When race morning came, I wasn't too into going. The horrific school shooting had just happened the day before, and my heart was heavy was sadness. And while I knew a run would clear my mind (and I actually had to run 8 miles, so I planned on running 5 more after the race) it was a cold and rainy morning. With both my mind and my body not into it, I got dressed anyway and headed down to Balboa Park, windshield wipers madly working the whole way.
Once there, I connected with D, my best friend. We then found my friends Andrea and Angi. Angi, her mom and her dog had dressed up like Cindy Lou Who and Max from the Grinch. Even their dog stroller was decked out. It was so creative. We even ran into Monika, running her first race post-radiation and chemo. It was SO good to see her out and running and looking fabulous!
Luckily around this time the rain let up, just in time to start running. The course was down 6th Avenue and in Balboa Park a bit. I had so much fun in this race, for two reasons. First, it was amazing to run with my best friend. We kept a nice an easy pace (none of that fast running I did in the Shelter Island 5k last month) and talked the whole way. At the end he even told me how much fun he had, and thanked me for gently easing him into racing (he's thinking about a 10k now!) Amazingly our red noses stayed on (although mine never did light up like it was supposed to) but somewhere along the course I lost my reindeer ears headband. Oh well.
The second reason this race was so fun was all the costumes! Aside from my friends, so many other people were decked out in holiday costumes. We saw lots of Santa hats, reindeer, and snowflakes. The one of the best I saw was a group of people dressed like reindeer---in full costumes, not just ears--tethered together with Rudolph in the front and someone dressed like Santa in the back. How they ran in formation like that I have no clue, but it was awesome to see!
After crossing the finish line, we got our medals (so rare for a 5k) and hung out for a bit. I ran into my friend Ingrid, who ran the race with her son---his first-ever 5k. After saying goodbye to all my friends, I went off to do another 5 miles.
This is definitely a fun race, one I would consider doing next year with my own son. Happy holidays, everyone!