Thursday, December 14, 2017

San Diego Santa Mile Race Recap

This past weekend was the 5th Annual San Diego Santa Run!

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The San Diego Santa Run is a holiday experience like none other! The event consists of a series of runs that take place down in Pacific Beach, featuring a 5K fun run and 1 Mile waves [including a dog run, kids run and competitive waves]!

This is the third time we've been lucky enough to take part in this event. I said "we" because not only have the hubby and I participated, but so has Walt! If you haven't done so already, you should read about our 2013 and 2015 experiences. 

After the 2015 race (the hubby ran the Santa 5K, the pup and I did the Santa Mile)

Originally I wasn't sure if we would be available, but once our calendar was set and we had an opening for Saturday afternoon, I knew we HAD TO register again. I have been lucky enough to work with the guys who organize this race in the past, so they offered to hook Walt up with a FREE bib! HECK TO THE YES! (But, before you start thinking to yourself that this race recap will be bias due to the fact we didn't pay the $25 entry fee, please know I always gotta #KeepItReal!)

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I figured the least they could do for using our photo in their marketing material was to give us a free entry... JOKES!
But isn't it awesome that Walt and I are in the center of this shot?! Walt even looks like he is flying in this picture!

I don't know if there are a lot of races near you that allow dogs, but as far as I know, there aren't a ton by us... At least not ones that would be doable for a wiener dog ;) With that said, I may get a little extra excited about this event... So much so that I enlisted the help of the hubby and a friend to help make a shirt for the occasion ;) I'm pretty stoked about it!

This #FlatCarlee was all about wiener dogs and Christmas!
Vintage PRO Compression socks (maybe 2014?), red Handful bra, green Sparkle Athletic skirt, baseball tee that I made (grabbed a
blank one from Dick's Sporting Goods, then the hubby mocked up a "Dachshund Through The Snow" graphic and my friend printed it
out on her cricket so I could iron it onto the tee), a Wienerschnitzel hat a friend just happened to gift to the hubby a week prior (it
says "World's Most Wanted Wiener"... can you say perfect?!), white and red QALO silicone wedding bands, red Momentum Jewelry
wraps
, green RoadID, my Garmin Forerunner 735XT, and Brooks Ghost 10.

I'll be honest, Walt isn't much of a runner. His short legs and tiny stride aren't super conducive for long distances (even though TruMan, @dirtdiva333's dachshund, runs ultras). I knew from past races not to expect much (let's be real, neither Walt or I will be winning races anytime soon), but our game plan was to have a blast and give it our best shot. 

Stoked to head down to PB!

With the "Santa's Little Helper" Wave starting at 12:30pm, we packed up and headed down to PB around 11am. It took us about 35 minutes to drive down there and then another 10-15 minutes to find parking (unfortunately, since we were the last race of the day, everyone else was already there and apparently had gobbled up all the street parking). Once parked, we made our way over to the registration booth and grabbed our bib {I would wear it for the pair of us}.

SANTA! WE KNOW HIM!

The hubby decided to sit this one out (we had a half marathon on the calendar for the following day and one for the following weekend), but played paparazzi and cheerleader for the pup and I. Of course we had to stop and snap a couple pictures before making our way over to the starting line... I mean, if Walt only runs one race a year, I am going to live it up and make sure to capture the moment (although, as you can tell from Walt's enthusiasm, he is too cool for school)!

Ready to rock and roll!

Walt never wants to look at the camera... It's sort of like he does it on purpose... 

Once the kids race started, they called all of the dogs and their owners over to the starting line. The wave is limited to 125 people, many of whom walk the mile, so Walt and I meandered up towards the front of the pack. There were some super cute dogs out there (and it reminded me that we need to grab some festive accessories because Walt definitely did not appear to be in the holiday spirit!).


Since the race didn't start till 12:30pm, it was already pretty warm out and I could tell Walt was "over it" before it even began. He was too interested in checking out the other doggies or sitting in the sun to get pumped up for his run.

Getting ready to go!

Can't you tell he is ready to run?! HA!

Well, the announcer counted us down and soon we were off. Walt took off sprinting as soon as the other dogs started going. He also barks the whole time (I think it is because he is excited and trying to tell the other pups to slow down, but who knows what's going on in that doggy brain of his...).

Not sure if you can see Walt, but I don't think any of his legs are touching the ground at this point!

Maybe if he learned to pace himself he could last a little longer... 

Walt was so focused on chasing down the other dogs that he didn't even see Ryan when we passed him. Shortly after we flew by Ryan, Walt's energy plummeted and he got bored with the whole thing. We probably ran for a good quarter-mile or so before he started slowing down (if only it was an 400 meter dash...).

The course is a simple out-and-back run (half mile down the street, chuck a u-ey, half mile back). I was hoping we could make it to the half way point on our own accord and then I could coax Walt to the finish line by telling him that Ryan was "right up there". Well, let's just say it was more of a run/ walk/ sit sort of strategy we had going on ;)

Mid-run rest break

I was telling the hubby that maybe if there were more running dogs around us he may have "stayed in the game" for a longer time, but once the fast ones sprinted away and we were left behind the lead pack he called it quits.

Eventually we finally made it back to where the hubby was and took a quick pit-stop for a picture and some water (who knew that Walt needed an aid station on a one mile run?!). I thought the drink would perk Walt up, but once he knew Ryan was nearby he didn't want to continue on until he was with us... Yup, that meant Ryan had to jog on the sidewalk where the spectators were to try and get Walt to the finish line... Oy vey!

Slowly but surely we will get there...

Aid station

When Walt is panting, I always think he looks like he's smiling. 

We crossed the finish line in 15:51... Apparently the older Walt gets, the slower he goes. In 2013 we finished in 8:31 and in 2015 we finished in 11:45. But, if you think about it, there's 14 years (in dog time) between races so it makes sense!

WE DID IT!

Well, it could have been worse!

Apparently the 1 mile run AND the walk to the car was just too much for this pup... 

Yup, on the way back to the car I had to give Walt a lift... 

Although I know some runners "run for the bling", I'm totally fine that this race doesn't have a medal (and I'm not just saying that because I've been donating my medals recently). I still think this event is a steal (fees range from $20 to $50 depending on the wave and when you register)! Not only do the 5K participants receive an official sunny Santa suit, Santa Run sunnies and drink ticket (for runners 21+), but the San Diego Santa Run benefits the Pacific Beach Holiday Parade and ensures it'll continue for years to come! They also partner with San Diego Food Bank, donating hundreds of pounds of non-perishable items every year. {The 1 Mile runners receive a Santa hat, Santa Run sunnies and drink ticket.} 

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PS Can I say how AWESOME it is to see 3,000 runners ALL DRESSED AS SANTA taking over the streets of PB?! AMAZEBALLS!

Okay, so maybe it wasn't Walt's best performance, but we all had an AWESOME time! And if we're around next year, you better believe we'll DEFINITELY be back for redemption (Walt might even do a little training... but I can't guarantee it)!

THE CREW!

Walt was so over us at this point that we let him off the hook on this shot.

Have you ever run a race with your pet?

3 comments:

Michelle B said...

I love this post! I live in a small rural town in Oregon, but every local race I run has no problem with me running with my border collie mix or my Australian Shepherd. (But we don't have that many races in all honesty. Like maybe 7 5ks, 3 10ks and I think they just started a trail ultra in August.) So 95% of the races I run, I run with one of my pups. I'm glad Walt was able to get out and (kinda) have some fun. (Oh! and an easy pup race accessory I did this year was get cheap dollar store collars and buy some dollar store jingle bells. I sewed them on to the entire length of the collar and they jingled while they ran.)

Caitlin said...

Walt is so adorable! My dog is in the senior category now (or masters I guess in this case!), but he wouldn't run even when he was a youngun.

Samantha Hopkins said...

Love the shot of Walt flying!