{race review: santa claus shuffle 5k}

{race review: santa claus shuffle 5k}

Another Millennium Running race, another DIY costume! Goodness knows I couldn’t settle for the felt santa suit that came with my race registration….

Last Saturday I ran the Santa Claus Shuffle 5K with thousands of people who were dressed up as Santa, and it was GREAT!

My friend showed up just in time to head over to the race start. We were talking like Gilmore Girls in the car on the way over, trying to cover as much ground as possible in a short period of time. We parked and headed straight to the SRTT group photo – several ladies didn’t make it to the photo (kids were running in the Elf Run, standing in line at the port-a-potties, running late, etc), but the turnout was still pretty damn good. We looked awfully festive!

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My outfit was Santa-inspired, without actually being a Santa suit – if you know anything about me, you’d know that I like to fit in and get festive, but not do exactly what everyone else is doing. I made a circle skirt using this tutorial from Moms RUN This Town with crushed velvet and a sparkly elastic waistband. I tacked some pom-pom rick-rack around the waist for a little extra flair.

I dug this old Athleta snowflake top out of my storage bins and was delighted to see that it was fleece-lined (we were due for a chilly day for the race). I got a bunch of compliments on my top… I’ve had it for years, and picked it up at a consignment shop before I started running. Consignment shopping FTW! Because it was chilly, I also layered my MRTT long-sleeve tech shirt underneath. I picked up the #HOLLADAYS socks at Target, and used some accessories from previous years’ Christmas runs including festive pins, a glittery headband, and the bells I pinned to my sneakers. Finally, I threw on some capris, a plain red Hippie Runner headband to cover my ears, gloves, and my Fitbit Blaze and I was good to go!

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After the photo, my friend and I headed toward the start line for pictures, and then over to the corrals to line up. For the first time, I proudly stepped into the 10:00-11:00 minute-mile corral – I’ve only recently begun running in the 11:00s, so it felt good to feel like I could stand in there. I’ve said it a million times… I’m not at all worried about getting faster. However, I have noticed that I’ve been shaving time off over the last six months, and I’m actually pretty proud of my progress. So… I rewarded myself with standing in a new corral.

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Anywho… the start line was insane – full of Santas! It was hard to recognize people, but some of my running friends also wore something other than the Santa suit, and they all looked super cute. Love it!

The usual start-line stuff went down – welcome announcement, the National Anthem, the countdown, and the gun and off we went! We headed north on Elm Street for a simple out-and-back. This race is unique because immediately after the race, the Manchester Christmas parade heads south on Elm, so there were already parade spectators lined up along the street, and they were cheering us on. There were also two groups of cheerleaders from local schools – they were so encouraging. I woohooed at them and got them going, which was super fun.

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Around 1 mile during a short walk break for my hip, I convinced my friend to hop off the street to take a selfie with “Scary Santa.” He stands in front of a pop-up Christmas tree shop, and he’s so creepy… I think I’ve taken a selfie with him every time I’ve run by him, and this race was no exception.

Just before mile 2, my friend needed to step aside to tie her shoe. Once we were ready to go again, we bumped into some of my running friends who were also wearing DIY circle skirts, but theirs were sparkly! They had matching Griswold Christmas t-shirts on, and cute hats, and just looked adorable.

The great thing about this course is that it’s a gradual uphill until the half-way point, and then it’s a gradual down-hill. We had the wind in our face on the way up (oof!), and the wind at our backs on the way back (which, strangely enough, is not always the case!), so we were FLYING on the way back to the finish.

Just before the kick, I caught a glimpse of the clock up by the finish line – it read 33 minutes and some seconds, so I started sprinting. I had no idea we were moving that fast through the rest of the race, so even with the selfie stop and the shoe-tying stop, as well as a small walk break, I was on track to PR at this race! As I raced for the finish, I caught sight of the race photographer and made sure to move over to get right in front of him.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cheesed it up for the photog, only to find that there are absolutely NO PICTURES of me crossing the finish line. I hope that doesn’t happen this time!

I crossed the finish line, found my friend, and we looked up our respective results.

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I PRed my 5K with a net time of 33:21.8! The last 5K I ran, which was only a couple weeks ago on Thanksgiving, I ran it in 35:02.3, and the last time I PRed in a 5K was in September with 34:35.1. Woohoo! It just makes me wonder what my time would’ve been if I hadn’t walked, stopped for the selfie, or stopped for my friend while she tied her shoe. Can I break a 30-minute 5K?

To be determined…

A running pal of mine DID achieve her first 30-minute 5K, and I am so proud of her! (I’m convinced it was her new, sparkly skirt… sparkly skirts give us super powers!)

The finish line at Millennium Running events is always great – they have water, Powerade, Stonyfield Yogurt (I discovered the YoKids Organic Squeezers in birthday cake flavor and have decided that I must stock these in my fridge for sweet cravings), pizza, and bananas. We grabbed what we wanted and headed off in search of one of the many bars that would take our free beer tickets.

We ended up at the Strange Brew which was my favorite bar many, many moons ago. I said a private cheers to Charlie Dent, a former work friend of mine who used to play music at the Brew and who passed away last year. Then my friend and I enjoyed our free Angry Orchard ciders and complimentary popcorn and chatted about our plans for her to fly down to Florida with me in February so she can cheer me on in the Glass Slipper Challenge.

So… that was that. Another race on the books, and one that I’m quite proud of. Next up will be the Yule Light Up the Night 2.5mi next weekend at NH Motor Speedway, but I think I’m going to walk that one so I can enjoy the pretty lights and take pictures! I’m going to wear another DIY skirt, though, so stay tuned on that!

Did you run a Santa Shuffle or other holiday-themed race this weekend?

Best,
GraphicE

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