Monster Dash Minnesota

Halloween is my favorite holiday. It should be internationally recognized, in my opinion. I don't think I can really pin point why it's my favorite holiday, though. I like dressing up, I like haunted houses, scary movies, but I don't like candy. I like cider, but that is really a fall drink not just for Halloween.When you couple the Halloween theme with running, you have me sold. The Monster Dash, which is put on by Team Ortho has three course lengths, 5k, 10 mile, and half marathon. This was my first year participating, and I can't think of why it took me so long to get on board this great thing!! October 26, 2013 was a chilly day, but the sun was shining and the seasons were visibly changing, it was going to be a gorgeous run. The bag drop area was well organized, you dropped your clear bag marked with your bib number into a CLEAN garbage can which gets moved to the finish line area. 20131125-135054.jpg People were standing in the one sunny area, the steps of the cathedral. 20131125-135114.jpg This is where the Red Bull Crashed Ice happens every year, I'll tell you about that in February when it returns for the third year! The Race: There seemed to be a slight problem with the start, because it didn't start on time, it started roughly 10 minutes late. Once we got going, the energy kept flowing! I did a LOT of sight seeing, both structural, natural, or costumes! 20131125-135103.jpg 20131125-135123.jpg 20131125-135141.jpg

This course 'is all down hill' because you start at the top and eventually end at the bottom. Along the way you see beautiful historic houses, and gorgeous hill-side views of valleys and the river. 20131125-135133.jpg 20131125-135150.jpg The costumes were in abundance, creativity was flowing, and a lot of smiling faces surrounded us. I was so excited!!! 20131125-135202.jpg There were spectators and a few musical bands or people playing music the entire way, it was fantastic to see the people that turned out to cheer on their runners! 20131125-135212.jpg Check out my time per mile: 20131125-135218.jpg 9:51/mile! So exciting!! There were sufficient water stops along the way, there was at least one stop that had Gatorade, and I think there was a GU stop for the half runners. At the end of the 10 mile, there was a finish shoot to get your medal, water, food bag, salty items, and use the line of port a potties should you have the need. Next you had to get in line for the shuttles to take you to the finish area of the half, where all of the bags are dropped, and all of the after race events take place. Here's the participant sweatshirt each runner got (it has thumb holes!) 20131125-140812.jpg Here's the medal and timer chip: 20131125-140807.jpg The brutal Autumn wind was made worse because the finish line events were right along the river, which made the wind even colder. We didn't stick around for the post-race events, but maybe next time if the weather is better. Overall, it was a great run and I would definitely take on this course again, maybe even the half-marathon distance!!

What races have you dressed up for? What's your favorite season to run in? Why?