I'm so excited to have been one of the 2,700 runners dressed as Santa Claus and other holiday characters running the inaugural Santa Run Silicon Valley 5K! Christmas and costumes are 2 of my favorite things, so the combination of both was something I could not resist. Especially since this race was a fundraiser for Christmas in the Park - which I LOVE.
I'm impressed with how well the race was organized. Packet pick-up went smoothly the day before. I parked in the underground garage across from Parkside Hall and was in and out in less than 20 minutes. Of course, I came the first morning packet pick-up was available; that's always a plus.
Because the race start and finish were located at Christmas in the Park, a pre-race party started at 1:00pm and the race itself didn't begin till 3:00pm. Great timing for those wanting to spend time at Christmas in the Park before and/or after the race.
I met my friend Lianna and her parents just before the race started then made my way onto the street to get ready to go. I was wearing my brand new running shoes and wasn't quite sure how well or how long I'd run so I decided to stick to my usual plan and run solo.
Before too long we were off and running up Almaden and onto Santa Clara Street.
The course turned onto the Alameda and then looped back into downtown. It was fun to see all the different costumes and the variety of people getting their fitness on. I ran fast (for me) and steady. I felt fantastic and I was loving my shoes. As I neared the finish line I realized I was probably about to PR. Seeing Santa cheering us on added that little extra touch of magic I needed to finish strong.
Sure enough, this was not only my fastest 5K, but my fastest consistent pace during a race since I started running last year. What a great way end my first year of running!
Christmas in the Park is a San Jose tradition that takes place every year for free. Trees are decorated by community groups, schools, churches, etc. and the entire area is transformed in to a Winter Wonderland with lights, food, music, rides and Santa. The organization is a 501c3 non-profit that is supported through donations and has been struggling financially for a few years. Based on the numbers and feedback, I think the race was a success and I hope to participate year after year.