Race Review! Brew Ha Ha Halloween 5k

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The Brew Ha Ha Halloween 5k is part of a larger Brew Ha Ha Craft Run series put on my 131 Event Productions  in Indianapolis, Indiana.  This was the 2nd annual Halloween 5k and they more than doubled their participation from the first race which was both good and bad.

I have a special spot in my heart for this race as it was my bestie Jessica’s first 5k last year and in a few days she will be running her first half marathon.  It’s pretty special to get to share both of those with her. (And it was really awesome to see how far she’s come in the last year!)

T-Shirts/Swag: The shirt for the race this year was a long-sleeved, cotton t-shirt hoodie in gray with the medal design/race logo on both the front and back of the shirt. halloween-hoodieI really appreciate it when race organizer let you choose whether or not to get the race shirt.  I’ve mentioned it before, but when I get race shirts that are either straight up cotton or are a dark colored technical shirt, the likelihood of me ever wearing them is slim to none.  For this race the organizers give you the option of adding the shirt to your packet when you register! Get the shirt pay $10 extra, that simple.  This option was especially nice because while I loved the race shirt, I knew Gil would never wear it, so I only got one shirt.

The finish line swag is the real standout of this race. Last year’s medal was pretty awesome but the medal this made that first medal pale in comparison.  With flashing LED eyes, an awesome sugar skull design, and a size nearly as big as my head it was nothing to sniff at!

Lastly, after you cross the finish line and you’ve received your medal you are given a drink ticket good for one brew from Metazoa Brewing Co. or a cuppa coffee from The Well Coffeehouse and a delicious square donut… yes square… from the aptly named Square Donuts.

Last but not least on the race swag, 131 Events offers free downloads of all of the race day photos they take at the Brew Ha Ha! Pretty cool!  I’m sure this won’t last forever but it’s awesome while it lasts!

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Aid Stations:  There is one water stop just past the halfway mark as you come around a corner.  This is pretty simple with cups of water and gatorade and a few volunteers manning the table.brewhaha-halloween-map

Scenery & Course:  The course is a  USATF Certified course that runs through scenic downtown Carmel, along the Monon Trail and past the Palladium and Center Green. It’s mostly flat with a few smaller hills and is mostly along residential streets until you get to the monon trail.

There were course monitors/ Carmel Police Officers at most if not all intersections who were all very polite and did let some cars pass through the course at appropriate times.

 

Elevation:  As I mentioned before this route is pretty flat with a few hills right in the middle of the course. I’ve included my elevation chart for your reference. img_9999

Race Experience:  I’ve done this both times that it has been offered and I’ve had a blast at both events. It’s always fun to run in costume and with a costume contest prior to the race start there are plenty of other runners in costume to keep you company.

My only real negative for the race is that the finish line area was still set up as if there were only 500 runners (like last year) when there were actually over 1200 this year so the finish line beer line was incredibly long with most people waiting an average of 20 minutes from lining up to sipping their post race beer. The other problem that this caused was that the actual finish line then became clogged with both runners finishing and runners trying to get in line for their beer.  It’s a simple logistical fix but one that should have been caught and corrected by the race officials on site.

Parking/Access:  Parking for the race is widely available once you get to the lots.  There is a lot of construction going on in the Carmel area right now so just leave a few extra minutes to get where you’re going and it will be fine.

This race is well organized and, other than some growing pains from more than doubling their entries, very well pulled off.  With the great race premiums and fun addition of the costumes and costume contest this is definitely a race I would recommend!

Happy Running!

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