My group of friends from the running group I was in all meet at Running Free in Orangeville and we car pooled as it was about 1.5 hr drive to get to Burlington. The day before it was snowing like crazy but today it had all be melted.
We arrived at the event and there were over 2000 runners, all of whom were dressed in their Santa hats, beards and suits. This was a multi-city event being held across the country but on different weekends. The event was very well-organized and finding a place to change was easy to do since registration was held in building about .5km from the start line.
Burlington’s Santa 5K Walk/Run felt so alive with the Christmas spirit as all the runners wear dressed in Santa suits arrived at Burlington’s City Hall. Despite the snow they were smiling and full of energy. The run helps to raise funds for Community Living Burlington and St. John Ambulance.
For my first race in 27 years , I thought this family event would be a good place to start. I had a full Santa suit included in my race kit and was required to wear it throughout the race. Hmmm, this might infringe on me placing in my age group…LOL.
At about 8:00am runners started to corral into the chute. This resulted in hundreds of runners jumping around taking selfies, videos, photos and just taking to everyone and anyone because we were all in the christmas spirit in sub-freezing temperatures (with a light dusting of snow for good measure) for a good half hour.
188.8.131.52.1 and off we went…..OMG I can’t believe I’m doing this is all a was thinking as I started. After the first km my thought changed to “I have to slow down, I’m going TOO fast” My pace was 1km – 4:49
Looking ahead and behind me Brant Street was a sea of Santas, stretching as far as the eye could see. They were Santas of all ages, eager to do their part and to create a successful, fun run through the streets of Burlington and I was one of them.
At the 2Km mark the race started to go up hill…Ugh..Hills! I was never one for up hills and but since that was part of the route, up hill I ran. So many other runners were right around me I pace seemed to match everyone else. So I just kept running. My 2km pace was 4:55
Around the 3km point in the race it turns from the main roads into a subdivision and I found lots of locals in the neighbourhood outside their homes with holding big signs and cheering like crazy for us to keep on running 🙂 3km Pace 5:01
Nearing 4kms I found myself running though a little bit of an industrial section of the course. Ugh so what if I want to slow down, no one will know. My feet are wet, I’m getting tired. Did I say I wanted to stop..LOL. 4km pace 5:05
Once I turned onto the main street I realized that it was ALL downhill and I could see the finish line. I CAN AND WILL DO THIS!!!! I sprinted the last half km and finished my first race as an adult!
Only the top 3 in every age category get a Santa medal, that can double as a great ornament. I finished 8th in the male 40-44 age group out of 88 others. 102 of 886 Males and 135 out of 2335 overall runners/walkers. Not bad for my first 5km 😉
Many locals and runners from all over the GTA make the drive to Burlington for this event. The downtown is so festive at this time of the year, and has a quaint welcoming atmosphere.
The bottom line: I felt AMAZING, my knee didn’t hurt a bit on the uphills or downhills But I did have bragging rights with a 24:38 finish that felt like one heck of an accomplishment given that I had only started running on Oct 4 2014 (2 months ago)
I loved the race, the people, the total race atmosphere . Runners got a slice of pizza and everyone was smiling, It is a good race to help kids get healthy and to get hooked on running. I’m hooked! Bring on the 10K race 🙂 but first I had a date with Kelly’s Bake Shop for a celebration VEGAN Cupcake!!