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Overall this is a great race. The race itself takes place on a Wednesday night (yes that is correct, its a night time race) starting at 7:30 PM. The Management puts on a great race and really worked to get the participants excited to start the race by having a DJ at the starting line and flames shoot off when the race began. I would also say the crowd support was amazing. I know this race runs right before the Aquatennial Parade, but it sure felt like all the spectators waiting for the parade were just as excited to cheer on the runners as they were for the parade later that night. The post race party had such a cool atmosphere to it. The sun was starting to go down after the race ended, the live music got everyone in a good mode, the free samples from vendors helped fill everyone's goody bags, and the free beer helped 'rehydrate' us post race :)
This race did not have an expo, but had many locations in the week leading up to the race where you could pick up your bib and t-shirt. In my opinion this worked out better than having an expo because I could get my bib when it fit best into my schedule, at a location that was convenient to my house. A perk of having an expo is seeing additional vendors as you walk around to get your bib, but the Torchlight 5k still had vendors, they were just at the post-race party!!
I parked near the finish line and walked from there to the starting line since this was a point to point race. I had no issues finding a parking spot that was only a block away from the post-race celebration. I didn't mind the walk to the starting line as it let me take in a bit of the downtown area and get mentally prepared for the race.
The race itself takes you through downtown which makes for great scenery. There were two aid stations on the course which seemed like the correct amount for a 5k race. There was no finisher medal when you crossed the finish line which is a bit out of the norm for almost all races I have run, but being that its a 5k, I wasn't overly disappointed in that. On the flip side, there were photographers on the course taking pictures which were free thanks to Athlinks!! This perk alone makes me want to run the race again next year (on top of the spectators, volunteers, and post-race party)!
I would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a fun, energetic night time 5k race. Did I mention that they were voted one of the best 5k races in the U.S by the BibRave 100!!