2018 · Running events

Glow In The Park London 5K

I first heard about Glow In The Park events when my colleague Michelle mentioned that there was one taking place not far from our work offices in Maidstone, Kent.

We had a look at the website and they looked and sounded like really good, fun events. Unfortunately, the Maidstone 5K was being held that weekend and with no time to prepare, we looked at other potential locations and decided on London. I signed us up along with three other colleagues, so there were five of us in total. Our Group booking plus an Earlybird Booking discount meant that we paid just £19.35 each. The entrance fee included a branded headband, bespoke medal, and a large share-bag of crisps each at the finish line.

Glow in the Park calls itself ‘the ultimate night-time neon event for families and friends‘ and encourages participants to dance, walk, jog or run through various ‘zones’: the Start Party (with DJ and disco lights), Time Tunnel (with spiralling colourful lights), Hot Zone (with blasts of smoke followed by jets of red hot flames), Foam Zone (a large tent with knee-high foam!), Paint Blast Zone (arcs of UV paint and water fired across the route); and Retro Zone (laser shows, old school disco lighting, music and special effects).

Glow In The Park London 5KMy colleagues and I are all massive fans of the USA TV series ‘Suits’. We like the character Louis Litt and his catchphrase: ‘You just got Litt up!’. One day at work when discussing what we should all wear for the Glow Run, it was joked that we should all have Louis Litt t-shirts with the wording: ‘We just got Litt up!’. I set about designing us a PNG graphic in Photoshop and found a t-shirt printing company who charged just £5 a t-shirt! I found a cheap tutu online and Michelle already had UV face-paints and a tutu. We also found £1 headtorches in Poundland which were a bargain and came in very useful!

Glow In The Park London 5KThe London event took place at Kempton Park racecourse in Sunbury-on-Thames on Saturday 29th September. Train travel would have taken 2½ hours and involved a lot of changes, so I opted to drive the 1½ hours instead. I left home at 4:30 and met my colleagues at a nearby pub for 6pm. We sat at a table in the corner and applied UV face-paint art to each other and prepared for the event, before making our way to the racecourse carpark for the event warm-up at 7pm. Car parking was £4 per car and there were plenty of spaces. We easily found our way inside the racecourse and participated in the warm-up dancing before joining the start line at 7:30pm.

I was wearing USA Pro cropped running leggings, USA Pro base-layer, USA Pro sports bra, Adidas ZX Flux trainers and standard black trainer socks, with my Louis Litt t-shirt and red tutu/leg-warmers/hand-warmers from Amazon. The weather was dry and mild – no rain and not cold, either – so the outfit worked perfectly.

Glow In The Park London 5KOur first impressions of the event were really positive. The DJ was playing catchy pop songs and we could see foam and fire around the Start line! There was a buzzing, excited atmosphere and everyone was dressed up in UV paint, tutus, fancy dress etc. We set off in waves, which moved quickly: we were in wave 8 and set off at 7:45ish. The course was two laps around the racecourse, and the whole thing just went very quickly and was a huge amount of fun. The zone areas definitely didn’t disappoint! We kept stopping to take photos and have a laugh, and walked for the majority, but this was never going to be a ‘serious’ or timed event.

The only minor disappointment was the queue towards the finish line where we had to wait for 5-10 minutes to collect our medals and get out of the course; however this is not enough to put me off and I would recommend this event to anyone! It’s suitable for people of all ages and abilities and we all had a really fabulous, fun evening. The cost was very reasonable, too!

NEXT UP: Great Ormond Street Hospital Race for the Kids 5K, Saturday 13th October 2018

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