For Kevin’s birthday a few weeks ago we decided to Run Drenched in Columbus! It’s a 5k that’s more of a fun run than a race. It’s not timed and you may get hit with water balloons or sprayed with a fire hose along the course. (Betcha can’t wait to run in soggy sneakers!!)
Packet pick-up was held on Friday from noon – 7 and then from 8:30-9:45 am on Saturday. We were lucky enough to have friends in Columbus who could pick up our packets for us, but Saturday pick-up would have been just as easy. The upside to Friday packet pick-up is that you receive 25 water balloons which you can fill up before the race and bring to the post-race party and water fight (!!) at the finish line.
In addition to water balloons and bibs, the packets include plastic fantastic cheap 80s-style sunglasses and white DRENCHED 5k t-shirts. (Take a moment to wonder whether the idea for this 5k was just a way to have a wet t-shirt contest. We did.)
The race started at 10 am so that it’s warm out and you actually WANT to get hit by water balloons. This also meant that we got to sleep in until 8:30 am!! We were staying with friends who live really close to the start. We got dressed and then Beth and I went to get some bagels. No one else wanted breakfast (not even Kevin!) so we agreed to meet them at the start.
Getting to the start was really easy and there was plenty of parking in the COSI parking lot nearby. It was a small race with lots of families, even some with kids in strollers. We started at nearly the end of the pack because one member of our group was running late for the start and we decided to wait and start together. Quickly, Beth and I realized that we should have gone on ahead because we find fighting through a pack of kiddos and strollers (no matter how cute, some of them were really, really adorable) very annoying while the other 5 in our group seemed to just bound past them (and us).
We fought our way forward for a little while but then gave up and went on a very nice morning walk. It’s a shame because this is one of those events where being towards the front means that you get the best of all the fun stuff they throw at you: water balloons, bubbles, and a foam zone among them. From the photos I’ve seen, it looks like the foam zone was a wall of foam to run through, but by the time we got there it was pretty much just some foam stuck to a fence at the edge of slippery grass.
We did get hit with some water balloons and a fire hose! It was really humid and we almost went back to get hit by the fire hose a second time.
When we reached the finish Kevin and his friend Matt were waiting for us with buckets of water. They thought they were really going to get us and make us scream or something, but we were so hot and humid and dry by that point we welcomed them with open arms.
And then, the best part, the after party. It was like that day at summer camp when they let you have a water balloon fight plus they bring all those extra toys and you can’t really get in trouble for anything except biting and punching and maybe hair pulling.
All the emails we got said that you need to bring at least 25 water balloons get into the water fight, but we didn’t bring them and we still got to play in the water fight. They had buckets for everyone that we could fill up with water and throw at each other. And, oh, we did. Beth and I were easily the most excited about this in our group, which meant that Kevin got many, many buckets thrown at him.
Here are some photos from the water fight, courtesy Beth Bandi (she has a waterproof case):
I’d do this race again and would recommend it, but here’s a few tips to avoid “back of the pack blues”:
- Arrive early to get in line at the front of the pack for the start
- Bring your water balloons already filled up (just in case they’re stricter about the rules in other locations or next year in Columbus)
- Bring a squirt gun and “attack” your running buddies
- Pick a location with a slip ‘n slide (Columbus didn’t have one, but man that would have been fun!)
- Be a crazy little happy kid and HAVE FUN