2011 Santa’s Run

Today, Debbie, the kids, and I did the Santa’s Run in Glastonbury, Connecticut. We’ve run this 3.5 mile road race many times. It’s one of the more chaotic races that we do. More than 1,500 people ran or walked today’s race and that’s more than the course can handle. The start is one of the more interesting one’s in the area. If you fall, you’re going to get stampeded. Everyone is jammed in between two curbs on a narrow road that starts on a downhill. Everyone wants to start in the front row, even the 8 year-old’s. I don’t blame them, but every year, there is concern that someone is going to get trampled. This year, they encouraged people to self-seed, but I don’t think it worked.

I started last today. They went to chip in the bib-number timing and added a mat at the start line. Last year, I was able to run with the Chariot CX-2 by “cheating.” I started 50 feet in front of the line where I was stationed in someone’s driveway. This year, since I had to cross the mat to get scored, my strategy wouldn’t work. If you can’t get the hole shot, you are stuck behind a lot of people. Plan B: I was hoping to just wait to cross the start line until everyone got down the hill so that my “net time” would be more reflective of the effort. The “gun time” i the official time, but every runner know stat when you are trash talking with your buddies and sharing war stories, that it is “net time” that matters! After all, it might take you 3 seconds to cross the start line and that could be a huge disadvantage! Well, the organizers didn’t like my Plan B strategy. As soon as everyone but me had crossed the start line (I was just standing there in the road with the stroller), they threatened to “pack it up.”  I think the timer actually said, “I’m not staying here all day. Get moving.” So I just ran for fun and let Debbie race.

The whole episode was kind of funny. I was forced to start a race or get disqualified. I have to say that is the first time that has happened to me! I might have been the first person to be at the start line but get a DNS and DNF simultaneously. My kids were confused as to why I wasn’t moving. I used a few sidewalks to get past the throngs, but it was fruitless. I chilled out and just ran for fun, saying hello to everyone I knew in the crowd. Between the warmup, race, and warm down, we did three loops of the course, which frustrated our 5-year old. He is a sport for letting us do this stuff, but it didn’t take that long. We do appreciate his whining. There are probably worse things that parents could do to their kids, than run a little longer on a Sunday.

Debbie had a great race, but their fancy chip timing system didn’t work. I don’t know how many people are missing from the results, but she is one of them, which is a disappointment. She had a great battle with her friend, Allie Burdick. She had a back and forth race with Allie and just got past her in the final stretch. Debbie should have been 3rd overall and 1st in her age group, but it looks like she didn’t run at all. She ran much faster than 2011, so she was pleased.

We got a double bummer when we returned home and learned that her name was not picked in the 2012 Hardrock 100 lottery. Only 100 out of 600+ get in. It’s not worth explaining the complicated Hardrock lottery. The bottom line is that she wanted to run the famous Colorado race and now has to find something else epic to do instead. She will try again in the future, but once again, she needs to run one of the qualifying races just to get a lottery ticket. The Grindstone 100 was her 2012 qualifier, but who knows if she will return  to Grindstone or find something else to do.

Anyway, the Santa’s Run was a fun time with the kids. We already discussed 2012. If we return, rather than battle the  crowds, we might just enter the costume contest instead.

Race Results

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