Santa Hustle Race Recap: When Plan B should have been Plan A.

30 Dec

Hey There!

Well once again its been awhile…. Obviously my resolution to be more consistent in blogging backfired in the reverse and I haven’t done a new in literally a year.  But there is always next year right? Time to focus get on point and finally say enough enough.  More on that another day today is time for another race recap.

Earlier in December I ran the Santa Hustle 1/2 Marathon in Sevierville, TN with one of my best friends. As I mentioned on facebook:

“When plan B is a road trip to Tennessee with one of your best friends to run a 1/2 marathon where they give you a Santa beard/hat and candy on the run (and helping said friend set a new PR) you wonder why it wasn’t plan A to begin with!”

So lets get this first part of out of the way. Why was this totally awesome race plan B? Well Plan A was actually to go to my companies Christmas cocktail party with dinner, dancing and the like with my boyfriend.  Can you guess what happened next? We broke up. While I could have easily gone to the Christmas on my own, I knew that I would have so much more fun road tripping with my bestie on a semi-last minute decision to run a 1/2 marathon (1/2 #6 for me!).

And boy was I not dissapointed. The weekend started with me driving to Auburn watching my friend graduate with her Masters in Math. She is actually going for her phD but officially received her masters (1/2 way there!!!).  After eating lunch with her family and fiance we were on the 5hr drive to Tennessee!

Filled with talking, laughter, and music we rolled into Olive Garden in Knoxville for some Carbs before finally making it to Sevierville (which I still can’t pronounce at all) for the night.

Our hotel was only about 1/2 mile from the race which was perfect and easy to get to as we had to wait for packet pickup in the morning.

Originally we were worried that it was going to be hot for the race (according to the weather) especially for a “Christmas” themed race. Thankfully it was actually pretty foggy and cool for the race (and the fogged cleared in time for our drive back!).

Sunday morning I throw on some KT Tape, chomp down on my trusty Luna bar and I am ready to go.

We get there early to pick up our packets which was a relatively easy process, they scanned your confirmation ticket with an Ipad, scan a bib and then you go to another table to pick up your shirt, beard and hat.

I was pleasantly surprised with the long sleeve 1/2 zip tech shirt. It was super comfortable, and as a plus it was unisex drifit and fit great. Sometimes when races have women’s dri-fit the shirts are waaaaaay too small, and sometimes when it is unisex its waaaaay to big, but this one just like goldilocks fit just right!

We took a quick pic with our santa beard and hat and then quickly shed them for the race.

At the start line they had an inflatable snowman and santa and alot of runners decked out in holiday gear. (This race was a goldmine if you participated in #RunChatHunt this year).

I won’t get into the gritty details of the race itself (as I am obviously out of blogging practice) but I will give you some of the highlights:

  • The race itself was one big out and back down the main road in Sevierville, going just into Pigeon Forge before turning back in. It wasn’t the most terribly scenic of routes but the fog lifted near the turn around so you could see some of the mountains.
  • The police/traffic personal for the race were great. All were friendly and generally seemed happy to be there.
  • There were a few slight hills but as Elizabeth and I decided from the start to run the race together I think our constant talking and cracking up defintely distracted from them as I hardly felt them at all.
  • For a Christmas themed race with promise of “Candy” and “Christmas music” there was a little lacking on both.  Both the candy stations (cookies and mini-m&ms) were fairly close together within the first 1.5-2 miles of the race. While I know some of this was probably for the 5k runners I think some of it should have been spread out for through the rest of the 1/2 marathon so you didn’t get it right at the front and at the end.
    • Same for Christmas music there wasn’t really as much Christmas music as I was expecting along the race.

      IMG_1194

      Candy! I think we were the only ones to grab any the first go round. Pardon our random faces it was while running.

  • The medals were fun! A 3-D spinning snowflake definitely added a little sparkle to the end of the race.

    IMG_1202

    Our fun medals!

  • While this was my slowest 1/2 yet it was defintely the most fun I’ve had on a run.  Elizabeth and I ran together the entire way and she had about a 10 minute PR on her 2nd 1/2!!!

Post race we ran back to the hotel to shower and then drove back to Auburn. I immediately had to drive another 1.5 hours back home and went straight to my Sunday Schools game night.  I think they may stop inviting me because I’ve won every game night we have had so far… 😉

Looking back I don’t even know why this race was plan B to begin with. It most definitely should have been my plan A++. It was a blast and I can’t wait for the next one.

My name is Holley and I am getting back into the swing of things (for real this time).

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