Santa’s Run

Ah, the stresses of road racing. Today was the Santa’s Run in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Coming 10 days after the Manchester Road Race, it is one of the most popular local road races. There isn’t much competition on the calendar and it appeals to the community with an affordable $8.00 entry fee and a costume contest. The results show that 1326 people finished the race today, a huge number. The snow that fell last night didn’t stick on the roads, so the race was on.

We drove up from New Haven, after spending the night there, and got ready for the traditional 12:00 P.M. start. I bumped into Mark and Sue Hixson in the parking lot. I wouldn’t have recognized Mark, he was incognito. He has been hammering the cross-country scene lately, with top finishes at Masters Nationals, but today, he and his senior elf (Sue) were out for fun. He has been top three several times in the past and I would have loved to seen him give it a go in that outfit, but he was hanging back, just like me.

The start of the Santa’s Run is crazy. They cram all of these people into a narrow street at the top of a big hill. Then, a horn sounds and everyone sprints down the hill. The race is notorious for people who start up front and have no business being there. Every year, I think that someone is going to get trampled. This year, I played it safe. I was on Daddy Duty, which meant it was my first race pushing the Chariot CX-2. Our son calls it the “double,” meaning the double jog stroller. Debbie ran solo and was free to run hard for a workout. She knows that she has a long road back to top shape and that it is going to require commitment and some pain. I started way back in the pack and have the photos to prove it!

After yesterday’s Shenipsit Strider holiday party, I was feeling good about sporting the club colors.

I had a lot of fun running in the crowd. Navigating the Chariot in tight quarters was a challenge, but I didn’t hit anyone. The first mile and a half was really slow, until I found some running room. I kept my heart rate low and purposely let other strollers go by us. I could feel the competitive desire start to burn as these guys went by, but I stayed off the gas. My season is over and I keep repeating the mantra, “rest, rest, rest.”

After the race, we bumped into my “nemesis”, Mr. Glastonbury, Todd Brown. Once again, he was sporting the #1 bib and his spouse, Kim, was playing second fiddle with #2. Todd had a good race, as did several other runners.

The conditions were OK. It was cold and blustery, but the sunshine was brilliant. Brendan Callahan, of Middletown, smoked the 3.5 mile course in 17:19, with a sub-5:00 minute mile pace. Second was Beecher Watson of South Glastonbury, and third was Ryan Pajor of Glastonbury. For the women, Lanham Markshamilton of Storrs, was first in 23:10. She was followed by Kathleen Carney of Glastonbury and Allie Burdick of Ellington. Once again, Shenipsit Strider, Ray Prest, stormed the 70+ division with a big win. I was also impressed with Michael Stoker’s win in the under 12 division. He ran 22:11, hot off of his wicked fast time at Manchester Road Race. He will be one kid to watch in the future.

Race Results

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