I was REALLY excited about doing the Neon Dash. It was to be my first official night race, and I had signed up with friends. The idea behind the race is that you run at night, wearing white, and you get sprayed with various glow in the dark color, which you can see as you run past the various black lights set up around the course. Sounds awesome, right? Even better was the fact that it only cost $20 to sign up!
I suppose I shouldn't have expected much from the swag, but I was disappointed. The generic, shapeless cotton t-shirt was gross, and no one in my group wore it at all. We were also given this weird scarf thing that was just awkward and we weren't really sure what to do with it.
The race was originally supposed to start at 8:30, but a few days before the race we got an email saying they were starting at 9 instead. Around 8:50 we walked to the race start to get in line… and proceeded to stand there for half an hour before we started running (they let tiny groups go every few minutes… but never communicated that to us. We would’ve gotten in the starting shoot much earlier if we had known). This was the first sign of poor management.
The first color station took almost a half mile to come to, and it was a powder station. Then it was almost another half a mile before the next color station. Then there were a few color stations really close together. I really wish they had been more spread out.
They had specifically said multiple times that walkers were to stay to the right, and runners to the left. That obviously didn’t happen, and it was a little annoying. I wasn’t expecting to run fast, as this isn’t a normal race, and I wanted to have fun at the color stations. However, it was really annoying to have to weave around really slow walkers.
There was water once on the course at mile 1.5, and I was looking forward to it. It was hot and humid, and going through powder stations had made my mouth extra dry. We got to the water station and there was a LONG long long line, so we decided it wasn’t worth it to wait the multiple minutes it would’ve taken to get a cup of water. When we passed we realized what the problem was: they were filling tiny cups with a water hose! SERIOUSLY. The entire thing was really inefficient, and I was not so pleased.
Once the race finished, we went in search of water. Again, they were filling tiny cups with water that was not cold or refreshing. They had the Honest Tea company there with samples too. This was cold and refreshing, but only about 2 ounces too. So, at the end of the race, we were given about 4 ounces (MAYBE) of liquid, and that’s it. Not fantastic. The post race party was “meh”, so we headed out pretty quickly. While the idea behind the race was fun, I was not impressed with very many aspects of the race at all. With a few simple changes, they could actually make this race fun for those of us who signed up. As it is right now, I wouldn't recommend it.
For a detailed race report, you can check mine out here: http://www.thelittlethingsblog.com/neon-dash-5k-race-recap/