Five months has now passed since I had Elsie (slow down baby girl!) and it’s time that I start holding myself accountable for my health. I hate running.. it gives me shin splints and I usually can’t get more than ten feet before I’m stopping to try and breath, but.. I aspire to become a runner and one day work up to a marathon! I know that with determination and hard work I WILL run a marathon! One of my favorite Disney quotes is currently my running mantra –
In order to achieve my goal of becoming a runner, I needed to find two things: a way to hold myself accountable and a way to make running fun! Cancer and several other ailments run on both sides of my family, so my family is my biggest reason I want to get back on the healthy train. I am not doing this so I can wear a size 2 or look good in a bikini, I’m not doing this so I can become the next American Ninja Warrior (although that would be awesome!).. I’m doing this so that I can watch my three beautiful children grow up and spend as many days as God blesses me with walking hand in hand with the love of my life. They are the reason I want to be better! So what better way to focus on accountability than to see them every time I train and each time I hit the race pavement? I shared my goals with my husband, who is super supportive, and we decided that we’d do this as a family! Now, that I had them on board.. next item on the agenda was how to make running fun? I started looking at 5K races and came across The Epic Night Run on Facebook.
The Epic Night Run takes your favorite aspects of 5K’s and fuses them together – inflatables, obstacles, glow paint, foam and more!
I thought this would be the PERFECT fun race to get our family fitness running (pun intended).. We arrived early so that we could check out the EPIC Pre-Party and it was a blast! They had the Mak Brothers Band there that had the crowd going for a few hours before the race started! Their energy was great and they kept the crowd going by…
Playing Music & Getting the Crowd Dancing…
I personally think this was a smart move.. It got a lot of people moving prior to the race and allowed them to warm up their muscles without actually “warming up” with traditional, boring exercises. I tend to cramp a lot while running, mostly – if I had to guess – from incorrect stretching. My daughter and I were attempting to warm up prior to the 5K and found that we’ve been stretching wrong every time! You should actually warm up with movements such as jumping jacks, light jog or even dancing (I added this one!) as opposed to traditional, stagnant exercises that pull on muscles that haven’t moved yet. After participating in all the Pre-Party events, I didn’t cramp once during the actual race!
Taking Selfies with the Crowd…
I was snapping a photo of my husband and kids dancing when the DJ and a few others in the crowd jumped in for photo op!
Giving Away T-Shirts & Glow Packs
Brianna was front stage the entire time She even caught a t-shirt they threw into the crowd!
Hosting Dance Off’s
They held a Dance Off in three different categories: Women, Men and Kids. This was really funny to watch, especially the kids! And they made sure to keep it family-friendly. Once of the men got a little carried away dancing and they immediately stopped him. Thanks Epic Night Run for watching out for the little ones!
Zumba – I didn’t get any photo’s of this as we took a quick break during this time to walk back to the car. I LOVE Zumba and I’m sad I missed this.
There were TONS of way to get color-up’d pre-party. First, they gave out packets of color to the crowd. We received a pack of pink and a pack of orange. And it was on… We had a full on color war We let the kids go first, then it was Daddy and my turn.
Tip: Stand close together if you are going to engage in color war! We wasted half a bag before we realized the wind was taking it all.. No worries, Daddy made sure to help them get colored up!
This is one of my FAVORITE photo’s of the night…
Elsie even got a bit of color! I love her look in this photo.. Really Mom?!??
While enjoying the festivities at the stage, we were surprised with bouts of color shot thru the crowd via powder and squirt guns with glowing water!
For an additional fee, you can dip your arm in glow paint! Check out the promotional video above for a sneak peek!
They also had a foam machine stage left that many of the kids had a blast playing in! Sam loved it and Elsie even had her first bubbles experience! The photos don’t share her experience justly.. she really enjoyed it much more than I could capture in any photo! I’m going to have to buy her a bubble machine this summer
We jammed at the EPIC Pre-Party from about 5PM until dusk when we ran.. it was non-stop and a TON of fun!
Once it started getting dark, they called for everyone to the start line. Since I was pushing Elsie in the stroller, we decided to be courteous and head to the back of the line. The kids got SUPER excited once we were in line. They sent us off in waves so that not everyone would crowd up at the first obstacle. Once we made it to the start line, they boxed off a group of us in the “Start Zone” and when it was time for us to go, they lit us up with color first. My before and after photos at the start line:
After our color shot, we were off to the races.. Along the route, the obstacles included barricades to jump over, two inflatable races and what I’ll call a “human foam car wash”. There were also color stations with more color packets and volunteers ready to shoot glowing water at you! The course itself was actually mapped out to be a 5K (the obstacles did not provide any shortcuts, just extra fun). My only complaint about this course was that it was hard to follow. My family was at the back of the line and since we had to wait at the obstacles for people ahead of us to go thru, we ended up being close to last to finishing. That itself was not a problem as it was not a timed course and we were there really to have fun as a family. However, losing sight of the people in front of us meant trying to find our way thru the course. At night. There were cones along the way that we tried to follow, but no one guiding us and no signs. We actually got lost on the course at one point. We decided to go one way, only to find out we missed an obstacle and had to backtrack. Other than needing a little more guidance along the route, it was a perfectly fun night! I would definitely do this course again, as would my family, and we would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun 5K to run! Speaking of, if you’d like to try The Epic Night Run for yourself they have some upcoming races left in 2017!
Rob and the kids jumping over the 1st obstacle…
This is what I call the “Human Foam Car Wash”. I couldn’t get the camera out in time for a photo, but poor Elsie was covered in bubbles when we came out She loved it!
Brianna and I racing on one of the inflatables…
Daddy and Sam racing on one of the inflatables…
The kids had so much fun! They really got a kick out of our inflatable race and being able to beat both my husband and I! It really was a fun, family event and was THE perfect 5K to start us off! Even if you’re not looking for a 5K for your entire family, this is still one you need to add to your list! I’ve always been super worn out in past 5K’s and at the end of this run I truly couldn’t believe that we were done already! I had to ask my husband how long we had been on the run, because it just didn’t feel like we had already run 3.1 miles.. it was the best way to get miles in and not feel like it. We had so much fun, it didn’t feel like a workout – BEST. WORKOUT. EVER!
Doesn’t this race look AWESOME?! Our family had a blast and I know yours will too.. Want to run The Epic Night Run? Keep up to do with their upcoming events, discounts, swag giveaway locations and more via The Epic Night Run website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat!
UPCOMING RACE SCHEDULE:
Don’t see your city listed? Check out their Race Alert section at the bottom of the Location Page for several cities and get on the list VIP Alert List for updates when they’ll be coming to your area!
Another reason I LOVE The Epic Night Run is because each race they sponsor a charity. Tampa’s charity was Voices for Children of Tampa Bay, an organization that provides support and advocacy for abused, neglected and abandoned children. Find out more about this incredible organization on the Voices for Children website, Facebook and/or Twitter.
This photo is going up on our wall – 1st 5K Family Photo! <3
As a bonus, this will be 1 of 25 races needed to cross off #53 on my 101 in 1,001 Adventure List!
Frugal Southern Living Disclaimer: I did not receive any monetary compensation in order to post about The Epic Night Run. My family did, however, receive complimentary race access in order to facilitate our review and share with our readers. Opinions in this review are 100% my own, unbiased thoughts and yours may vary. Receiving complimentary access did not influence my opinion and I was not required to write a positive review.