"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Electric Run DC

Here it is! The Electric Run DC is what Charles and I had been training for all this time. I found it by accident on one of those Facebook commercials back at the beginning of the summer, requested the days off from work, and signed us up! Not that you need that much time to train for a 5k, but it was my way to motivate Charles to start exercising. He loves electronic music and light shows, so this was one really cool event for him to look forward to. And me too, of course - I also like electronic music and light shows.

The event was being held at National Harbor, MD. We drove down at the very start of rush hour, and it still took us an hour and a half to get there: to get to National Harbor, we had to drive through DC, Alexandria (VA), and wind back into Southern MD. We picked up our race packets at the race start and, since we had a good 2 hours before the race actually began at 8:00 pm, we walked around, exploring. National Harbor is beautiful.

First view of National Harbor, with the sun shining off of the Potomac.
I never imagined I'd fall so in love with the great river. With views like this, we have to remind ourselves that it is a river, not an ocean bay.

Other Electric Run participants. National Harbor felt like downtown Miami on Ultra weekend...

Photo not enhanced. Some seriously gorgeous views!

A Peeps store!!! I texted this photo to my brother. It's his favorite candy. Check out the Peepmobile!

My man

This was one hell of an awesome sculpture. There were knees and a foot, too. From a distance, all you saw was that huge bronze hand, which seemed to be sticking up out of the water. On closer inspection, you discovered there was an actual beach, with this giant struggling to come up out of the sand. 

It was such a gorgeous day for this race. Temps never got higher than 75 during the day. By night fall it was in the 60's.

There were flags from all of the States. We were happily surprised to see our little island's flag up there, too.
That's the Puertorrican flag on the far right.

More Electric Run participants. :)
A LOT of people had arrived early.

We strolled into the spectacular Gaylord hotel.
Seriously: how much do they spend on electricity to keep this area air-conditioned in the summer, and warm in the winter?  The plants in the interior garden are real.
I've spent a lot of time in the Orlando one: they host the North American Veterinary Conference in January every year. It is my fave veterinary conference. The layout is similar to the National Harbor one, so I kind of gave Charles a tour.

On our way to the start at 7:45 pm with more Electric runners.

Start line. They were playing music at this point and getting the crowd amped.

They were having some issues with the lights on the course, so the race started late. We spent a lot of time here. 

At this point they had finally started letting runners on the course. We were part of the 3rd group to start.
 After waiting at a standstill for 45 minutes, Charles took off at a sprint when we were finally released! He was that excited.

One of the "lands": a giant illuminated tunnel. This race was definitely not about making time: you would totally miss out on these if you ran through these.

I loved the umbrella land. They really looked like they were floating. People were stopping here to take pictures..

...so we did too!
This really was my favorite part of the course. I stopped and took a quick series of photos. This was a wooded section where they had strung umbrellas from the trees and illuminated them from below. The lights changed color from green to blue to purple and back again. The whole thing was very Alice in Wonderland.

Another one of the lands. There was water on both sides of this tunnel, with a chilly breeze blowing off the bay.

So there was no way to describe this section without a video. 

Of course we stopped and took pics too. :)
During the race, I was sorry to have worn two layers. I got hot! But afterwards, I was glad for it: the constant breeze blowing off of the water at night made it feel at least 10 degrees colder!

Everyone was offering to take photos of everyone, so we took advantage of the opportunity and then returned the favor. :)

Another land. Loved the paper lamps! But my fave is still the umbrellas.

They really did a great job with these stages. Charles said it must've been one heck of a job to get these set up to look this good.

Water station at the end of the race. Isn't that cool?

We completed our first run together!

Live DJ on stage after the finish line.

Despite walking like half the course and stopping to take all of these photos, we did the 3.2 miles in 45 minutes, which was pretty good, considering! (Pitiful compared to my PR of 1 hr 5 min time for my last 10K in Puerto Rico, but whatever; this was a fun race.) When we ran, we ran, which ended up happening mostly in the dark silent areas inbetween "lands" in an attempt to reach the next area as soon as possible. Charles did absolutely fantastic: during the last month, he had finally started going out and running on his own (which he refused to do in the beginning. With our opposite schedules, it meant he was often only running once or twice a week because that's all we could do together.) He finished this race with energy to spare. We stayed at the afterparty for about half an hour so Charles could dance. I was pooped by then: I had woken up early and been at the barn all day, and was starving by this point. While running the course, we realized we had walked at least two thirds of it while exploring the area prior to starting! Haha... Charles got  the dancing out of his system and we went to find a place to eat.

We chose a little Italian restaurant named Fiorella. It was next to the course and already full of Electric runners in their neon raver-type garb. We ordered a margherita pizza (it was really good - thin crust, baked in an oven fire, and the perfect size for two people) and Charles was grinning like a little kid when he saw they had Blue Moon on draft. It's his favorite beer. We watched the rest of the runners go by outside while munching away.

Celebratory Blue Moons afterward
We had a great time! Electric Runs are pricier than your average 5k, but if you enjoy running and are into electronic music, it is totally worth doing. They hold them all over the country. If you're interested, you can go to this link to see if there's one near you. :)


  1. Wow, what a fun Fun Run!!! I wish they would have something like that here. So glad you guys had fun :)

    1. Thanks! It was great! We're hoping to do more fun runs like this in the future. :) I hope you can find something like this in your area! Cosmic Run is a similar event.