When it comes to running, let me be the first to tell you that it’s neither my forte nor something I’ve been interested in for very long. I grew up playing basketball, volleyball and swimming – nothing that required running long distances or for extended periods of time. But then, last spring – something weird happened: my tried and true GTI 1.8T decided to have a crisis of faith and stop working. Transitioning to bipedalism wasn’t the biggest issue in the world; when I moved into my apartment last year, one of the first things I looked up was the “walk-ability” of the neighborhood and was pleasantly surprised that the area had a score of 91 out of 100 – meaning daily errands don’t require a car. Instead of driving to get produce or supplies for the apartment, I was walking here there and everywhere; except for one minor detail – the gym. Not being a runner, I was at a loss for a few days…I would run the stairs in the apartment, go for long walks or do some yoga; unfortunately for me, it just wasn’t the same. So, I did the unthinkable: I started running.
I started slow and steady by running a bit then walking it off; slowly, I worked up to changing the ratio – running for a mile, walking a few blocks, then running another mile. And then the strangest thing happened – I started falling in love with the balance of breath and movement, grace and growth. I didn’t have an end goal when I started, but through social media channels I found out about something fabulous called the Electric Run – a 5Kfunrun that’s best described as the illegitimate child of a rave and a half marathon; and to boot, the inaugural one was essentially going to be in my backyard – Orange County.
Over 10,000 people signed up to be part of this ridiculously fun – and incredibly well run – event. The premise was that the entire 5K course was adorned with lights, lasers and speakers blasting some of the best EDM currently around while participants decked out in their favorite glow and neon outfits frolicked around the track. There were families and there were rambunctious teenagers; there were people determined to run their hearts out and others who just wanted to take it in and dance. Before the run, we were all handed an official T-Shirt and some glow gear of our very own – and others dressed to the 9’s in LEDs, EL-wire and their very own outfit creations (we even saw a ‘ma5 head!). Employees of the Electric Run were scattered around with cups of water and high fives of encouragement and at the finish line we were showered with granola bars, cheap shots of whiskey and a live performance from DJ’s Sultan and Ned Shepherd. You were basically welcome to enjoy the intersection of exercise and playtime anytime you wanted. I had an absolute blast running around with my friends and taking it all in – if the Electric Run comes to your city, hop on it like it’s your job!