The Reindeer Run was the last of three races I ran, three weekends in a row! I’m glad I had these races on the calendar, because my motivation has been really lacking when it comes to running lately — mainly because my ankle is taking FORever to heal. But anyways.
Race start was a bit later than I’m used to — 9:30 a.m. I met my co-workers at the Lake Harriet Bandshell around 9 a.m., after driving around for forever, looking for a place to park. Not quite 20 degrees and sunny, the lake was looking mighty lovely:
We pinned on our bibs, took a group photo and were off! The first mile was basically just weaving through people and trying to settle into a pace, which was pretty much impossible. Luckily, my toes and fingers started to warm up once we started running.
Somewhere around mile 2, I found two guys who seemed to be running somewhere around my pace. TBH, if I were standing next to them, I would probably only come up to their hips. So deciding to keep up with these long-legged fellows made me feeling extra badass. The big mass of people had thinned out a bit, so I was finally able to find and maintain a comfortable pace. I had my Runkeeper going in my pocket, but didn’t wear a watch, so I had no idea what that pace was. Since my training was lacking, I had decided to run the race off of feel.
As we approached the mile 3 marker, I knew there would be a slight uphill and a big corner to turn before the finish line would be in sight. I also knew that I had enough left in me to pass some people on that uphill. I stayed with my tall man-friends and made my way up the hill and around the bend. At this point, I was able to pick up the pace a bit more and finish strong, but the guys I was trying to stick with had more left in the tank and finished a few seconds ahead of me. Oh well, I finished feeling good and was happy with a sub-30:00 finish. (The race wasn’t chip timed, but according to my Runkeeper, I crossed in 29:15.)
I grabbed some hot chocolate and a few snacks and then met up with my co-workers. We made sure to take a quick post-race selfie and then set out on the long trek back to our cars.
A part of me remembers why I quit running this race a few years ago, the weaving at the beginning is super annoying and parking is definitely lacking. Not to mention, the blizzard-like conditions I ran it in a couple of years. But, the nice weather this year was awesome and I do love all of the costumes and festiveness of the race. Plus, running with my co-workers made it totally worth it! I think with a few small tweaks (start closer to the front, arrive earlier or just plan to park further away) this will be back on my list of annual races!
Have you ever run a similar race? Did you dress up?