Hi everyone! It’s already time for another race recap – this time for the Skinny Raven Frightening 4k in Anchorage! This race was my first Halloween race ever, and I was so excited to plan my costume. My coworkers and I were on a team together, and we decided on an “80s workout” theme – mostly because it kept us warm and was super comfy to run in. Two of them weren’t able to make it on race morning, but we were still excited to run as a group!
One thing to note is that the day before the race it snowed! I was so excited because snow is my favorite thing ever and it helps Anchorage go from a dark, brown, and dead looking place in the winter to a lighter and more beautiful place. But even though I love it, it does complicate things when it comes to running. Especially since this was the first one and there was a very thin layer of black ice left on the road after the plows came through.
Anyways, on race day we met up at the Hotel Captain Cook downtown at 10:30 for our 11:00 race start. It wasn’t too cold outside so we hung around and took pictures while doing some people watching. Some of the costumes we saw were incredible! Before long it was time to line up for the race. We positioned ourselves in the middle of the pack, but when we crossed the start line I was surprised to see that everyone in front of me continued to walk! I had flashbacks to last year’s Turkey Trot as I realized that this was more of a family-friendly race than a runner-friendly race. After zig zagging around lots of cute costumed kids and people who are walkers, we were able to start running near the halfway point. It was stressful trying to navigate all the kids and newbie runners while simultaneously trying not to slip and fall down the hill! It was a pretty stressful race start and on the way back we tried to run in the snowy grass so that our studded shoes would have a better chance of gripping something and so we could pass people. Running back up the hill was tough because of all the walkers, and the crowds opened up long enough for us to finally start racing – just as we turned the corner and saw the finish line!
Overall, we were kind of bummed about this race and I’m not sure if I would do it again. It was stressful and we didn’t really get to run! Although it’s the only Halloween race in Anchorage so knowing me I’ll be doing it again next year just so I can dress up.
What I liked:
- It was definitely family friendly and newbie friendly, so if you’re looking for a first race to do this is probably the one.
- Costumes! I love dressing up so getting the chance to dress up while running is awesome!
- There were trick or treat stations every kilometer. People were walking this race with candy bags and kids seemed to love this part, but since I’m not eating sugar I didn’t get to participate in this part of the race.
- The race shirt is great! It’s a long sleeved tech shirt (we almost never get tech shirts!) and is white which will match everything I own.
What I didn’t like:
- This goes along with the kids and newbies thing, but race etiquette was nonexistent. It seemed like very few people were actually running this race, which made it hard for me to run. And people were stopping and walking all over the place without warning which was dangerous for the runners behind them given the slippery conditions. Even though I was running this race for fun, I was so nervous that someone was going to cut me off, trip me, or their stroller or dog would knock me over that I couldn’t even enjoy it! If I run it again I’ll probably start way up in the front to get around this. I think having a wave for runners and separate wave for walkers, strollers, and dogs would have helped a lot.
- I know that there is no way to control the weather or the maintenance of the road, but it was super slippery. It’s that weird in-between time in Alaska where the roads are icy but not snowy yet so it’s hard to run on the roads even in studded shoes.
- The post race water table was a hot mess and I thought I was going to have to fight people to pour myself a cup!
I’m not going to lie though, dressing up for the race was so much fun! I had lots of flashbacks to the Disney Princess Half, and I may have come up with 20 different costume ideas before we all agreed that 80s workout was way warmer and easier than anything else. My best idea? Zombie Spice Girls. Yep, that might need to happen next year.
Have you ever dressed up for a race? What was your favorite race costume? What was the most crowded/unrunnable race you’ve ever run?