Brought to you by the Champaign Park District for the 3rd year, Pie Run 2015 gave runners (and walkers!) a chance to see some of Champaign, sample some local pie delicacies, and finish it all off with a whipped cream pie to the face. How did Pie Run even become a thing? “Fun runs, like color runs and zombie runs, have really become popular over the past few years and we’re trying to bring more of these types of runs to the community,” explained race organizer and Champaign Park District employee Hsiung Marler. “We give out prizes for things like best costume and best pie finish.” And by “best pie finish” he really meant “most explosive pie in the face” award.
Below, it’s important to limber up before racing, especially for zombies. What, zombies can’t like pie?
The race started at just about 6 p.m. on the west side of West Side Park in Champaign. Prior to the race start, those in costume received a ribbon award, doubtless to show their commitment and dedication to the run.
Below, some racers were quite serious about racing.
Below, others were quite serious about… something else.
Once the race started, runners and walkers ran around a 3.14 mile course which had them stopping first at Davidson Park on the way out for samples of pie from Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, and then at Eisner Park on the return leg of the race for some tastiness provided by Curtis Orchard. Racers finished back where they started in West Side Park, and had their options of finish lane: pie free or flying pies (launched by the Central High School boys soccer team).
Below, they’re coming, get those pies ready!
Almost everyone that raced (I’m not sure how many raced in total, I stopped counting at 40) chose to finish in the pie lane- and some of those finishes were quite spectacular! Some people took a pie to the face so jubilantly that you’d think it was their purpose in life. Others had to steel their nerves so that they could earn their Pie In The Face Merit Badge with their friends and family. A few chose to hide behind their small children, no doubt to prepare those small humans for the cruelty of the real world at an early age so that they have a better chance of survival later on.
No matter how people raced or finished, everyone was laughing at the end and had one more chance to enjoy a sample of pecan pie, the pronunciation of which was hotly debated early on in the event (it’s pee-KAHN, sorry people).
If you missed your chance this year, keep an eye out for Pie Race 2016 next summer.