $2, and really that was more than enough for this event. We also received a free glow necklace at the festival, which was nice. 

Firefly run 5k glow sticks
The LED wristbands were a nice touch. Glow sticks only $1 per pack at Party City!
Festival - It consisted of a hot dog cart, a DJ and stage, and a few vendors. They also had a photo booth, where you could e-mail or share a picture of yourself for free, which was a nice touch. (see photo at beginning of post)

Organization - The start of the race was a bit disorganized as the start and finish were in the same place and no one really knew where to line up or which direction we were going to go. We ended up starting around 7:40, ten minutes after the after the advertised start time. We lined up towards the front as it seemed like many people were planning on walking this event.

Firefly run 5k
Mid Course
Course - Once we started the course was well marked and winded through the town of Rahway. It was a nice tour through the town and they had encouraging words painted on the ground every half mile or so. There were 3 water stations plus one after the finish, which is more than I have ever seen at a 5k. We had thought there would be some glow decorations and music along the course, but other than a few spectators decorating their houses there wasn’t much going on.

Firefly run 5k
Finish Line Photo
Here’s a very short Gopro of the race:

Map my run had us at 3:24 miles at a 9:33 pace, and after watching the video it doesn’t look like we messed up the tangents that badly, so either the app was wrong or the course was long. 

firefly run 5k rahway course
Course and splits
Race Photos - There were plenty of photographers on course. I believe the race photos are free, but I will update once they become available.

Firefly run 5k
After race photo (taken with iPhone)

Medal - They gave out finisher medals which was cool since so many of the runners were participating in their first 5k and this was likely an accomplishment for them. They were a little hard to find, being on a table behind the photo booth and not right at the finish.

Firefly run 5k medal
The 2 sided medal. Not bad for a 5k!
There was a glow afterparty starting at the finish but we were hungry so we left to go eat dinner. I would recommend this race to anyone local who just wants to have a fun run at night or who is running their first 5k. I wouldn’t travel far for this event.

For me personally, it was a good time but I probably wouldn’t do this every year.

Have you ever done a night time glow run? What did you think of it?

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