Earlier this week I started stalking the Run With Santa 5K website when I saw the messy weather coming across the country with an ETA in the DC area on Sunday morning about the time the race was to start.  This is what I found…

WeatherAlert

 

And then last night Weather Bug had this alert…

WeatherBugWarning

 

But this morning I woke up to no snow and no email from the race director, so hot diggity damn the race would go on!

But before I tell you about the race, let’s back up to the race swag.  =PR= Race Series always does it right, so I was curious what goodies we would be getting with this race.  First off, the shirt fits!  I’m sure you guys are well aware of how the sizes of race shirts can vary, and how annoying it is to get a shirt you love that’s the wrong size.  And did I mention how much I love this shirt?

RunWithSantaShirt

 

The =PR= Race Series gives out a race pin as part of the swag…

RunWithSantaPin

 

And usually some other cool item (remember the beer glass from the Firecracker 5k?).  For this race it was a Christmas tree ornament!  And don’t forget, this is the race company that takes pictures along the course and at the finish line, and then puts them on their website for runners to download for free!  Now you know why I’m constantly saying that I love Potomac River Running Stores!

RunWithSantaOrnament

 

My trusty side-kick and favorite running dude had to work today, so even though he was registered for the race, he couldn’t go.  I missed you, Babe!  This is the first time I can remember ever driving to a race alone and not hanging out with anyone before the race started.  Several Cruisers were registered to run, but because of the snow, sicknesses, and work, only Chuck and I could make it.  Unfortunately, he and I didn’t find each other until after the race.  Even though we had a meet-up place, we still missed each other (too many people).

RunWithSantaDebTree

 

While walking around looking for Chuck, I saw Santa and an elf.  Santa had bib number 1, but didn’t run.  I saw him cheering us on along the course.

RunWithSantaMrsClausSanta

 

Next, I bumped into the pajama family, and they happily posed for a picture!

RunWithSantaPJFamily

 

Um, this dude didn’t know that I was taking a picture of his behind, but when you’re wearing shorts made out of duct tape paired with a moose sweater, you’ve got to expect some attention.

RunWithSantaDuctTapeShorts

 

As we walked from Fountain Square, we passed by this lovely star.  Thankfully, it’s not made out of duct tape.

RunWithSantaStar

 

While waiting for the race to start, and still looking for Chuck, I turned around and snapped a picture of the sea of runners extending all of the way back to Fountain Square.  As you can see, it was starting to snow heavily by then!

RunWithSantaRaceStart

 

Cold, but excited to be running in the snow, I’m ready!

RunWithSantaDebRaceStart

 

I spent the first mile looking at my feet because the snow was coming down so hard (be careful what you wish for)!  You can see from the previous photo how much the pavement had changed in ten minutes!

RunWithSantaFootSnow

 

One of the things I love about this race series is the number of children that run (just don’t line up behind them if you want to race or go for a PR).  I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of this little cutie as I caught up to her and her mom.

RunWithSantaLittleGirlRunning

 

The Potomac River Running photographer caught me running toward the finish line.  I finished in 27:35 (8:54 pace).

DebFinishing2RunWithSanta5K

 

Right after I finished the race, and while I was looking for my lost mitten (Chuck found it later), Chuck came through the chute.  He was right behind me and we hadn’t seen each other!

RunWithSantaChuckAndDeb

 

I had Chuck take a picture of my race shirt, because I have a rule that you’re not supposed to wear the race shirt to the race.  I think I stared this rule when I used to see runners wearing the heavy cotton mock turtle-neck Marine Corps Marathon shirts in the race, sweating bullets and looking miserable.  Since I didn’t have any holiday appropriate running clothes, I decided to make an exception this time!

RunWithSantaDebShirt

 

We hung out at the finish line for a while, and then decided to go look for some food.

RunWithSantaRaceFinishLine

 

In addition to the usual choices of bananas, granola bars, fruit snacks, and water; they had trays of Christmas cookies!  I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the cookies setting in the snow!

RunWithSantaCookies

 

Luckily for me, while Chuck and I were enjoying the post-race food, I asked him if he wanted to run three more miles with me and he said, “Sure.”  With one banana and a cookie in my tummy, we headed off to the W&OD Trail for three more miles.

RunWithSantaChuckTrail

 

The snow was still coming down, but much lighter by now and I delighted in running on my favorite trail in the snow.

RunWithSantaDebTrail

 

Back at Reston Town Center things were wrapping up by the time we returned.  I grabbed a cookie for the road and decided to get home before the roads got too bad.

RunWithSantaCookieInHand

 

As I exited the highway onto the parkway near my home, my SUV started sliding and I lost control of it.  As it slid sideways onto the parkway, I glanced over my shoulder and saw that no other cars were near me.  After a little more sliding and fish-tailing, I regained control and made it home safely.

Overall I would give the race and the day an A+.  I’m not sure how they planned the snowy weather to coincide so perfectly with the race, but whatever they did, they need to keep doing it!

 

  • Questions:
  • Have you ever run a Santa or Rudolph Race?
  • What’s your favorite distance of these three choices… 5K, 10K, or 10-miler?
  • What’s the weather like where you live?  ~ The beautiful snow just turned over to rain sleet here.  I’m sure it will be raining soon.  It’s the story of my “not-so-snowy life.”

 

Happy Running! ~ Deb