Tag Archives: santa shuffle

Santa Shuffle 5km 2014 Recap

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Yesterday, I participated in the Santa Shuffle 5km. It is a “fun run” and it is not chip-timed. This event is hosted by Running Room, and just like their Hypothermic Half and Resolution Run events, it is held in various locations all over Canada. The event is ran over at Nicholas Sheran Park, which is less than a mile from where we live, so it makes for an easily accessible event. I also registered early enough so it was just a $25 entry fee, which would include a finisher medal (a rare thing for 5km events). I opted to not purchase the t-shirt (yeah, don’t need another long sleeve cotton shirt).

I decided to tack on some extra mileage to my run that day, wanting to total 8 miles, so I went out at 9:15 am and put in 3.3 miles before the 10am start of the event. After the event, I would cool down jog what I needed in order to reach 8 miles. I made it over to the start area at 9:52. People were milling around pretty clueless by the start. They had a 5km and a 1km “Elf Walk” starting at the same time. When they called out to start in one minute, everyone around me was questioning “what the hell is the route?” Some older woman volunteer was then honestly in THE MIDDLE of the pack of people waiting to start trying to explain this half-ass planned 5km route around the lake. While she was in the middle of explaining, they started the race. Needless to say, that isn’t the best organization.

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We were off….it was perfect weather for running (above freezing!) and sunny, very little wind. However, the snow we had had the previous week was just melting, and was still drifted and packed down in spots on the trail. The route would be two laps around the lake, with an additional straight-away added each time once you made it around to near the start. You would turn south and head down the path to where it reached the end of the park, then make a quick almost dead-stop turn, where you would the route again.

The first mile brought runners to this quick turn, and I had ran it in 7:07. At this point, I was actually the leader. Not the female leader, but the main leader. Yeah—it was a small race. I decided I wanted to hold this position because it’s fun to beat guys. Doing the second lap was more challenging, because you had to dodge families coming back from the out-and-back Elf Walk, plus the walkers (who usually had their dogs too) doing the 5km. My feet were feeling heavy with the snow stuck to the bottom, but I kept pushing. Mile 2 slowed to 7:19 and mile 3 even more to 7:32. I finished the event (which my GPS had at 3.18 miles) in 23:11…quite a bit slower than my 5km personal best from the Mustache Dache in November (21:08) but was still good enough for a 1st Place Finish.

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I was very surprised when I received a small “gold medal” for being first place female, in addition to my participant medal. Sure, my husband made fun of it when I got home later because it is pretty tiny, but I thought that was nice and not expected since the race wasn’t officially timed. That is my huge complaint with these “Fun Run’s” and most of the events Running Room hosts nationwide—-they aren’t timed. Why? I have no clue. I am guessing that if I asked them, I’m sure they would say “Well, we want to just encourage people to come out and run without pressure of being timed.” I think it is because they are being cheap and don’t want to pay a timing company to come out and run the event. Is that harsh to say? Maybe. But it is pretty sad when the largest running store in Canada can’t even do an officially timed event.

That being said, with the lack of organization and perks to this race, I will not be registering for it again. I would recommend it for families because of the Santa theme, but for anyone else (even a beginner runner) do yourself a favor and choose a better 5km for your first event. I can give you suggestions to local races that have better experiences than this for a 5km. And hint—none are put on by Running Room.

And with that crabby post, Happy Sunday!

Claus Cause 10km Race Recap!

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November 16th, 2013, marked the day of the annual Claus Cause run. This is another great event hosted by Runner’s Soul, and along with picking up your race registration, you are asked to bring non-perishable food items in for donation to Lethbridge Food Bank. Upon trading my boxes of granola bars in at packet pickup, I received my bib and an awesome Claus Cause Buff! This was a nice takeaway from a race, considering we all have too many race t-shirts to count!
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The event had both a 5km and 10km, which started at 9:00 am down at Fort Whoop Up. The 10km route would just be the 5 km twice, which was just fine as it was relatively flat. The only challenge with this course, which I have mentioned before in previous posts, is that the curviness of the paths can sometime pose to be a mental problem.
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The weather was very overcast at race start, but perfect temperatures considering it was mid November. My husband kept telling me it was supposed to snow, but I chose to ignore him. As everyone got set for the mass start of the 5km and 10km, Erin from Runner’s Soul made some announcements. When she started talking about people to watch in each event, it came to my surprise when she said “…in the women’s 10km, watch strong local runner Andrea Lammers-Pottage…” I looked at my husband, but I don’t think he knew what my face was thinking…..holy crap, now I have to do my best.
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I went out pretty fast, as I knew the first loop of the route would be more competitive, since the 5km was at the same time. There were 177 runners in the 5km and 86 in the 10km, so if I wanted to be with a pack of people I needed to stay near the front now. As I made my first lap, I felt strong. I could do that same pace again! I was at this time in the lead for the female 10km racers.
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I had more motivation than a normal 10km since this would be my last 10km race of the year. If I wanted to PR, now was the time. And my friend Lauren from back in Wisconsin had bet me if I ran faster than 46 minutes (my personal best was 46:32 at the time) she would donate $46 to American Heart Association.

I had one mile left and I knew my pace was on to beat the 46 minutes, but it would be close. I just kept trying to keep those legs moving around the curve before Whoop Up, and once I saw the finish in the distance I couldn’t slow down. I came in with a personal best time of 45:37, and had kept my first place position for women!

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When I finished, I felt so elated and just happy to have done it. It started to sink in I had earned another personal best, and then I realized that over the course of a little over a year, I had been able to drop my 10km race time from 50:27 to 45:37…..about 5 minutes have been knocked off! And of course, I have in my mind I can break 45, given if I have someone right in front of me as a pace bunny the whole time!

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So that snow Dan mentioned? Well, it conveniently arrived about an hour or so after race start. By award time, the snow was pounding down and it had gotten cold! The pictures are hysterical because it looks like I am in two different events, but it proves to be an amusing time lapse.

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I have one more race this year, a 5km Santa Shuffle, in two weeks. I just registered for it, and while this Claus Cause was suppose to be last, I need to find something between then and Dopey in January! What else will I be doing until the Dopey Challenge? Well, other than getting the mileage in and doing four days in a row of buildup to mimic Dopey. I needed a race In-between to keep me competitive. And if you are in Lethbridge, look for me on the roads today and wave—At 2:00 today I am heading out on a 14 mile tour of the Westside of Lethbridge, and it looks like by then weather will be pretty solid, with a temperature of 37 F and clear skies.