Thursday, October 22, 2009

Costume-clad running

Halloween has always been one of my favorite days of the year.

The holiday just has a sense of agelessness to it. Everyone can get into it, from the 5-year-old dressed up as Sponge Bob going trick-or-treating for the first time to the sweet old lady who's nice enough to give that costumed youngster Butterfingers instead of apples. The crowd in between can also enjoy the holiday via scary movies, jack-o-lanterns, costume parties and the downtown bar scene.

This year, I will be celebrating Halloween in a slightly different fashion: by running in the Monster Dash in Minneapolis, an event of more than 1,000 competitors where quality of costume is almost as important as mile times. The event offers half marathon, 10-mile race and 5k options competition and typically gives out prizes for best costumes. Due to the ankle injury mentioned in my previous post and the fact that I haven't gone on any sizable distance runs since the end of the summer, I've opted to participate in the 5k portion of this event. Call me crazy, but I'd rather not spend the rest of Halloween icing my knees and dealing with run-induced hip and ankle pains.

Besides, the distance you run is irrelevant in an event like this. The real fun comes from just participating in such a large event and getting a glimpse at some of the interesting costumes people are bold enough to wear. I've never competed in a Halloween-themed race before, so I don't know what to expect. But given the way the weather has been this fall, I doubt I'll see too many Michael Phelps or Lil Kim costumes running the course.

Not to give away too much about the costume I'll be wearing for the race, but think comic book hero.

Note: For Mankato residents looking for a more local venue to sport a costume and get a run in, the St. Peter Halloween 5k is also going on that Saturday morning and the Halloween Hustle 5k and 8k races in Lake Crystal will be taking place the night before. Both are still open for registration.

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