Season’s Greetings everyone! The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. This year, along with the standard decorating, shopping and spending time with family, I added in a few fun runs to celebrate!
Beast 2 Feast
We went to Minnesota for Thanksgiving this year to celebrate with my in-laws. On Thanksgiving morning, my sister-in-laws Josie and Tara and I went to Lake Calhoun to participate in Beast 2 Feast, a 5k. The route took us around the popular recreation lake, where my brother-in-law Jeff and I went for a run this past summer. It was quite chilly, easily the coldest I had ever ran in. I think it was 22* when the gun first went off? Being the West Coast woman I am, I bundled up in running tights, compression socks, regular running socks, a tank top, a long sleeve dry-fit thermal, a running jacket zipped all the way up, touch screen gloves and an ear band. I originally considered wearing sweats over my tights, but decided to discard them when parked. I ended up being perfectly comfortable while running, I even took off my gloves for a bit. We took the race easy and it was fun to chat with my sister-in-laws the entire time.
The route around Lake Calhoun is fun because in addition to running along a lake, you also run by some very nice houses. There was no snow on the ground but the ice was beginning to form, which made it quite pretty. There was quite the crowd of people running it and my favorites were the ones in turkey hats! The swag bag was alright, we received a medal which is always fun but I wish the t-shirt was a dry-fit shirt. It was a fun run and no matter where I am for Thanksgiving next year, I definitely plan on doing another run that day!
12k’s of Christmas
Yesterday a couple of my co-workers and I decided to run the 12k’s of Christmas, which to place in the town I live in, Gilbert. This was its fifth anniversary and the race benefits the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. In addition, the 12k has a festival connected which featured 21 animal rescues. The race also allowed people to run/walk with their dogs, which was cool but also a bit of a pain as I will explain later.
The race featured a timed 12k and 6k along with a fun 1.2k run/walk. The 12k started right before the 6k. Here is my few minor critiques about the race/route. I don’t know if it just got so much bigger this year or what but the beginning of the race was a bit of a cluster. It was super, super narrow to start that my co-worker Traci and I were running along a hill for awhile because there were several people walking in front of us. I think next year it might suit the race well to have a corral system and put faster runners in the front. I liked the course once you got out of Freestone Park. The trail system in Gilbert took you past ranches with horses in the backyard and then along their canal system. The canal area was the best because it actually provided the widest and safest path. There were a few areas early on in the race with dips and crevices that people could easily trip on. The course was an out and back which was a bit of a problem on the second half as you came upon the 6k walkers with dogs and strollers. They might want to look into doing some form of a loop for the 12k next year so runners aren’t trying to get around the tail end of another race.
My favorite part of the race was how festive it was. Most people were dressed jolly and the race in fact provided each runner with holiday socks, armbands and a Santa Hat. I spotted people dressed as presents, the Grinch, Christmas trees, penguins and of course Santa himself. The race also had carolers at every k or so. It was super cute and fun to have guaranteed cheerleaders on your run. The carolers consisted of children’s groups, church groups and high school groups. It really added to the festive theme! I had been battling a cold since Thanksgiving so I was pretty happy with my time of 1:12:39, average mile pace of 9:45.
Aside from the cluster beginning, I really enjoyed this race and plan on doing it next year! It was a lot of fun and a great way to celebrate the holiday season in a healthy way 🙂