The final stop of my recent triple race challenge was a race that felt more like a big party with a great group of friends than an actual race. Which, in my opinion, was the best possible way to end the day!
We took a brief trip home after Pretty Muddy and Mud Titan, taking full advantage of the lull between races as an opportunity to clean up, rest just a bit, and then drop Mason off to the babysitter. The hubby and I then donned our holiday best (or perhaps I should say our holiday worst!) and headed back out to Plant City for the much anticipated Hog Wild Ugly Sweater Run!
The race, affiliated with the Hog Wild Mud Run series, was a ridiculously lighthearted, fun event that had nothing to do with competition, but everything to do with having a great time! We arrived and immediately made our way into the large festival area. It was great watching everyone arrive in their ugliest Christmas getup. We instantly began connecting with friends, taking pictures, and checking out the silly blow up holiday decor that lit up the festival area.. A DJ played great Christmas tunes that could be heard throughout the course, there was a large bonfire in the center of the large circular festival area for everyone to enjoy, as well as giant Jenga, corn hole, tasty food, and free beer/drinks for all participants and spectators.
The sun set, and it was time to run! The 5K course, illuminated by glow sticks that aided in directing us (it had also been requested that each participant bring a headlamp or flashlight), surrounded the festival area and lead us to several stations where fun ensued. The first stop on the course delivered delicious hydration in the form of strawberry margaritas! We then proceeded through a cookies and milk station, where oreos and cups of milk were handed out, then a large blow up igloo for photo ops, and finally a s’mores station and small bonfire where participants could roast up a marshmallow and munch on a delicious treat before heading across the finish line.
There was nothing serious about this race, this was all about FUN. And fun we had!
Post race, participants got cozy around the fire and enjoyed a beautiful evening under the stars. Several holiday themed games were played involving everything from whipped cream, gingerbread cookies, and other props. And the highlight of the evening (in my humble opinion), Eggnog flip cup! Played by two teams of 20, we all had a blast cheering on our teams as we chugged down Eggnog and frantically flipped our cups. Sadly, I was not on the winning team, but we all had so much fun, it really didn’t matter.
This was my first time participating in a race that had such a fantastic after party/event planned. It was so great to hang out with great running friends, and to meet some new ones in the process. You could tell that the race director really made a point to create an event in which people could come and kick back, have a good time, and enjoy an evening not taking life too seriously. It was silly, it was so much fun, and I honestly think that the folks at Hog Wild Mud Run should make silly themed races like this for every holiday (Ummm, how about a Cupid or Easter Bunny 5K? I’ll go!!). It really did feel like they threw us a giant holiday party. And whether strangers or not, we all had a great time.
Since finishing my triple race day, I’ve completed the last couple of races I had scheduled for 2013! It was a great year in racing, and although I have a couple of reviews left to do (along with a few other posts, stay tuned!), I’m excited to end the year enjoying my family and looking forward to a promising new year.
Happy holidays everyone!