In late October, among the natural beauty and the outlandish and hilarious costumes, Event 360’s Kiki Setterlund ran a half-marathon among St. Paul’s Halloween enthusiasts.  Read below for Kiki’s own account of her experience!

Name, date and location of event
The Monster Dash, Saturday, October 25th, St. Paul, MN

Event summary
The Twin Cities Monster Dash is a 5K, 10K or half-marathon. Participants are encouraged to dress in costumes and to my surprise, a large majority did. Along with my fair share of freaks, I saw great views from a fun race course that included the heart of downtown St. Paul, historic neighborhoods, the campuses of Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas. The spectacular views of the fall foliage along the Mississippi River was an added bonus to a fantastic course.

Were the three event basics of traffic, parking and signage met?
Beyond the beauty and the beasts this race was a well-oiled machine.  The race directors did a stellar job providing participants with pre-event information regarding parking. There were multiple parking lots available for participants. Shuttle service was provided to/from parking lots that were located farther away. Police were in full force managing the major intersections and there were ample race volunteers all the along the way as well as good signage.

If there were a suggestion box on site, what note would you have left behind?
As with all races, your experience [as a runner] often comes down to the intake and expulsion of fluids.  In this case there were ample water stops and medical personnel on hand throughout the entire course.  However, while there were plenty of porta-johns at the start (there was virtually, no line prior to race time) once you got on the course they averaged roughly 2-3 pj’s at each site. This led to some fairly long lines. Hydration after the race was also an issue as there were no water bottles, chocolate milk, etc. at the finish.  Which lead this runner to cramp up half way to the parking lot.

What did you see or experience that made you say “Ooooooh.  That would be fun to incorporate into my event! ”?
The extra steps that the organizers took to embrace the theme made this race a unique experience.  Many of us have done the holiday themed races.  We’ve gotten our race shirts with a cartoon turkey or ran in our Santa hat, but other than that they were pretty much your standard race. The Monster Dash was much different; not only were participants encouraged to dress in costume (and many did), there was an actual on-stage costume contest before the race. It was a fantastic form of pre-race entertainment that helped pass the time before the race. The contest provided lots of laughs and helped to set a ‘fun’ tone that continued throughout the 13.1 miles.

What did you get at the event?
One of the reasons I wanted to run this race was because of the long sleeve running jacket they provide to 10K and half-marathon participants. I have enough ‘finisher’ shirts filling my closet. This is a running jacket that is high quality and comfortable. It also makes for a great marketing tool on their part. I first learned about this race from seeing so many jackets at the gym over the years.

Would you recommend this event and why?
Yes! In particular, I’d recommend this for someone running their first 10K or half-marathon. The atmosphere is fun and light-hearted. You’re continually entertained on the course by fellow costumed runners, beautiful scenery and onlookers cheering you on. I was reminded of the amazing community of runners and how we support each other. We joked with each other as we stood like a herd of cows at the start line. We cheered each other on and got involved in conversations along the route. Strangers would stop to assist those needing medical assistance. It was heartwarming to see that everyone was looking out for each other.

And, most importantly- will you be back?
Yes! If you don’t have plans October 31, 2015, come join me and my 11,000 Halloween loving friends.

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