once upon a time i ran the most fun race of my ever life: the provo halloween half marathon!
i had heard from many people how fun this race was, and had decided a year ago that i would run in it...and needless to say, i was not disappointed! first things first, this is a halloween race...aka costumes were not only allowed, but strongly encouraged. hence, the costume contest!
apparently, about an hour before the race begins, all the (hundreds of) runners gather together in the main race tent and vote on the top three best individual, and then top three best group costumes. basically, whoever gets cheered for the loudest wins the prize: the glass box/trophy (pictured above), filled to the brim with - you guessed it - halloween candy!!
naturally, i knew i had to win. or at least try! (: so i got hard at work on my costume...based off of the nickname i earned from my daddy ever since last christmas, when i was working almost daily as a waitress + had taken upon myself a very high bun as my quick + easy hairstyle of choice...even when i wasn't working.
oh, + what was the nickname, you might ask?
you guessed it (: none other than little miss cindy lou who! the above photos (thanks, google images!) provided the inspiration for the costume i pieced together with a little help from some children's dresses from di, a pair of long socks from hot topic, a coupla bows from claire's, + some scissors, a needle, + thread. but more on that later (:
as the night before the race (saturday, october 27th) came around, i began my final costume/race preparations...in true last-minute-sarah-kron-style (;
i looked up my bib number online, + then made the 20-minute drive to pick up my race packet at the expo near the point of the mountain.
this was probably the most organized + speedy race expo i've ever been to. i guess now is as good a time as any to mention the fact that i ran the utah valley marathon this past june, and once that had finished, i went home/travelled for most of july/august...and didn't really get much running in during that time. then once school started up in september (through the month of october), my running was crazy sporadic...aka i really didn't run. and definitely didn't train. at all. so the night i went to the race expo, i flirted with the idea of just deferring to run the 5k instead of the half marathon...
but, of course, my pride got the better of me and i knew that i'd regret not running in the half. #lezbehonest (:
so! once my race chip was checked in, i left the expo, headed back to my apartment, + got to work on finishing up my costume!
aaaand the final product:
dress: kid's section of di, white fluff around the neck+wrists: a kid's christmas dress at di, white thigh-high socks: hot topic, red hair bows: clarie's, + white bows on bottom of dress (seen in later photos): the hem of the same kid's christmas dress. (:
i finally figured out how to get my hair to stand on end (thanks to youtube for that one!) + so after snapping an instagram-worthy shot as a little teaser to my costume, i headed off to bed...from 3am-5am. haha (: typical pre-race sleep (don't worry mom + dad, i promise you most runners don't get much sleep the night before a race - it's about two nights before the race that your sleep really counts. promise!).
i woke up at the crack of 4:45am (eesh), excited + ready to head off to the university mall to hop on a bus that would take me to race start! at this time it's probably also good to mention that that 5am drive from my apartment to the mall was probably the most interesting/difficult one i have ever experienced in my life...simply because let's just say my little baby saturn of a car wasn't exactly built for people with 15-inch tall hair...(: haha
alas! not before long, i arrived at the HUGE tent at race start, + enjoyed talking to many a people + snapping photos with even more! i don't think i had quite realized until this point how much my hair stood out in a crowd...literally. haha (:
here's a few of my favorites for your viewing pleasure:
mario + luigi (for dk)
the three stooges (for daddy)
jack sparrow (for mama + ruth)
mormon missionaries (just because :)
a zipped-up face...someone like anna could hopefully appreciate this kinda stage makeup (:
+ the joker (for me...arguably my favorite villain of all-time)
the avengers!! i voted for them and was shocked when they got 2nd place for best group costume, not 1st. ridiculous, if you ask me. but they were mega nice anyway. (:
aaaaand for none other than my bestie sara, things 1+2 (remember when we were this for halloween our sophomore year of high school? i'll never forget standing outside the band room at 7am, spraying blue hairspray in my hair and choking all day due to how terrible it smelled...oh the memories ;)
the costume contest came + went so quickly + was way more fun than i was expecting! basically they took the top 24 entires for individual/group costumes (self-nominated; basically people made their way to the stage at the front of the tent if they felt they had a chance at winning). they started with the individual costumes...having us go up on stage, four participants at a time. we'd each briefly introduce ourselves + our costumes to the crowd, then the race director would point to each of us, one at a time, and have the crowd "vote" - by screaming + cheering + whooping 'til the cows came home. whichever participant of the four received the most loud+excited response moved on to the next round!
