Friday, November 25, 2011

On the run: A Tale of 2 Halloween Runs

On Halloween weekend I ran two 10K's - Run of the Dead: A Run Through Southwest Detroit on Saturday and Plymouth's Wicked Halloween Run on Sunday.  The two races couldn't have been any more different.  For those of you familiar with both Southwest Detroit and Plymouth, I need not explain.  For those of you unfamiliar with the areas, they're quite a bit different.  

While Downtown Plymouth is home to Panera, Starbucks, The Cupcake Station, and countless other restaurants, shops, salons, and spas, Southwest Detroit includes the older and most historic neighborhoods of Corktown and Mexicantown.  From the starting line you can see the sprawling Ford Rouge Plant, which spreads out over much of the area.  In general, properties are better maintained in Plymouth than in Southwest Detroit but I was pleasantly surprised by some nicer neighborhoods and a well-kept tot lot that I ran past.  

Don't get me wrong - both Southwest Detroit and Plymouth are both very cool and totally worth checking out and exploring.  I honestly loved running through them both.  I'm just highlighting how very different they are to show how very different my two runs were this weekend.

This race was really cool and one that I would definitely do again.  The theme was more Day of the Dead than Halloween so instead of costumes per se, people were done up with painted faces, dyed hair, and ripped clothing.  There were quite a few Mexican wrestling masks, which were pretty sweet.

The race started at Patton Park, went through some good and not-so-good-looking neighborhoods, and wound through two cemeteries - Holy Cross and Woodmere.  Holy Cross seemed older and creepier with ghostly dancing children and a dead mime troupe.  We covered more ground in the well-kept Woodmere cemetery and it was very serene and peaceful.  The weather couldn't have been more beautiful and I was loving every minute of being outside and soaking up the late October sunshine.

Although I rushed to make it the morning of the race, I ended up putting together a pretty solid playlist.  I tried to go for morbid and creepy as opposed to Halloween-y.  I already have new ideas for next year that will include more Detroit bands (why oh why didn't I think to put Blanche on this one??). 

To see some pictures and and even an action shot, be sure to check out the video that Brian put together from the race.  




strawberry soy yogurt with raw oats, banana


Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground/ The White Stripes
Shallow Grave / The Von Bondies
(Don't Fear) The Reaper / Blue Oyster Cult
Little Ghost / The White Stripes
Monsters / Hurricane Bells
The Living Dead / Phantom Planet
Walking With a Ghost / The White Stripes
Ghost Town/ Shiny Toy Guns
I Cut Like a Buffalo / The Dead Weather
Under Cover of Darkness / The Strokes
Chop and Change / The Black Keys
Mary Jane's Last Dance / Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
The Violet Hour / Sea Wolf 
The Ghost of Tom Joad / Rage Against the Machine
Not Afraid / Eminem

Short-sleeved cotton tee shirt by Pure Detroit.

By the time Sunday rolled around I was tired.  It wasn't so much that I was too tired to run 6 miles (but sort of).  It was more that I wasn't in the mood to leave my warm house at 7 a.m., drive half an hour to Plymouth by myself, and deal with everything that a race entails.  I just wasn't up for it so I was feeling crabby to begin with.  Add to that a mile long bathroom line (that took me way too long to even find - seriously, they shouldn't have to ANNOUNCE where the bathrooms are!) and I'm about ready to go home before the race even starts.  But, I persevere.  

The run itself was decent.  It wasn't as flat as the Run of the Dead, so the added challenge was nice.  The neighborhoods weren't as cookie-cutter as I thought they'd be so there was more variety to look at as I ran.  Although most of the costumes I saw were store-bought, at least a lot of people were dressed up so again, there were interesting things to look at.  

I was not pleased with the post-race organization, however.  If you ask me, when you finish a race the first thing you should see is water followed by the post-race snacks.  I saw neither.  I wandered around for a while, lost and thankfully found my glove, and then finally asked someone where the snacks were located.  By that time the line was so long and I had somewhere to be that I said forget it and left.  I still never even got a water.  I stopped at Einstein on the way home for a coffee.  I know it was the first year of the race so hopefully next year they'll figure things out a little better (though I doubt I'll be participating).

My playlist was pretty good.  As morbid as I tried to make yesterday's, my goal for today's was to be as cheesy and Halloween-y as I could get.  Unfortunately, I realized that Brian and I don't have an extensive collection of Halloween songs in our iTunes library so I had to fill in with a few non-Halloween songs.  I thought Lady Gaga, Meat Loaf, and Trent Reznor seemed appropriate enough, though.  




peach soy yogurt with raw oats, banana


Monster Mash / Bobby "Boris" Pickett
Howlin' for You / The Black Keys
Werewolves of London /Warren Zevon
(Don't Fear) The Reaper / Blue Oyster Cult
Shut Up and Drive / Rihanna
Werewolf Bar Mitzvah (RAC Mix) / Tracy Morgan and Donald Glover
This is Halloween / Danny Elfman
Monsters / Hurricane Bells
Bad Romance / Lady Gaga
Nightmare on My Street / DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
The Hand That Feeds / Nine Inch Nails
Thriller / Michael Jackson
I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) / Meat Loaf

At least the shirts and the finisher's medals were cool.  I wore my shirt to school for Halloween the next day and my 1st graders were pretty impressed with the medal.  Despite my explaining that everyone who finished the race got a medal, they still seem to think that I came in second because I got a silver medal.  I stopped trying to correct them!
Long-sleeve tech shirt

Did you run any Halloween races this year? 


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