The Los Angeles Neon Run 5k

It happened. I don’t know how, but I’ve become THAT person — the one who pays money to run long distances. And yes, I know, a 5k which is barely 3.2 miles is not necessarily long distance when you compare it to the friends of mine who regularly run 8 miles, 16 miles, 27 miles… but to a gal like me who’d rather run reports than laps, it’s pretty unique that I’ve spent ACTUAL money to run for pleasure!

This Friday night, I ran the Neon Run 5k with my husband and my pals Jason and Amy. I was really nervous about running with the three of them because they’re all regular long-distance runners, and Amy is actually a seasoned marathon pro (Jason just signed up for the LA Marathon! Can we get a “Heck yeah!” going for him?). I warned all of them that they should feel free to run ahead, as I knew my pace would be slooooow and sometimes include walking. We ended up losing Jason and Matt in the crowd but my marathoner Amy stayed by my side and encouraged me to keep going when I just wanted to walk. I originally (aka, months ago) had grand plans of running the whole 5k, but as health stuff got in the way, those plans were put on the back burner and I went with a revised goal of just improving the time and experience of my last 5k.

Before the Neon Run!

Before the Neon Run!

The run began at 8 pm, and despite its disorganization (no clearly marked signs, confusion about start and exit), we had a great time. We decked ourselves out in glow paint and glow sticks and while I couldn’t run the whole 5k, I think I ran about half of it. I know I did better than the color run as our time for walking the color run was one hour and 15 minutes, and the time for this run was 48 minutes. Also, I burned 731 calories during the Color Run — and 530 calories this time. What that means is my body is getting more in shape, meaning the same amount of exertion causes less exhaustion. All very good signs!

Blacklight Tent at the Neon Run

Blacklight Tent at the Neon Run

The most fun part was running through the blacklight tents. You were sprayed with glowing paint and then once you passed a blacklight, you glowed like a firefly. I wasn’t thrilled about the blacklight color spray they used, because it smelled like wet dog and was sticky, but you know, all in the name of fun. They had some bass-heavy techno music playing through out which kept everyone pepped up and ready to roll. After our run we headed off to iHop, where we had a very late celebratory dinner. I definitely had an awesome time, but if I had to rank this run compared to the Color Run, I’d give it a 5 out of 10. It was fun, but didn’t feel as well put together as The Color Run (not as many water stations, not enough signage indicting start, exit, halfway, etc). However, I love the idea of the fun runs, and hope to squeeze in a couple more before the year ends. I’d really like to be able to run a 5k in its entirety sometime soon, so maybe I can target one for Thanksgiving or the end of the year.

You glow, girl!

You glow, girl!

Do you have any suggestions for “Fun Runs” I have to do? I’ve heard about the Frozen Hot Chocolate 5k, and the Spartan Race, but what else is out there that’s a “must do”? Also, would you pay to do a fun run?



16 thoughts on “The Los Angeles Neon Run 5k

  1. I’ve heard of “Turkey Trot” that people do Thanksgiving morning. Not sure if that is an organized thing or just something individuals just do on their own.

    • My sister and I did it in Petaluma last year — most cities have them and it’s a great way to burn off lots of calories! 🙂

  2. I am so happy for you 🙂 [and ew about disorganized races! they can be so annoying].

    Fun runs: 5k foam fest [usually held in the summer time, but you may find one down by you since you’re in SoCal], Dirty Girl [more of mud run], and the jingle bell run [link at the end]. There are also zombie runs [more of an obstacle type course] and I am super jealous you get the chocolate race near you!

  3. Sounds like fun, though I’d be freaking out about the spray smell, lol! Congrats to you on how well you did, too. Hm, Zombie 5K? That sounds fun to me too, but I’m a zombie fan.

  4. This looks like so much fun! I need an event like this in my city. Great job! And I totally feel you on the paying to run long distances thing. Who would’ve thought I’d be that girl?

  5. I’ve done the Hot Chocolate in Chicago and it’s really well organized–although a TON of people run it so there can be a lot of bunching if the course is too narrow. The swag is also awesome (great sweatshirt, tons of chocolate fondue and dippers after).

    Congrats on doing these 5Ks! They’re a great motivator to keep training and are really fun.

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