Race Report – by Jenna Pogue
Channeling our inner 80s pop icons, Jo and I made our way to University Square in Coventry for the Glow For Myton 5k on Saturday night. Very much a fun run, you could walk, jog, run or dance your way around the city centre in aid of The Myton Hospices and also to celebrate their 40th anniversary (hence the 80s vibe!) Luckily for us, running kit often comes in bright, neon, DayGlo inspired colours so we had no trouble picking out suitable running attire for the evening and we accessorised with neon party beads, glow-in-the-dark face gems, tutus and glow sticks.
Arriving very early (as we do to every race) we checked in and collected our goodie bags (which contained face paints, glow sticks, a race t-shirt and a chocolate bar) We found Cathy Keay beginning her City Host shift manning the bag drop and had the usual chit chat and banter you expect when you bump in to a Massey pal out in the wild (e.g. tenuous references to Cathy being a bag lady!) Next, we met up with Sally and her granddaughter Alison and together we performed the standard pre-race routine… selfies, complaining about the cold (it really was cold last night) and repeatedly checking our watches to see if it was too soon (or worse, too late) to make use of the portaloos before the start.
At 20:45, the mass Zumba warm-up began with a local instructor taking to the stage to guide us through the moves. His were like Jagger; mine were more Jester but it was great fun and just what we needed on a chilly evening. Following the Zumba-fest, it was time for the paint throw. Our goodie bags had also included a pouch of colourful powder paint and on the count of 3 we threw our paints into the air and let them rain down over us in a wash of colour. The woman standing directly in front of me, however, put a little too much back into her throw and instead of launching the paint skywards, she sent it straight back over her head in the direction of my face. As a result, I spent the rest of the night looking like Papa Smurf!
Crossing the Priory Street start line at 21:00 we were blasted with yet more powder paint, this time directed at us by volunteers brandishing fire extinguishers. Once the colourful fog cleared, Jo and I realised we were quite near the front of the pack compared to where we would normally be in a field of 700 participants. Being a fun run, walking was as equally encouraged as running and across the wide route, the runners and walkers found a natural path through each other and there was a nice camaraderie. The route took us towards Coventry Train station via a bubble tunnel and a “Glow Zone” (a light installation lining a small section of the route) and then across town towards the Skydome where hundreds of Coventry Blaze fans were just kicking out and revellers were heading in to the various pubs and clubs to start their night out. We snaked across the city centre past The Belgrade and up through the Burges and then a lap around the Upper Precinct (where the fountains had been lit up in a variety of colours) took us towards the much-anticipated foam tunnel. It didn’t disappoint and I came out the other side looking like a polar bear! From here, we headed back down towards the Cathedral finish line where the DJ was spinning tunes and welcoming us back in. It was quite short of 5k which was no problem – those who were happy with the distance enjoyed their achievement and others carried on for some rounding-up around Pool Meadow.
Jo and I arrived back from rounding-up in time to cheer Sally and Alison across the line and then we finished our evening (after being handed our Certificates of Completion from the event organisers) with prosecco, tea, chips and Dirty Doughnuts from the various food vendors. We also had a bit of a boogie and a singalong with some Fordy Runner friends as the DJ cranked up his 80s playlist, taking the after-party through until midnight (NB we were all in bed by midnight because that’s just how we roll!)