(Featured Image is from Running Universal)
Where do I begin? These Running Universal events just keep getting better and better. I must say that they have done a fantastic job again. On Mother’s Day I was running with The Minions, in November I was hunting for dinosaurs.
I always get to a race early. I found parking easy like it was the first time. They had us park in the Jurassic Park lot which was fantastic and fitting. In the final instructions it said that packet pickup would be at 4am. I dunno why, but packet pickup opened late. Not that late, only eleven (11) minutes late. I didn’t mind at all. I understand things don’t run smooth at times, but I do give them major props for opening up quickly as they did.
I have to admit that it was a sight when I turned the corner and saw these replica cars from the movie. Fans of the Jurassic Park films re-created their cars. It was amazing. I went back to my car (which was parked very close to the escalators and to the City Walk) to get ready for the run before meeting my friends at packet pickup.
We immediately got into the corral and waited. It was 52 degrees outside, the race started at 6:30am. We were in the corral at a quarter to 5am. We always get into the corral early so we can start as soon as possible. We were in corral 2.
We had such a blast hanging out, talking, taking pictures, and even planning races for 2020. Due to standing in the cold for almost an hour and a half our legs were stiff. My hips, thighs, and toes were stiff.
Once we got to the red carpet we were ready. We were excited, especially when we saw them re-loading the confetti cannons. We wanted confetti. We were ready to get this race started and find us some dinosaurs. The counted down started, we switched on our cell phone to record this beautifully awesome confetti start.
We were off and jogging. It felt great. I loved seeing universal Studios all decorated for Christmas. I love Christmas. We were all laughing because I was so excited that I forgot to start my Garmin right when we crossed the start line. It was nothing but group photos all day long. Our first stop was the Despicable Me ride. The Minions had decorated their Christmas trees.
Of course we found ourselves running through the street of Paris. Running through this part always makes me miss Paris and I long to go back. We turned the corner and found ourselves at the Springfield City Limits. It was right then and there that we all found Moe’s Tavern. Carrie and Stephanie decided to pose for a very funny picture and acted like they were trying to get into Moe’s. I saw what they were doing and I decided to pretend that I was helping Stephanie out by pulling her backwards. All we do was laugh.
We found ourselves in Diagon Alley which is quite beautiful at Christmas time. Unfortunately for us all the shops were closed. We were unable to get our robes and wands so we can attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We were bummed, especially Sam. She was looking forward to classes as you can see in the pictures. This was all in good fun of course as we all just wanted to laugh and have a good time.
Exiting Diagon Alley we found ourselves on the streets of New York where we posted for the best group pictures. It caught the attention of the official race photographers and even fellow racers. In fact, the woman dressed as the Jurassic Park Jeep and the scientist had been behind us the entire time and were laughing with us. We just didn’t know it. That made me smile that we were able to make other runners smile and laugh.
We were having so much fun running through the backlot. It felt like I was walking/jogging on air. My head was up in clouds. It was Heavenly. Even jogging we were still goofing off and having fun, especially on the hills. Remember the woman dressed a Jurassic Park jeep and the Scientist? They caught up with us and asked if they could be in our group photo. I said “Of course you can. Please join us”. We were happy to have them join us and we all got to talking. That’s when they told us that they wanted to join us because we take the best group photos.
This 5k course was completely different than the course Carrie and I ran at the Mother’s Day Minions run. This course was extremely hilly. The hills. My thighs were on fire and my legs felt so heavy. Keep in mind that I have been at home resting and recovery from a concussion I had received when I was in a car accident back in late August. I also had not had my doctor permission to work out.
It was all worth it as we found dinosaurs. We walked right into their destruction and they had the entire street in their control. They were waiting for us so they could have lunch. This was so awesome. The street filled up quickly with runners and we could barely get any photos and they were quick photos. I managed to get a pretty good video of some of it, you can view it here. This was AWESOME! I wish that the street was so much longer and that there was more.
Of course, Carrie and I had to stop for our now traditional photo at The Bates Motel. That is one of the best group photos we took during this entire run. We even stopped by the home of Norman Bates to say hello to his mother. We heard that she is not quite herself and we wanted to check in on her. Only, she had a surprise for us. First, we managed to escape those vicious dinosaurs and now we had to escape Norman Bates.
The finish line is always the best. We all came in together. We were raising our arms in the air and cheering once we entered the City Walk and jogged just like that all the way to the finish line. After a few finish line photos Carrie, Sam, Jane, and I were off to our local breakfast spot in Toluca Lake.
Now this is my favorite part. Breakfast and mimosas with Carrie, Sam, and Jane. I love these wonderful ladies. They are awesome. We all have the best conversations and laughs. I’m so glad to have them as my friends. I was telling Carrie and Sam that I need to do more races with them because I always look forward to running with them as well as our after race ritual; breakfast and mimosas. I will for sure be doing more races with them in the future.
We were all laughing ever since we started this race. We were stopping for photos and even taking funny pictures as well. All of our funny pictures were done last minute and were not planned. We were just having fun. The miles flew by fast. I hope we call get together for the Trolls themed run in April.