I haven’t done a real good running post in awhile!! This should be exciting! Check out my Jingle in July – Pre Race Review.
For the sake of seriousness of this race….I had none! lol! Seriously, I really didn’t expect to do anything of value during this race. After all, I was on vacation. I mean, I’m not a lazy vacationer, we went hiking and walked a lot, but I was’t running. Luckily, it was only a 5K.
I found this race the same way I find most of my races, just searching the Running in the USA website. It did look fun! And it was, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t going into this race with much “race attitude.” With that said, do you guys ever sign up for a just for fun race, but still have a secret, potentially unrealistic, goal?? In the back of my head, I had the notion that being at pretty close to sea level, maybe I could potentially set a PR……maybe.
However unrealistic my secret goal was, I had to complete my race no matter what! After all, why go all the way to Alaska and not run a race!?
For good measures, I brought my santa hat all the way from Colorado just for this one day. (And yes, I DID get to meet Santa!)
I do not recommend wearing a santa hat on any other regular run because it was a sweaty, hot mess. I couldn’t put my hair in a pony tail, I had to braid it, which added to the hot messy-ness.
The event was pretty fun indeed – minus the horrible christmas music (yes, they even had N’sync christmas carols). They started this event off with a costume contest. The winners were a bunch of clowns – literally. I don’t like clowns, so there will be no pictures of that. The king and queen of the North Pole were there (and they were not just for the costume contest – as much as I understood, I believe the city of North Pole votes on a king and queen every year). Shortly after, a local fitness club did a warm up zumba dance routine. Not too many of the crowd participated as most were just watching the cute leader instead.
Finally, it was race time. I actually was getting nervous, strangely enough. There’s something about a starting line that really can kick your competitive drive on. I sized up the crowd of about 400 participants, maybe I could turn this into something good! I waited for count down – brought to us my Santa of course – and we were off!
THE COURSE ITSELF: The course was pretty decent. Half asphalt/sidewalks and half gravel. Starting at the Santa Claus House, the first part wound through a wildlife refuge area with lots of shade and pretty views. The second half of the race was just on the roads around town. No hills, luckily for me, I don’t think I would have made it up any hills!
THE RACE: For a majority of this race, some young kid chose to pace with me. I’m pretty sure he as like 12 years old, and I laughed in my head at his immature, gangly-ness. He was a decent but clumsy runner, and I’m sure as he gets older he will get much better form, but I left him in the dust!
It was an hot day, actually. Well, warm. I should have ran in shorts, but that’s ok. The hat didn’t help either. Despite the unexpected heat, I did set a PR!!! Crazy, huh!? So, my new 5k PR is officially 24:15.6! WOOT! Only a handful of seconds faster, but still! I also placed 12 our of 240 women. I’m pretty proud of myself. My awesome, personal photographer got some pretty awesome running shots of me too!
There are two things I didn’t like about this event is 1) It took a week and a half to get the posted race times, which I’m really disappointed about. I spoke to one of the directors at the race, and he told me they would be online and in the paper. For obviously reasons, I wouldn’t get a paper (he actually was super nice, and after telling him I was from CO, he was super excited that I had come all this way). I also contacted the listed email for the event (who was different than the man I spoke to) and she emailed me back saying they would be posted sometime last week. She gave me the link to the same jingle in july website where I was already looking. Finally, a week and a half later, I got my official time. Without it, I would have had to claim my new PR as unofficial – and I also couldn’t remember the exact time!
Number 2) thing that I didn’t like about this race was that it was a one of those events where they constantly want you to raise money for their foundation. Even when you register is asks for an additional donation. Now don’t get me wrong, I choose to do events where the proceeds go to good causes and charities, however, I’m not a fan of the ones that want you to select a goal fundraising price, and expect you to email all your family and friends to pledge their money – maybe if it was a cause that was super dear to my heart it would be slightly different. But so far, I have yet to find that one cause that gets me in the fundraising mood. It reminds me of when I was in high school volleyball and we had to do letter writing campaigns to send to our family asking for money, and I hated it. This foundation even sent me A LOT of emails before the actual event just asking if I raised money, and I only registered 4 days before! It was kind of annoying.
Overall, though, it was a great day, good run…they even had hotdogs for a post race snack!! Here some more awesome running shots by my personal photographer!!