On December 15th I laced up my running shoes and took off on my first 5k race. I use the word “race” fairly liberally here. It might be called a race, but I was simply hoping to finish in a respectable time. 🙂
Las Vegas has races offered all year, so I had plenty of options. I started running in late September (couch 2 5k), so I knew I wouldn’t be ready for a race until late November or early December. I looked at my options and chose the Ugly Sweater Run put on by Human Movement. Every racer was supposed to get an ugly Christmas sweater, a fake (or real) mustache, and have a great time with beer at the finish line. I knew this was my kind of race…something relaxed and fun for my first adventure.
I was pretty nervous on race day. The kids went with me to pick up my racing packet. I got a neat glass with the name of the race on it, my bib with my racing number, my fake mustache, a santa hat, and two beer coupons. We had about 90 minutes until I needed to be at the start line, so we headed to Denny’s for coffee and cocoa and to wait for my friends Celeste and Kerrie to come be with the kids at the finish line.
Celeste and Kerrie arrived soon after to take the kids and we headed to the start line, where I continued to be nervous and I had to pee. SUPER! Of course, the bathrooms were all back at the finish line, so I opted to wait it out. I mean, if I had to pee, that would only make me run faster, right? This strategy worked to some degree.
There were huge Christmas inflatables at the start and finish lines and the whole thing had a major party vibe. They played Christmas carols, had a cocoa station, and a little bit of snow. It was a pretty cool set up!
As for the race itself, I ended up walking twice – the first time as I headed for a porta-potty and then decided the line was too long, and the second time as I thought about stopping at the hot cocoa station (I opted to keep going). I ended up finishing in the 33-38 minute range. I am not really sure because the start time was late and there was no official time keeping for the event, but I was definitely middle-of-the-pack. Either way it was a total blast and I loved the vibe of running with a thousand other weirdos in ugly Christmas sweaters. The energy and love in the crowd was pretty amazing!
My next race is The Color Run in February. I can definitely run a 5k in 30 minutes now, so I am hoping in a few more weeks I might finish with some crazy time..like 28 minutes. 🙂