The Haunted Half Recap - More of a “trick” than a “treat”
It’s race weekend. After work and practice for Warren (my youngest son) we pack up the car and head to Austin to see my mom and run the Haunted Half ( the perfect way to end my birthday week by seeing my favorite person and doing my favorite thing). I was so excited to run the Haunted Half with my mom, so we planned our outfits months before the race. We had never really dressed in costume to run, but since it was appropriate for the race, we decided why not.
We’re not into the scary part of Halloween costumes, so we decided to keep it calm and add a tutu to our running gear. A big part of my mom’s day involves shopping at thrift stores where she finds little-hidden treasures, and to our surprise she found the cutest pink (not my favorite color) tutu to complete my costume.
We begin our Saturday morning by volunteering at a wellness fair hosted by the Austin Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Where I had the opportunity to get my flu shot (Yes! One more thing checked off my to-do list). Now it’s off to J. Lorraine Ghost Town to pick up our race packet, which was the same location of the race.
The venue was the perfect place to hold a Haunted Half race; it had the fall festival feel, space for vendors (Bandi Band, NUUN, Cupid’s Undie Run and a few more), booths for carnival games, and a big barn used as a haunted house at the end of the 5k course.
With our packets in hand and a few selfies, we’re off to a birthday lunch for Aaliyah and me, the October birthday girls. Now, with all my lifestyle restrictions when it comes to eating (Keto-tarian and pescetarian), I struggle with eating out, but Mexican food and a good margarita are the perfect combination ( not your average carb load but it works for me, besides I’m only running the 5k)
The alarm sounds at 5:30 am, we put our tutu’s on and load up the truck. Now, this is where "treats" turn into "tricks". When we arrive at the ONLY road leading to J. Lorraine Ghost Town, we are stopped by a roadblock and an unfriendly officer announcing that the road is closed for the race (but officer, we are the runners, there is a line of cars behind us). Shaking our heads we turn around and head in a different direction, per the GPS, only to end up back at the same location, but now the officer had received word to let the cars through. Finally, we make it to the venue.
First stop port-a-potty (trick #2). Noticing that these are the same port-a-potties from yesterday’s packet pick up, which have not been serviced from the previous day and no tissue, was a disaster. The time is now 8:30 am. The half marathon was scheduled to start at 8 am and the 5k at 8:30 am, but the runners were still in line. Finally, the half runners are off at approximately 8:25 am, and the 5k starts at about 8:44 am (trick #3).
The 5k route was exactly what you would expect for Austin, flat surfaces, inclines, and hills. The route ended on a rocky paved surface of the venue, and through the haunted house. Now, this was perfect for the kids, but for competitive runners, first 5k(ers) or those in search of a PR, this was not the ideal surface for a fast finish. Due to the delayed start time, the sun was high in the sky and hydration was a must on the 5k course, but unfortunately there was not a hydration station at mile 2 as stated on the website, (trick #4) but at the finish line, core hydration water was a sight to see for sweaty faces and running eyes (treat #1).
When I crossed the finish line, I felt that I had done much better than expected considering I walked some on the course due to the heat and poor hydration (of course as an avid runner, I should carry adequate hydration), only to realize once I looked at my watch the course was short (trick #5). The medal, on the other hand, was a great design that encompassed the Halloween theme (treat #2).
Although there were more tricks than treats, I do believe that this can be a good race with just a little more attention to logistics. So, I wouldn’t strike the Haunted Half off the calendar. It deserves another chance, and to remove some of the sour taste out of your mouths; the race organizers sent a very apologetic email and a 50% off code for 2019.
Next stop, the Trinity River Run in Dallas, Texas. I would love to see you there.