you can just imagine the look of sheer shock + surprise on my face when i stood up there in the final round of individual costumes...and just kinda smiled shyly at this huge crowd of costume-bedazzled runners when the race director asked "who is going to vote for miss cindy lou who?" it was all i could do to just stand there and shake my head slightly, to show that my hair was large + in charge...and that it wasn't going to go anywhere anytime soon. maybe it was all just because i looked like i was a five-year-old up there, about to go run her first half-marathon with a waterbottle on her head, so they had pity on me or something, i don't know. but the look of shock + surprise on my face only grew when i heard those loud screams + cheers and they announced that cindy lou who had won!!!
the group costume contest winners? none other than these two characters from the emperor's new groove...including the girl whose headpiece is the only one that rivaled my own in height (;
boy oh boy, what a rush! once the contest ended, it was time to get ready + head on outside to prep for race start (the real reason we had all gathered here today, let's be real :)!
|the funny sight that was me running...a foot taller than normal.|
what a fun, fun race to run! it started off with a huger than huge downhill, which i was more than okay with. (: oh! and before i forget, i must mention that this is my first-ever race that i ran without any music, whatsoever. no ipod, no headphones, no nothing. and...i actually kind of loved it! i think i was most worried that no music would = nothing to keep me pumped up + moving forward, but happily this was not the case. i was instead able to just listen to my body + enjoy the run the entire 13.1 miles from start to finish!
|one of my socks had a broken elastic within about a minute of race start...so this is what i looked like most of the race. hilarious.|
i also ran without my garmin (watch) - crazy, right?! i never thought that day would come. but (especially considering the fact that i literally hadn't trained for this race, at all), i decided before starting the race that if i was going to run it, i'd be running it just listening to my body, 100% of the time, with no distractions or knowledge of pace/distance to drive me forward any more than i was already going. i just listened to my body, the sounds of nature + was a lot of observant of (1) other people's costumes (hilarious!), and (2) the beautiful scenery through the canyon that is AUTUMN! aka favorite season ever.
|peace signs for bff micaela: taiwan-serving missionary (:|
also, i think this photo is hilarious and i only post it here because my left leg looks SO ripped. i don't really think those muscles exist, but it is hilarious to think that i secretly have hulk legs when i'm running. the end. (:
ah. seriously, i can't get over how much i loved this race, from start to finish!! favorite things about it:
1. my hair stayed in place, literally the entire time from start --> finish. didn't even have to tighten or adjust it once.
2. because i wasn't listening to music, i got to talk to a lot of runners as we were running together at different times during the race. i always love meeting new people through running! especially those who are crazy enough to dress up and run 13.1 miles in costume like me (;
3. because my outfit (hair) was so abnormal yet recognizable, at aid stations, by random fans along the road, + by many of the runners i ran past (or ran past me), i heard people call out "go cindy lou!" or "how's that hair holding up?" this is another reason i loved not having headphones in - i was literally just interacting with the people running/around me for two hours straight, and it made the time FLY by!
4. this kind of relates to #3, but because i had dressed up, i felt entitled to call out to other people (based off of their costumes, as well) during the run. it was SO interactive! seriously, so, SO much fun.
5. the trophy i got at the end was filled with all my favorite halloween candies...need i say more? (:
the following photo was taken right before i crossed the finish line - the best part? looking at the photo (click it to make it bigger) you can a handful of people doing double-takes, looking at me. that happened the whole race long, and never got old. people just didn't think my hair would last that long - and, to be honest, i didn't either. haha. life is just full of surprises, isn't it? (:
ah. seriously, SO so fun. besides the fact that i didn't take the time i should have taken to stretch after (oops) and ended up crazy sore just a short while after the race...it was crazy fun. (: AND i finished in 1:56:02 - and i thought i'd just be happy if i just so happened to finish sub 2 hours! so much joy in this race, you guys, seriously.
