Flashing lights… flashing lights.
Everywhere I turned - flashing lights and glow sticks. Neon rainbow colours filled the night. The stadium shone like a beacon for the Electric Run 2014 London.
Nat and I participated in The Electric Run last Saturday, a 5K crazy fun run around Wembley stadium. Participants are invited to run in the midst of bright lights, glow sticks and laser beams, where music is blasted while you make your way around a winding course that truly outshines all others. The race is open to adults and children of all ages. It is not a timed event so you are welcome to run at your own pace. The first wave begins at 8:30pm, the last wave is released at 9:45pm and the celebrations do not stop until 11:30pm. A perfect amount of time to make your way around, hit the finish line, drink, dance and rave it up before its time to head home (or out).
My first thought as I received the email was ‘the instructions are not very clear about how to get to the starting point’, so making our journey there, I was concerned we would not be able to find it immediately. I was truly mistaken. As soon as you step onto the platform of Wembley Park station there is absolutely no way of missing the hordes of colourful people and strong bass lines emanating from the stadium. The DJ was playing a whole range of tracks worthy of a great night out and I could not help but dance my way down the station steps en route to the start line.
We arrived fashionably late to ensure that it would be dark by the time we started running (let’s be real - what’s the point of wearing glow sticks while it's still bright!) The runners are allowed forward in 5 minute waves and from the entrance chute it is about 20 minutes until you actually begin running. This has got to be the most memorable start to any race I have ever taken part in. The music is deafening and you are standing right in the centre of what feels like a never ending dance floor - think mosh pit, but ultra fabulous, wonderfully colourful mosh pit! It was like being on another planet. As we neared the start line I spotted other runners already inside the venue being shown on the large screen overhead. My heart was pumping out of pure excitement, I just wanted to begin already. I tend to get anxious at the start of any race but the vibe here was beyond incredible. Its worth a mention that despite the masses of people, nobody was pushing or nudging to get forward. I think everyone was too busy enjoying themselves and soaking in the atmosphere of the rave, I mean race!
As the horn blew for our wave to enter I remember feeling a rush of energy, I stepped forward just as neon glow sticks and flashing LED batons flew from the DJ booth through the air toward us - it was literally raining lights. I reached up and managed to grab hold of a few mid stride. I bent down to pick up a few more as I ran into the venue fist pumping my newly acquired glow sticks in the air.
Rather than markers, it seemed each kilometre or so brought a new light installation from disco light walls to massive light tubes and a lantern lit wonderland to name just a few. Even the water stop at the halfway point was a cool underground tunnel where you were handed water in brightly coloured cups. My one niggle here is the cups were made from hard plastic and of course many ended up on the floor. It literally felt like running through crunching shards of plastic so I can only imagine that accidentally tripping over in this area would not be fun.
Being a shorter distance race, everywhere I ran, music followed. Some areas noticeably louder than others but I did not use my earphones at all during the entire race. The route itself was quite steep. Many people opted to walk which became an obstacle for people like me who wanted to try and run through it. With the booming music and interesting features it was very easy to forget this was in fact a run. The night itself was quite chilly which was difficult as the venue does not allow for you to store any baggage on site therefore I arrived in my running gear without a change of clothes or additional layers. However Nat and many other participants carried running backpacks.
Overall, on a £35 offer I found this race major fun and one I would recommend to anyone who will not take it too seriously. If you want a medal or want to beat your personal best, this is not the right race for you as most people will stumble along, bopping to the music. As a fun night out with your mates, it’s brilliant! I feel with this particular event, the larger the group and the crazier the outfits the better. I will definitely be there again next year, hope to see you all there.
four that strut