I arrived to the Santa Hustle to witness thousands of Santa Claus everywhere. In addition to the tech shirt, all runners received a Santa hat and beard to be worn during the 5k. I wasn't sure as to how much the runners would get into wearing the full Santa gear, so I took all of my "outfit" thinking there wouldn't be many wearing the full beard. I was very wrong. The majority of the participants were sporting the full hat and beard. So, I yanked on my Santa hat and pulled my beard on just before jumping out of the car. The beard was a tad itchy and I couldn't see tolerating that for 3 miles, so I just wore it down on my neck.
It was difficult to run this race very quickly. To avoid the cold, I stayed back as long as long as possible prior to heading towards the start. I ended up not being able to start before the twelve minute pace area. With the narrow running path provided, it was often difficult to pass slower runners.
I usually don't take water from the volunteers on a 5k, but for some reason I felt the need on this one. Just say what I got wasn't water and was definitely a surprise. Thankfully, I noticed my cups contents prior to choking down the unexpected M&M's. I quickly put those down and asked the next time I had cup handed to whether its contents were water or some other surprise.
It was a festive event as multiple groups of runners sang Jingle Bells and other holiday songs. I was even passed by a couple of runners carrying buckets of cookies offering them to their fellow runners. I passed on the sweet snacks, but thought it was neat gesture.
With a finishing time of 31:39:30, there were definitely no PR's being committed, but just running in the frigid 20 degrees is still an accomplishment for me!
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