May the Fourth (Star Wars day, of course) fell on a Saturday this year. Saturday is also parkrun day, and the first Saturday of the month is pacing week, so of course our parkrun had a Star Wars parkrun. I’d signed up as a pacer again (first Saturday of the month), so naturally I had to appear as a Star Wars themed pacer.
I was pacing 32 minutes again, but I was finding it difficult to run to a steady pace this week. I pressed on, and with about a kilometre to go I apologised as I passed a runner in front of me. “I was hoping to stay in front of you!!!” she wailed, so I told her to stick with me and we’d get her in under 32 minutes. Coming up to the line I told her to sprint ahead, and seeing as I came in in 31:15 means she was definitely under 32 minutes. This is the first time I’ve actually had someone running with me and relying on my timing, and I was delighted we did it (even if I was too fast!)
As I waited to get my barcode scanned, another runner told me that he’d had me in his sight all the way around, and was really pleased with his time as a result. Two satisfied customers- the force was strong with this one today!
Note – in case you missed the first appearance of the Princess Leia costume, it was here. And yes – I was impressed I still fitted into it as well!
So a race that took me several times longer to get dressed for than to actually run it. A race that I was more nervous about what I, and everybody else, would be wearing than usual. A race where the safety briefing ends with “and may the Force be with you. 3 2 1 GO!”
Yes it was May the Fourth, and it was the Sci-fi 5k. Fortunately the race didn’t start until 11.30am so I had plenty of time to get ready. A whole packet of hair pins, a can of hair spray and my carefully made costume later, I dragged my photographer (teenaged son) out with me and off we went. I suddenly realised as I was driving that I was getting some funny looks from drivers in other cars, but maybe they didn’t realise Princess Leia drove a large muddy Toyota.
We reached the car park, and I was expecting to see streams of runners in fancy dress heading to Race HQ. No, only families going to the park. Just as I was silently wondering if I’d come to the right place and at the right time, my normally unflappable son asked if we’d come on the right day. “Well, what’s the date?” I asked him. “May the Fourth!” he replied, smiling.
Race HQ was in a Wetherspoon’s pub and add I collected my number I was assured there were other people in costume. As we moved outside to the start area, in the park, we did finally see another couple of Leias, a rebel pilot, Obi Wan Kenobi (who seemed to have come in his dressing gown), and someone that I though was Captain Jack from Doctor Who & Torchwood, but who apparently was Han Solo.
As we set off, the weather had warmed up and It was beautifully sunny. I was already feeling warm in my long sleeved top and long skirt, but I kept thinking I couldn’t be as hot as the Dalek!
The course wound through some housing estates and then back through some parkland. It was all pretty flat and on another day, in a galaxy far, far away, in another outfit this would be a great PB race. I ran with a lady in a red Star Trek dress for a while and we consoled each other about running in a dress.
My blaster hand was sticky and slippy now and I was seriously considering ditching it. However my son had had his eye on it so I tried passing it from hand to hand just for a change.
Eventually we headed back into the park and could hear people applauding and see the finish line. I looked out for my son, the official photographer, but couldn’t see him anywhere. I received my medal and a bottle of water and found a shady area by a tree to wait for him. He sauntered over 5 minutes later having waited back at the car and underestimating how long it would take him to walk back. Sigh. Fortunately there were plenty of other people with cameras who then shared their photos on Facebook. Thanks John and Warren.
I almost forgot to mention the race super was Darth Vader. Well if he was behind me, I’d run too!
It was a good race, the organisers had obviously enjoyed branding it as a ‘Sci fi’ 5k, the weather was beautiful and the support was great. It was just a shame there were so few people in costume. My only regret (and I feel a little grumpy saying this) was that I didn’t win the award for the best fancy dress. I know it was for fun, and that as long as I was happy with my outfit that’s what matters. but I really would have liked to win!