When my friend Lesley asked if I’d be interested in helping promote her Ghost, Goblins & Ghouls Spooktacular 5K on my social media in exchange for a few free race entries, I jumped at the chance.  I love helping friends, and I thought that it would be fun to give away race entries on my blog and social media sites.  I need to point out that even though Lesley gave me a free entry into the race, I will still write my recap with the same honesty as with all of my other recaps.

Since I missed the Friday afternoon packet pick-up, I stopped by The Barn at One Loudoun at 1 PM on Saturday to grab my shirt and bib.  Packet pick-up was easy-peasy and I was on my way after chatting with Lesley and getting to meet her mom.


The shirt is cute with a seriously glow-in-the-dark design on the front, and it’s the perfect handing-out-candy-on-Halloween-night shirt.  Because most race shirts seem to run small, I ordered a medium and it’s large on me.  Guess this shirt ran true to size!   


Erin arrived at our house about an hour before the race, and Bill took this picture of us in our back yard.  The leaves are finally looking fall-like, and we couldn’t have had a more perfect race day.  It was about 60° at race time.


Photo courtesy of Bill


We met our fellow MRTT friends and teammates next to The Barn at 3:30 PM for our traditional pre-race photo, and I wasn’t the least bit surprised that we had 100% participation in dressing up. You know that if anyone had not worn a costume, it would have been me, so I was very happy that I rushed out that morning to pick up my cat ears and tail.  


Photo courtesy of Kim


After our group photo, we stood in line at the restroom for about ten minutes and then I took off for a warm-up run.  While in the restroom line, I got notifications from my ESPN app and a text from my very handsome and good friend Craig (hi Craig!) that the Hokies had beaten Boston College.  You know that if I chose to miss the second half of the Virginia Tech football game, there had to be a good reason, and I couldn’t think of a better reason than racing with friends on a beautiful fall afternoon!

The wind kicked up just before the race and during my warm-up run my cat ears blew off.  I scooped them up and realized that I’d have to carry them during the race.   With cat ears in hand, I slipped into the starting chute just as Lesley welcomed us to the race.


Photo courtesy of Bill


I snapped a quick GoPro selfie of the crowd (with my ears temporarily back on for the picture), we paused for the National Anthem, I took my ears off, and then we were off!


With a time goal of 25:00, I headed out with my first mile at 8:10.  It’s much easier to run fast when being chased by a zombie!


And a little humbling to be passed by someone in a giraffe costume…


While I was still out huffing and puffing on the course, this young man finished in 18:28 (5:57 pace).  Did I mention that he’s fourteen?


Photo courtesy of Bill


And shortly afterward, this young lady became the first female to finish in 21:07 (6:48 pace).  Did I mention that she’s thirteen?


Photo courtesy of Bill


Kelley was our first MRTT team member to finish with a time of 22:40 (7:18 pace) which earned her a second place in her age group.  She’s one fast mama, and one of my favorite people to run with to try to keep up with!


Photo courtesy of Bill


Bill caught me crossing the finish line with at time of 25:04 (8:04 pace) which earned me first place in my age group (out of 25 runners).  My splits were 8:10, 8:08, 8:00, and 0:46.  Of course, I’m now beating myself up for not pushing just a little bit harder to run a sub 25.  Not that I’m competitive or anything…


Photo courtesy of Bill


My friend and fellow Ragnar teammate, Laurie, just happened to be the zombie chasing me in the earlier picture.  She had a great race and also won the best costume award!


Photo courtesy of Bill


After having run a 5K just six days earlier, Erin ran a great race; in fact, her best yet since an injury last year.


Photo courtesy of Bill


Another great friend and again fellow Ragnar teammate, Kim, ran with her daughter.  This is B’s second 5K this summer, and she rocked both races.  And while we’re at it, can we just admire Kim’s arms for a second!


Photo courtesy of Bill


After the race Bill snapped this picture of Kelley, Erin, and me.   Such good running friends spending a beautiful fall afternoon together!


Photo courtesy of Bill


It wasn’t until Bill showed me the pictures that I realized he’d gotten a picture of me hugging Vanessa after her race.  You see, I first met Vanessa at Kim’s house at a Christmas party last year. That night, Kim and I worked on talking Vanessa into joining our MRTT chapter.  Eventually she did, and she’s come out swinging!  Bill captured the moment that I congratulated her on another great race, and her husband Gumby looked on proudly.  In fact, he was so proud that he never quit smiling! 


Photo courtesy of Bill


Bill and I left before the awards ceremony, so I didn’t get to collect my medal, but there’s nothing new there.  If you’ve read my blog for long, you know that used to have a habit of leaving the race without checking to see how I’d done and then I’d have to jump through hoops to collect my award at a later time.

Edited note: Lesley was kind enough to mail my medal to me after the race!





Laurie did stick around, and received her best costume award!  Congrats, Laurie!


Photos courtesy of Laurie


Once back home, Stella approved of my cat costume, and actually sat still for one millionth of a second for this picture!


Photo courtesy of Bill


Next Halloween, if you’re looking for a fun family race, look no farther than the Ghost, Goblins & Ghouls Spooktacular 5K!  Let’s just hope the weather will be this perfect again!

Thank you, Lesley, for a fun race and a fun Halloween afternoon!


  • Questions:
  • Do you prefer morning or afternoon races? 
  • Have you ever dressed up for a race?
  • Did you race this weekend?