Sunday, December 2, 2012

Great Santa Run Recap

Several weeks ago, an email appeared in my work Inbox asking that anyone interested in signing up for the Great Santa Run to contact HR. I asked a couple questions, went to the website, got super excited, and immediately contacted HR to add my name to the list.

Here's a little video about the 2011 run.

Since my work is a major sponsor, my registration was actually free. Can't beat that! When you register, you get a Santa suit to run in. The hope is to get as many Santas together in one area as possible. Last year, they won the World Santa Challenge and raised over $400,000 for individuals with disabilities! How cool is that!

There were over 8,000 Santas in 2011. The numbers weren't available yet on the website of how many were there this year, but I'm glad to have been a part of it. :)

Around 8:20, my ride arrived to pick me up. I knew that parking was going to be, um, complicated, so I asked a friend if he wanted to carpool. And yes, by carpool, I meant him pick me up. This is, I think, the 2nd race he's picked me up for, so he's kind of becoming my race chauffeur. (Thanks, Crosby!)

I'd picked up my Santa suit, race number, etc the day before (conveniently at work. yay!), but he'd registered with a team, so we needed to meet up with them to get his race packet.

He had brought his sweet girl, Maya, with him, so I didn't mind the wait at all.

I couldn't get her to look up at me, but isn't she a cutie!

Finally, the four of us were dressed as Santa and ready to go!

While we waited at what we thought was the start line, we got to see 4 skydiving Santas glide in to the starting area.

Las Vegas Great Santa Run Skydiving

The race was supposed to start at 10am, and shortly after 10, they started announcing that all 5K participants should line up behind Santa. Um. We were ALL dressed like Santa! ;) So, we just started following the crowd and 10 minutes later, we were at the starting line. Phew!

I got my CharityMiles started on my phone just as we crossed. I ran for The Global Fund to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, since yesterday was also World AIDS Day. I didn't want to lose sight of my ride home in the sea of Santas, so I did my best to keep up with him. He's normally super fast, but I had two things in my favor yesterday. 1) There were a ton of Santas, so it was hard to run very fast anyway, and 2) He was running a marathon the next day (today!), so this was just kind of a slow warm-up, make-sure-everything-is-working-okay type of run for him.

Our final time was just shy of 32 min (31:58). Definitely no record for me, but it was fun! Weaving in and out of the throngs of Santas was exhilarating!

At the finish, we were just finished. There wasn't any food that I could see anyway. They were handing out bottles of water as you crossed the finish, but they had also handed out bottles around mile 1 in lieu of a water stop. It was kind of cool to get a whole bottle - except then you had to run with the bottle for the remaining 2.1 miles.

Also, the first 1,000 finishers were offered a shirt, but we didn't feel like standing in line. Plus, we had no idea if we were in the first 1,000, so we headed back to the car, where he completely changed out of his Santa suit before we headed back to the finish to meet up with our friends.

Ugh. I hate this picture of me. Next year, I'm wearing my own suit that will actually FIT! :)

After the race was finished, and before heading back home, I headed to the portapotty. I'd been holding it since before the race began and knew I wouldn't make it home. Now, I only mention this because instead of simply having hand sanitizer stations for disinfecting those germs, they had actually set up portable handwashing stations. This was a bad idea. I thought it seemed pretty cool, but the water didn't work very well, and there were no paper towels or anything for drying. I couldn't rinse off all the soap or try to wick it off with a paper towel, so I ended up wringing my hands continuously until the suds kind of went away. It was annoying. I'll take simple hand sanitizer any day.

All in all, it was a great way to start the Saturday! Now, if I could just figure out how to run a race in the morning and then not veg out and eat like shit the rest of the day!!

Have you, or will you, be running in a Santa race this year?
Do you ever accidentally type Satan when you mean to type Santa? oops!

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  1. Love the pics and seeing all those Santa's in the background!

    Congrats on the race!!

  2. OMG! Love this. How fun. Great pics too!

  3. That does look like fun! Your suit does look a little big! How did you run in that thing? I've never run in a satan, I mean santa race, but it does look like fun! ;)

    1. It was HUGE, and yes, a bit awkward to run in. I made it even worse by also running in my drawstring bag. lol. I was told it was the only size for the suits, but there were several sizes. Oh well. Next year, I'm wearing my own, and maybe just donate the freebie.

  4. This sounds like a really fun race! That's a lot of people running in Santa outfits.

  5. This is the coolest thing ever! I can't believe so many people came out :)

    1. I just checked, and there were 9,712 participants this year. Crazy!