Ghouls & Fools Trail Run

Ran in the Ghouls & Fools nighttime trail run last night. This was the first time I had ever run a 10K and also the first time I had ever done a nighttime trail run. Running in the dark, even with a flashlight was pretty treacherous, but a lot of fun.

I met up at NGM’s house in the afternoon, and even managed to get there without getting lost! I was so very proud of myself. We then set out for the trek to Reading, PA where the race was taking place. It was a fairly long ride, but me driving to his house then he driving to the race made it not seem as far driving wise to me.

We stopped at the West Reading Diner for our pre race meal. It was a good diner and I cannot remember the name to save me. I did order a massive slice of cake which I would immediately begin to regret doing with only a few hours before race time.

I found a toy/comic store on my phone which was literally in walking distance of the diner, so we went there. I was a little disappointed when I got there, but then again I’m probably a bit too old for the whole toys and comics still, or so I’ve been told.

We then drove a few blokes to some outlet stores. That was really weird, they weren’t setup like typical stores. They were scattered and lumped in really strange ways, but it made for a good way to pass the remaining time before the race began. NGM bought a different shirt to run in and really wanted to buy a $5 baseball shirt. The rest of the night he would regret passing up this amazing deal.

There was a Toys R Us in the outlet and I did find a Skrull Soldier which I did purchase. I’ve been snatching up Marvel Universe action figures recently. So finding one I didn’t already have was a treat.

We then made our way to the race. Everything was really well organized, I was impressed. We registered and got a very cool t-shirt and 3 glow sticks. The shirt is a running tech shirt, not some cheap t-shirt. And I wrapped my right wrist with the 3 glow sticks so others would be able to see me on the trail (yes it was that dark in most parts).

The place was some beer garden/castle setup. It seemed to be a club of sorts, perhaps German based in it’s roots. A very interesting place.

Majority of people had headlamps which seemed to really work great. I just carried a little flashlight with me on the run. It wasn’t nearly as bright as most of the headlamps, but it did give me enough light to make it through the 10K.

300-400 people gathered around the start gates then we all took off on the run. With every one close together all the lights really helped out. After a quarter mile or so the packs would begin to separate. Oh I also rolled my left ankle around this point and hoped on one leg for probably a minute or 2. Ever since I seriously hurt it a few years back it’s still a weakness for me. I was eventually able to bear weight on it again and was back to running on 2 legs in little time. It did hurt a good amount and knew that I would awaken to some fine swelling which is the case as I type this.

I finally caught with with NGM since we waited for me at the first water stop. He was running really well, so I told him to not wait up for me and to finish as fast as he could. Of course I did roll my same left ankle just a little bit after this water stop. Haha, truly not a good night for my left ankle.

The 2nd water stop was at some pagoda that overlooked the city of Reading. It really was an amazing view, up high with the city all lit up. The King from Burger King handed me a cup of water which I graciously accepted. Actually I almost punched the King as he kinda got me off guard with the mask and crown.

The remaining portion of the race I found myself running completely alone. I could see no lights in front of me, nor behind me. So running in complete darkness without being sure of whether I had steered off the path or not was a pretty interesting feeling. I managed to not get lost and when a volunteer announced to me that there was only a quarter mile left up the hill, I felt pretty good and sped up into an almost sprint.

After finishing up I caught up with NGM and devoured all the food that they had graciously made available. Apples, cookies, Fig Newtons, Twizzlers, and much water just to name some. Though battered and sore, this was a really great run. Furthest I’ve ever run.

Also, on the way home we stopped at Hauté Chocolate Café. Everything was so amazingly yummy, I wish it weren’t so far away. Pretty sure we will be entering this again next year too, lot’s of fun.

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