Writer Alexandra Bullard shares her first-time experience of the annual Monster Dash fun run in support of Alzheimer Scotland
An obstacle course. In the dark. In the company of Monsters. What is it? It’s the annual Monster Dash charity fun run, of course. For those who are unaware, this annual Halloween event is a 3k and 5k(ish) race around the grounds of Garscube Sports Complex and involves running, jumping and encountering hair-raising obstacles in the dark. All of which begged the question: would I be running scared?
Prior to the race, participants were encouraged to dress up in fancy dress to get into the Halloween spirit and prizes were to be awarded to the best-dressed monsters. As Glasgow had been blessed with beautiful weather all day, the night was clear and a pair of sports leggings, a thin thermal and loose white top covered in fake blood did the trick for me. In addition to the costumes, head torches had to be worn by all runners – these were available to buy for £4 each or, like me, you could bring your own with you. Before I could get into the right frame of running mind, we were then suddenly escorted outside to the starting point and we all took part in an active 3 minute warm-up to the song "Bat Out of Hell" before starting the race. With adrenaline coursing through our veins, it was time for the terrifying Monster Dash to commence.
From the off, I had had to crawl, climb and jump my way through the fields of Garscube with little, hidden surprises along the way. The first encounter was the crawl which involved fighting your way under the tightest army net whilst getting covered in mud; if your costume wasn’t frightening enough already. Still, the biggest challenge was most definitely the hay bails that not only sapped most of your energy but also put you under pressure as more runners began to catch up. After conquering three giant walls of straw, we were pounding on more or less flat ground for a good chunk of time. Not to mention, there were multiple volunteers at checkpoints donning their red t-shirts and roaring support or leaping out from bushes whilst spraying you with cold water along the way. Finally, after running with wet trainers for the last kilometre, the finish line was in sight. My muscles ached and my legs had turned to jelly, but when we reached the water slide the sense of accomplishment was hard to ignore. Hearing choruses of congratulations followed by a trip down an icy water slide with your companions was the perfect end to one of the most enjoyable events that the University of Glasgow has to put on offer.
For a £10 ticket price for entry, the Monster Dash will leave you satisfied as well as entertained. Is it possible to suggest that in the end I was, in fact, running scared? Apart from the occasional jump scare, I was more frightened at how incredibly unfit I was. Next Halloween, I plan to be more prepared.