If you have not run a 5K Bubble run I would highly recommend it. My family and I attended and ran this race which was in Jacksonville Florida at the Jack aquatic place. It took me about an hour and 45 minutes to get there from my home in Ocala, Florida and it was well worth it. This was the first time I have run in a Bubble run so I did not know what to expect. There were so many people registered for this event that they had to have two heats.
Because of all the rain that Florida was having lately I could only hope and pray for good weather. Well that is what we got, great weather. Another bonus I received was the parking. Online it said it would be $10 to park (which was okay with me) but when we arrived it was free to park. We had signed up for the 2nd heat which was at 10 am so we had arrived after the first heat was started. Several runners were coming in at the time we were walking from my car to the registry area.
They had a section where they were continuing blowing bubbles and many people were enjoying the bubble showers. The course online looked very simple and seemed to be one big continuous loop. For spectators it was not easy to see the runners after they went into the woods but it did not stop them from cheering the runners in. Many runners had several different color stains on their shirts which reminded me of a color run.
The fact was that at different bubble stations throughout the race the bubble machines came out different colors. Thinking back to when I was reading about the event online it did say that runners shirts may get stained in different colors by the bubbles. They announced to the runners to get into the starting chute 15 minutes before the race began. The starting chute looked to be 150 feet long and the runners were overflowing out the back end of the chute.
This Bubble 5K event did not time you so anyone running had to use their own watch. I believe that half of the people were walkers who made it a fun social event for them. Some runners and walkers had tu-tus, some had balloons wrapped around their waste like they were bubbles and some were dressed as serious runners. At the sign in you received a white t-shirt which many people, including me, put on so the bubbles could colorize them when you ran through the bubble areas.
The hard part was that if you did not get near the front it took a long time to get there because they would build up a bubble starting wall and only let out so many people. Then they would build the bubble starting wall again and let out some more people. For any serious runner who did not know this had to be a little fustrated. The again, this was not a timed event but more of a social running/walking event. It was neat seeing so many people running or walking like a long line of ants going out to get some food.
After about a 3rd of the course the first bubble overpass came into play. It poured out a consistant stream of orange bubbles. It was hard for some parents to keep their kids moving because to them, it was one big play area. There were too many people going through it for anyone to take more than a few seconds to go through it. There were tons of people taking pictures with their cell phone cameras including me. The course was professionly laid out which made it easy for any of the participants to follow.
The next bubble station had bubbles colored green. I had sped up in between a gap in the runners and walkers so I can go through the bubbles without being pushed around. After the 2nd bubble station was the halfway mark. They had a water station with volunteers handing out water to anyone who needed a drink. The trash cans were overflowing with empty plastic cups along with some cups being thrown to the ground several yards away for the water station. I did not envy the people who had to clean up this mess.
The next bubble station had bubbles that were blue. I was sweating up a storm because the humidity was high during the run. The bubble station actually cooled you off a little. When I glanced ahead or behind it seemed as if there were hundreds of walkers and runners as far as my eye could see. Everyone had a big smile on their face except for a few kids in strollers that were hot. The last bubble station had bubbles that were yellow. From there you could sense you were getting closer to the finish line.
There did happen to be two really big mud holes that nobody could get around. The night before this event it had rained a lot. The only thing I could do is suck it up and run through it. I then thought I should have brought another pair of shoes. I did find out that after you finished there were two watering hole stations where you can wash you shoes, legs and bubbles off. When all of my family finished we went over to where the music was playing and got more soaked in the bubble blaster they had constantly going.
All in all it was great fun. I really did not mind that it was not timed but I do know that if I am lucky enough to do it next year that I may dress as a big bubble.