Sunday, December 4, 2011

Santa Claus 5K Run and final training race for Seattle

Burlington, VT Dec. 4, 2011

Who would have thought over 1200 runners would have signed up for this first ever festive race on the first weekend in December!!

Well, it turned out to be an awesome day to start.  The sun was out, the temps in the high 30's and warming, a bit windy, but what the heck.  It wasn't raining!  The race started at 9:30 AM but by 8:30 AM there were mobs of Santa's cruising around Church St. in Burlington.

Church St. in Burlington, VT

I arrived shortly after 8:00 AM, got my race number and went out to preview the course, without the Santa outfit.  About halfway through Santa Bob drove by who then tried to catch up but we must have crossed paths and didn't find each other til the start.  I finished the loop and then suited up in full Santa attire to get ready for the run.  Once I had the suit on I noticed it was rather long and baggie.  I headed over to the host site, Ri Ra's and found some pins to customize the suit.  I folded up the pant legs, as every pair of pants that I own were too long to begin with, so this was no different.  And then attached a safety pin to keep them together.  I cinched up the waist with the attached string but made sure I hit the bathroom before and good thing as it took a good 5 minutes to untie myself after the race.  And the jacket, I attached numerous pins across the chest to keep it from flopping open.  The belt set up was marginal but held on with a simple tied bow.  Good to go.  Back out on Church St. the Santa's were everywhere and singing Christmas Carols.  The Holiday spirit was definitely alive.  It was hard to recognize anyone you knew as obviously, we all were wearing the same outfit.  Finally it was time to get to the start line.  I did see some folks I knew and hooked back up with Santa Bob.   Bob and I do a lot of
Santa Bob Ayers
running together.  And then we were off and running.  A quick run along lower Church St and then down on Main St. towards the lake.  And yes, the winds were blowing pretty good but no worries.  The front pack of Santa's took off rather quickly.  I wasn't too far behind and noticed I was having trouble breathing.  The beard and mustache was getting sucked up my nose and into my mouth.  Finally for survival I had to pull it down just enough to get some oxygen in.  And this was no flat and easy 5K run, once you got down to Battery St. it was a good up hill for the next mile and a half and into the strong headwinds on South Willard.  But after that, it finished up with the wind at your back on a downhill which was great.  In the end I believe it was Ray Webster and Jason Baer tying for the win.  Full results are here:

Afterwards we were all treated to an awesome breakfast hosted by Ri Ra's with plenty of food to go around.  Then with belly's full, Santa Bob and I went out to run the course again, in our Santa attire of course.  It was fun and relaxing.  We had numerous folks honking the horn at us and waving.  In all, a great day and an event that should grow over the years.  An event you won't want to miss!

Here's a story from the Burlington Free Press with video: .

Next up, the USATF National Club XC 10K Championships in Seattle, Washington.

No comments: