Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa 5K

Burlington ON
BIB # 1179
Chip Time 28:11
Official Time 30:10
Pace 5:39
Place 553/2806
Gender Place 220/1757
Category Place 12/197

The Burlington Santa 5K is advertised as 'Canada's Largest All Santa Race'. There were 3500 people registered to run this event, all in a stinky Santa suit made entirely of felt in the backroom of a sweat shop somewhere. A few months ago I told my son Kyle that I had registered us for this event just to see what he'd say. "Ok" was his response. 'Really?!?! Right on! Retribution for the Warrior Dash'! er I mean 'Yay! A nice mother son activity' I thought. Over the weeks I gave him plenty of opportunity to back out, waiting until November 30 to register us and constantly asking him if he still wanted to do the run. He answered me 'Yes' every time with the typical exasperation of a 17 year old. Of course two nights before the race he told me that he had a hockey party to go to on the Friday night but not to worry, he'd still be running on Saturday morning with me. Perfect, I had also just checked the weather and they were calling for 90% chance of rain..... what better way to spend a Saturday morning then running in a felt suit with a hungover teenager in the rain with 3498 other people?!?! "Don't worry, babe" I told him. "We're just doing this for fun, it's not a race, we'll go at your pace".........

Don't worry, if we get split up I'll be able to find you......

Race day arrived with the rain that was promised. I had a hard time trying to figure out what to wear underneath the suit seeing as it wasn't going to breath at all. After a quick facebook chat with Patty I went with a tshirt + crops. Kyle wore his Under Armour pants (tights) that he wears under his hockey equipment and his Warrior Dash tshirt. I made us a breakfast of oatmeal and tea and gave Kyle an Advil chaser. He said that he felt fine, and although I noticed a little bit of a stink coming off of him from the night before it was nowhere near the one that his dad had going on so I figured we were good to go! (Without Kyle's headphones which he couldn't find. "Geez. That's too bad. I guess you'll just have to talk to me now.") So off we went, in the rain, to the race. "Don't worry buddy. I'm sure that these suits are pretty water resistant" I said. "Ugh! They're going to weigh 100lbs and I'm going to get sick and won't be able to go to Michigan next weekend for hockey!". "You'll be fine, it's a little rain. It's not even cold. And besides, at least now we don't have to worry about anyone lighting a match around us!!". *crickets* We arrived downtown with 15 minutes to spare.
You can almost see the stink coming off of these suits.....

I knew that with so many people participating in the event we should get as close to the start line as possible. Unfortunately that was not going to happen and we ended up pretty far back in the crowd. Right behind a lady with a jogging stroller and a 5 year old. Awesome!
I asked a guy standing behind us to take our picture. He made me ask the lady with him instead. What a douche!

I had brought along a bottle of water for Kyle to drink at the start line but he decided that he would like me to carry it for the whole race just in case. Oooookaaaaay, well at least I wasn't wearing my belt with 4 bottles full of water like some people. The gun eventually went off and two minutes later we were through the start. The course was so congested we were weaving and running up the back of people like crazy. I made Kyle go ahead of me just so that I didn't have to worry about losing him in the sea of red suits. As we got to the bottom of Brant St people started walking. Really? It's not even been 500 meters and you're walking? ARG! Kyle said that I was being a 'running snob' but come on. 500 meters?  As we were running along Lakeshore I started barking at Kyle to pass people. "What happened to 'Don't worry, babe. We're not going to race'?" "We're not racing, now pass these people would ya, they're going to slow?!?!". We turned up Maple and disaster struck. The string that was holding Kyle's pants up broke. Darn sweat shops! He tried running while holding his pants up but with only 1km or so behind us that wasn't going to work so I told him to get up on the sidewalk and I'd see if I could fix them. I quickly tried tying them back up and wrapping the string around a bit but after running another 200m we realized that wasn't going to work either. Back up onto the sidewalk we went. I suggested that he just take the pants off but with only his Under Armour pants (tights) underneath this was not a welcomed plan, so I just took off the highly flammable belt from my jacket and tied it around his waist over the pants. Thankfully this did the trick! Crisis averted!

I was really impressed with Kyle's ability to keep a 5:30/km pace and told him so numerous times. We were cruising along as best we could while weaving in and out of the people, chatting away commenting on the massive calves on one guy and laughing at the ripped pants of more than a few others. It was honestly a really great time. I kept asking him if he needed to walk and he kept saying no. We came to the water table and I spied Gatorade cups. "Gatorade will be at the front, water at the back" I told him. He took a cup of 'Gatorade' and drank it down. "Uh, yeah. That was water." Oops. Sorry buddy. I'm used to longer races I guess. I didn't take any water as I hadn't really been putting a lot of effort in at this point. We continued along the course, which was the exact same as The Moon in June, so we were able to hit the tangents pretty well seeing as I had a good memory of the loop course. At one point we came to a group of teenage marshalls obviously out for volunteer hours warning people to a curb. "Hey Jackman!" "Watch your step, Jackman!". Just what Kyle wanted to see this morning while out for a run in the rain with his mom wearing a Santa suit I'm sure. Oh well, it could have been worse. He could have been without pants! Count your blessings Kyle! Shortly after this he asked me how far we'd gone. I checked my Garmin and told him that we had another mile to go. "If we speed up a little bit we can get a decent time even with the stops we made with your pants, but don't speed up too much. We want to save some for the end so that we can pass any little kids ahead of us". I noticed that the guy running beside Kyle was listening to my advice. Smart! No one wants to get shown up by the 10 year olds on course, trust me! Kyle picked up the pace a bit here and then as soon as my watch beeped the 4th km he took off. What the hell? Where was this when I was bitching at him to get around the slow people?!?! I kept up for maybe 200m and then had to fall back. I saw him look over his shoulder at me and I waved him on. "Just go. If you can beat me then beat me". That was the last that I saw of him until I crossed the finish line. Gone were my visions of the finisher photos of us crossing the line together holding hands with big smiles on our faces. Instead I was left with the realization that a 17 year old boy with a high level of fitness but who never runs was outrunning me. Here I was saying that we'd be running at his pace when really we needed to be running at mine. But who cares? I was proud of him for being that amazing! After we got home (and Kyle went back to bed) I looked at my Garmin splits. I ran that last km in 4:20. Kyle beat me by 30 seconds which means that he ran that final km in 3:50. Holy crap! I don't think that I could ever run a km that fast. Damn youth! Once we met up at the finish line I proudly told him that I beat a little kid. "So did I" he said. Atta boy!
Where's your mom, kid?
Here she is carrying your stinkin' water! (That boy on my right belongs to a family
who comes in regularly to the restaurant. I can't wait to tell him that I beat him! AFTER
they tip of course!! LOL) 
First the worst........

Second the best case you're wondering, Noah has no interest in running a 5K any longer which is why he didn't join us. Considering he'll dog a 400m track tryout just so that he doesn't get selected to run it I'm surprised that he ever even considered it.


  1. That's awesome. Congrats to you both and well done. Love the race recap/photos.

  2. WOW!!! that's awesome.....Kyle is so fast. ARGH! I loved seeing all the pics. I was working so I didn't get a chance to come out :(

    I can't believe you didn't try to trip him ;) lol

  3. OMG you make me howl. I didn't think you could outdo your last race report, but you did. Thank you for this awesome laugh today. LOVE YA!

  4. I actually bursted out laughing at your "Don't worry, if we get split up I'll be able to find you......" comment. Too funny!

    I do not know how you ran in that felt suit! Did you see this video that Get Out There Magazine made of the Santa 5k?

    You might be able to find yourself!

  5. Congrats to you both! Can't believe you guys were able to fix his pants and still finish so quickly.

  6. Holy crow, I can't believe your son did this with you. I would die to run a race in a red suit, but to find a teenager that is willing to do it is like a miracle. And you guys did great, especially for wearing a giant/hot suit!

  7. TOTALLY impressed that you ran in that outfit!! I'm always afraid to try anything too crazy for fear of chaffing1