Friday, December 2, 2011

Lights in the Parkway 5K

I love to race at night.  The city of Allentown, only a 10 minute drive from my house, has a cool annual tradition of setting up Christmas lights throughout the Little Lehigh Parkway which draws people from all over.  It's called "Lights in the Parkway" and you pay by the carload to drive through and pick out your favorite lights.  So last year an industrious runner / race director came up with the idea to hold a 5K race through the lights the night before they officially open to the public.  As I mentioned earlier, I love to race at night, so I was sure to toe the line for the inaugural event last year.  I was not disappointed, so I decided to sign up for the second running which was held on Wednesday night.

It is nearly December in the dark, so it has potential to be COLD, but we were treated to decent temps in the mid 40's with a 10mph wind or so.  The race doubled in size, nearly 500 finishers this year, so I made sure to start close to the front.  I decided to forgo a headlamp this year and just use the light that was "provided" via the displays and a couple of portable light units.
 I hadn't been running much lately, so I just wanted to go have a good time, and on a good night I would better last year's time.  The course is hilly, and running in the dark on a gravel path slows you down as well, but I accomplished my goal, bettering last year's time by 6 seconds!  I had a great time in the process, although you wouldn't know by looking at the picture below with only a half mile to go!

The Holiday season is gaining some serious momentum.  We got our tree last weekend, and I even started to bake some cookies with the kids!  The end of the year also means one more thing on my calendar, planning for the Superbowl 10K.  This will be my third year directing the race, and we've already had nearly 400 people sign up.  It is capped to 550 registrants, so I expect to have it sold out very soon.  We're going to add soup and soft pretzels to our post race pizza / soda / BYOB party this year, I'm sure that will be a welcomed change.  This is one of my favorite races of the year, I miss not racing it but I do enjoy giving back to the running community and directing it.

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