Right before Christmas I participated in a local run called the Jingle Jog 5K. After doing a Halloween-themed 5K and a St. Patrick’s Day 10K I had my heart set on completing a Christmas event, and when I found out that this one included a finisher’s medal, I immediately signed up. Finding a 5K that gives medals isn’t easy, and since I love collecting the silly things I wasn’t going to let this one pass me by! 🙂
The event fee was $30, and included a festive bib and a Santa suit – a hat, coat (with the event name on the front), pants, a belt, and jingle bells. And, of course, the finisher’s medal. Let’s not forget the medal. 😛 The suit was made of a felt-like material, and I hadn’t planned to wear it, but at the last minute I decided that I was going to go for it and channel my inner Santa. I put some bells in my hair and attached the jingle bells they gave me to my shoelaces so they’d jingle when I ran.
Usually at these costume/themed events it seems that the crowd is pretty balanced between costumed participants and non-costumed participants. Runners and walkers alike are found to be anywhere from fully decked out to wearing everyday running attire, with a good number somewhere in between. But not this event – every single person I saw was clearly there to be a part of this 5K. There were reindeer costumes, elves, and a snowman or two – including an Olaf – and, of course, Santas everywhere!
I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the sea of Santas… here we all are at the starting line…
…starting out on our run…
…and heading over the first hill.
I ran about a 12-minute mile. I might have been able to do better had it not been for the crowd and the heat. Running in a felt Santa suit is no joke – I think that next year if I run this again I’ll be cutting off the sleeves and turning the pants into shorts. And I’m guessing it was slowing everyone else down too, because no one really seemed to be in a hurry to finish. They had Christmas carolers along the route, and I saw quite a few runners stopping to listen and join in.
It was a ton of fun being one of the hundreds of Santas running down our city streets, but I’ll admit that I was craning my neck over all the red hats to see if that finish line was nearing. It was SO hot in that suit! Thankfully, I saw the blue “finish” arch before I started stripping, and I crossed underneath it fully clothed. Seriously though, there was some major swoob going on under that suit.
(swoob = boob sweat. You’re welcome. 😀 )
I’ve found that events like this usually bring out the best in people, but I think that all the Christmas cheer in the air really kicked things up a notch. Everyone was laughing and smiling, and some even broke out in song at various times during the event. I had many people offering to take pictures for me once they saw my arms weren’t long enough to catch my whole suit in a selfie, and a few even exchanged Christmas greetings with me while we ran. My favorite part of the run though were all those jingle bells. Everyone had found different ways to attach them to their clothing, and it really sounded like we were running alongside Santa’s sleigh the whole time.
Well, that’s my favorite part if you don’t count the medal. 😉