MOUNT OLIVE - Hector Miranda had a secret weapon for Friday night’s North Carolina Pickle Festival Cuke Patch 5K glow run.
The 7-year-old brought his bike.
“He came prepared because last year his other brother ended up carrying him through the race,” said mom Elizabeth Miranda. “Not this year. We prepared this time.”
“We’re going to have fun,” Hector said. “She has a game plan for us. It is a secret. We don’t even know what it is yet.”
Miranda said that friends in her running group had planned surprises at every marker and would have games going on each one.
The run was one of the first events of the 33rd annual North Carolina Pickle Festival that got off to a rain-drenched start, forcing the two free concerts inside at Ribeyes, while more than 100 participants braved the rain to compete in the Cuke Patch 5K, and the carnival rides lasted three out of a scheduled four hours.
“Rain? What rain? We had rain? It was raining pickles,” festival co-chairman Julie Beck said. “The race took place in the rain, and we had ourselves a good time. Everything happened last night, and it was good. People came and they ate, had a good time and enjoyed the bands and dances. We didn’t miss a beat.”
Hector, his mother, and brother Braxton, 15, were among the nearly 30-member strong team from Elite Physique from Goldsboro. They wore glow glasses, carried glow sticks and some wore lighted tutus.
They also carried umbrellas and sought shelter beneath the overhang at First Baptist Church from what started as a steady drizzle before turning into a downpour about halfway through the race.
The Mirandas, who also participated last year, said they were not concerned about the rain.
“It makes it funner, right?” Elizabeth Miranda said. “We enjoy dressing up and the camaraderie of dressing up and coming together as a group and just having a great time together. We go and run at the Cliffs of the Neuse (State Park) every Sunday.
“Several of us participated in a Spartan Race in Charlotte this past Sunday.”
Miranda said she was hopeful the weather would be better Saturday so they could participate then as well.
“I came because my mom wanted me to come,” Braxton said.
However, he said he knew it was going to be fun.