I had the pleasure of running the Santa Shuffle at Tunney’s Pasture this morning. The Santa Shuffle is a 5K Fun Run put on by the Running Room. There’s actually a number of Santa Shuffle’s that take place on the same day, in various cities across the country. The proceeds of the events go to the Salvation Army, which of course, does great work. And being a Santa shuffle, you can of course expect to see lots of Santas and elves.
The great thing about this race is that it starts late as far as races go. The 1K elf walk, the kids event, started at 10am but the 5K run didn’t actually start until 10:30am. Of course, since I didn’t pick up my race kit before the event and DS had his Little Rocks curling at the Granite Curling Club that morning, I was dropped off by DH around 9am.
I have to admit, it was a rather chilly morning to be running. When I checked the weather report, the temperature was -10 celsius but it felt more like -19 with the windchill.
I’m never sure how to dress in the winter. After much waffling, I finally opted for my MEC, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, tights. I bought them for winter cycling but they also work great for running. They are breathable in the back, and wind and water resistant in the front. They also have a bit of flocking inside the front to make them warmer. I then added a couple of layers, a sports bra of course, with a tank top on top, and a generic long sleeve shirt (sadly cotton). Over that I put on my bright orange Resolution Run jacket from a New Year’s Eve run a few years back. And to top it off, a double-layer knit hat, my favourite red Canadian Olympic knit mittens and a neck gaiter to pull up over my face, also from MEC. On my feet, I was wearing my New Balance Minimus trail running shoes. Despite my layers, I still felt really cold outside but while running, it was absolutely perfect. Somehow I had managed not to over or under dress.
The turn out for the race was great. Previous years have had somewhere over 800 people. This year, I think it was around a thousand. Lots and lots of crazy people like myself who decided that December 1st would be a fantastic day to run a race. Definitely great comraderie and lots of pre-race excitment. Being a fun run, there were no timing chips and nor did I manage to spot a clock at the finish line. But that’s okay. The lack of timing keeps the race cost low and this race was only around $20 if I’m not mistaken. I suspect from checking my watch before and after the race, my time was somewhere around 30 minutes, maybe a bit less.
The course itself looped around the Tunney’s Pasture area of Ottawa, which is basically a large complex housing various government offices. From a subjective assessment, the race distance felt a little short but I really have no way of confirming if it was actually 5K or not. If anyone does, please let me know because I am really curious.
The race started off really slow especially since I was stuck somewhere in the middle of the group. Like all races, it was really tightly packed at the start so it took a while before I was able to even able to start running nevermind actually get up to normal running speed. The more competitive types were were jumping off the course slightly to go around the slower runners. It’s not something I like doing but I can hardly blame them. The faster you run, the faster you get done and out of the cold.
All the 5K finishers got a really fantastic looking Santa Shuffle medal. Probably my favourite medal so far. Also in the race kit was an iRun magazine, as always, and a Lindt advent calendar. There was also someone from Live 88.5, a local radio station, handing out mixed CDs, which DH really appreciated. I opted out of getting the race t-shirt, which was being sold for $15. Being a tad on the small size, I never find they fit.
At the finish line, the runners were offered some hot chocolate and cookies. The line up for the snacks was rather long so I decided to skip it. Overall, it was a good run. Next one I have planned is the Winterman 10K which lines up with Ottawa’s winter festival, Winterlude. The 10K goes back to my Fitness Goals for 2013. I’m also debating doing the Richmond Road Races in January, but probably for the 5K.