Novelty Fun Run Report: Orlando Happy Halloween 5K Run

The Happy Halloween Run, apparently previously known as the Halloween Hustle, is a novelty untimed fun run put on in several cities nationwide by Superfly Running. Naturally, participants are encouraged to dress up.

Training & Goals
I was looking for a fun Halloween race for this season and this fit the bill. I'm not a fan of untimed runs but there was a nice Groupon deal for this race so I took advantage of the savings and had a nice run at Bill Frederick Park with some bling to show for it. 

Race Day: October 21, 2017
I drove out to Bill Frederick Park early Saturday morning. Packet pickup (bib and cape!) was a breeze. I waited for a while in my car and took advantage of the cute photo op background with props before the run began. It was fun to see all of the runners in their costumes.

The race began at 9AM and it was a pleasant 75°F with about 78% humidity.

Mile 1: 10:46
So... this race took place at the same location as the Hatchling Dash earlier this year. The race where I and several other runners (at least) apparently got lost on the course and ran a short race. I was wary going in to this one, but the starting location was different for the Hustle than it was for the Dash. That gave me high hopes I'd get my 5K in.

For this mile we ran along the lake and a pasture with a friendly donkey. A trail I completely missed during the Hatchling Dash.

Mile 2: 10:58
This part of the trail was familiar; for the last two miles of the course we doubled over a narrow loop. The park was open and we passed by several parties playing disc golf.

Mile 3+: 10:26, 0:56
This race was very walker-friendly; during the final 3/4 mile I was passed a lot of walkers on their first loop. I had to hop off the path onto the grass a few times to get by and that was a little bit annoying.

Right before the finish line participants on the first loop had to make a left turn, while those almost done with the course made a slight right to reach the end. The course pointers here were not very clear at all. There was some confusion and a traffic jam when I got there, very annoyed that I had to come to a stop behind walkers who didn't know which way to go. I'm also pretty sure that a lot of participants inadvertently cut the course here because of the unfortunately unclear directions.

On a personal note, I was very happy to see my GPS read 3.1 miles as I crossed the finish line.

Recommendation
I think I will try to avoid running at Bill Frederick Park in the future -- it's a nice park but this is the second race where I've seen course problems. Otherwise the race organization and amenities were slick. Solid MEH rating.

GPS time: 33:06
Race Amenities:
Untimed fun run with cute little themed finisher medal, nice custom race bib, and choice of Halloween cape
Cost:
$12.50

Report written October 26, 2017

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