|the awards table...aka glass boxes + halloween candy central.|
i was so happy to have gotten through that race alive, happy + with a smile still on my face. roommate katherine came to pick me up + volunteered to be my personal photog as i posed (alongside 43278 of my closest running friends) alongside the halloween marathon hearse (yes, it is literally a hearse. how's that for advertising?) + up on stage as i got my costume award.
|no one knew where the third place guy went...but he was a housemaid i believe, haha. so great. (:|
|mr. race director himself!|
|(too happy for words.)|
and, of course, i had to stick around to watch my favorite avengers win their (2nd place) award in the group costume contest!! we had made a pact during the preliminary rounds before the race that we'd cheer for each other...but i guess my screams weren't as loud as those of three grown men...so they only got 2nd place. boo. but since the 1st + 3rd place groups never showed up, they just pretended they won the whole thing and we were all okay with that. (;
what i love about this photo: how my hair doesn't even make the cut. literally. (: hahaha.
|posing with my halloween award + goodies by the trailer|
and, especially for mama + daddy, here's a touched-up extra bright photo (seriously, shield your eyes) so you can see just how high my hair really was.
ah. seriously, most fun race of my ever life. if you are thinking about running it next year, STOP. and by that i mean don't even think about it - just sign up! you won't regret it. the course, scenery, runners, administration, + everything was A+. including the candy after. (;
so, like i mentioned previously, i went into this race with literally zero expectations. and i quickly learned that when you go into something with zero expectations, it's pretty easy to be happy with whatever the outcome may be. (:
i finished 242nd out of 1535 females, overall:
456th out of 2172 runners (male + female), overall:
54th out of 333 female runners, aged 20-24 years old:
+ 95th out of 418 runners overall (male + female), aged 20-24 years old:
and here are my overall stats from the race, finishing in 1:56:02 - just five minutes slower than my first half marathon last october (click here for that recap)!
ah. seriously. provo halloween half marathon, i'll be back. the next time i'll be living in utah during halloween...whenever that is. (:
so much fun. but the fun didn't stop there! today also marked the last day of the provo farmer's market, so katherine drove us back home just to pick up the rest of the roommates, + we headed off for a final walk around the farmer's market for some yummy eats + treats.
today was a really special day, mostly because i found my new favorite kind of apples: MACINTOSH. seriously, nothing better. i can't find them at any of the grocery stores here in provo though, boo. hopefully i don't have to wait until next summer to get some more of these, because lemme tell ya - that delicious bushel of apples (just $5! for a full bag!!) was gone in less than two weeks. i don't joke around when it comes to apples.
also found at the farmer's market? a food truck...that literally was a pick-up truck with a real wood-fired oven IN THE TRUCK BED. you can't make this stuff up, guys. it was so delish. love you, fiore!
this was gone even quicker than the apples...so so yum. seriously.
after our little tryst at the farmer's market, we all headed home...mostly because by this point i was beyond tired + (now that my stomach was full of yummy food) ready for a nap!
but, of course, before naptime, we had to take one more photo to document my sky-high 'do, once last time...
...which turned into us realizing that we needed to document the process of taking my hair OUT of this 'do. seriously, this video is too funny. but if you're impatient, the real fun starts at 1:50, when i realized i made one little mistake when it came to putting a waterbottle up there in my hair with as much hairspray as i did...
too too funny. don't worry though mom, after this i promptly brushed my nasty hair out + went straight to bed. (:
|new lucky number, #3299.|
i love this next photo, simply because of how humorous it was to me that i had woken up to start this day almost exactly 12 hours previous to the time i went to take my nap. life's funny sometimes. (:
after waking up from my nap (i won't say how late in the afternoon/evening that happened...), i went downstairs to find THIS happy sight:
two of my roommates going out for a run!! words can't describe how happy this made me. never been so proud (: and i woulda gone out with them if i didn't feel like my legs were going to fall off, haha. oops.
& how did i end this eventful day? why, the best way i know how:
snuggled up in my most comfortable sweats with a coupla eps of arrested development + my favorite soup from sprout's.
it was a great day overall, indeed. (:
next post: finishing up october with halloween (the actual holiday), chipotle, + a week-long visit from my bff almost-missionary micaela!