Christmastown Dash 8K

Whew- this race was FRIGID! Rach and I left super early because we were required to be at Busch Gardens for the Christmastown Dash 8K by 7:15am in order to get warmed up, stretched, and ready to be at the start line at 8:30am. We were surprised on Saturday night by less than an inch of snow and freezing weather. We woke up to that same weather, and then waited outside in it until the race started. BRRRR! The race ended up getting pushed back by half an hour because there had been a bad accident on 64 which caused a backup in traffic. The race officials wanted everyone to have a fair amount of time to get to the Busch Gardens parking lot and get ready for the race.

They had kerosene pace heaters at the warm up area, but it was very little warmth coming out of those heaters since the weather was at a frigid 32 with wind gusts making it even colder. Chick-fil-a sponored the race, and many of the cows were walking and dancing around, keeping everyone’s spirits up while we awaited our turn to get going.

Once it actually got about ten minutes to the race, everyone started to attempt to stretch in the little huddles around the heaters. I could not feel my toes at all, but I had my gloves this time!  My fingers weren’t toasty but they weren’t freezing either.

I managed to find my shiny black leggings to run in for this race, and was thankful for the long leggings. Rach and I both sported our sorority letters (I heart ASA!), and were festive simultaneously in our red and green! It was awesome to hear more and more bells as we heard people walking around. This was a sign that we weren’t the only people crazy enough to run two races in one weekend. I can’t even tell how many people ran both because there was a harmonious ringing of the bells on this race too, and they didn’t give out bells at the Christmastown Dash expo…..

The race finally began with a load roar of approval from all the runners, and we were off! Up we went through the roads to the parking lots, and around the walking trails, and through the park. Every route was familiar; every route well worn. I smiled as I ran these five miles, yet again, running a path I know.

My toes finally thawed about mile two, as I stripped off my gloves, and rolled up my long sleeve technical shirt and my long sleeve t-shirt. I was grateful for not having layered on more clothes despite the cold because I was overheated running in two sets of long sleeves! Around about mile three, I started to feel a breeze, and something sliding down my tush… my cute skirt was sliding down my slick, shiny leggings! I had a good laugh, quickly tugged my skirt back up over my non-existent butt, and kept on going!  I’m sure the runners behind me had a good laugh when they realized that I suddenly felt the breeze!

I ran this entire race, and pushed hard at mile marker 4. I pushed hard enough that I even surprised myself that I could maintain the pace I was going. As we rounded the last curve in the parking lot, heading back down to the gates at the entrance of the park, I could see the clock, and ran like I was sprinting those 100s back in high school. I didn’t hurt. I could breathe. My heart was pounding. And I was grinning as my enthusiasm and love for running spiked as I felt that wind blowing my hair and my feet pushing, digging in, and propelling me closer… closer… and THROUGH the finish! What an exhilirating race!

Is it crazy that I ran two races in one weekend? Some might say yes. Others, other runners that is, will say no. I ran two in one weekend. I finished the 10 miler in 1:46:32, with a time of 52:30 at the half way point of 5 miles. I finished the Christmastown Dash 8K at 51:06! Not only did I make a new personal record for my 8K, I killed my half way point of Saturday’s race! Woo-hoo! What a weekend… not one, but TWO personal records!

What’s even better, is that I am typing this the Monday immediately following both races, and I don’t hurt, I don’t ache, and I’m not complaining about anything. I feel GREAT! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- I LOVE TO RUN!

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One Response to Christmastown Dash 8K

  1. Charlie P says:

    Great race report Erica! Sounds like an awesome race and time in spite of the weather! I wanted to do both but didn’t register in time but next year! Great job and congratulations on your PR…on both PRs!

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