It just would not be Christmas without a festive sprint dressed in a Santa suit would it!? This year was my second visit to Lincoln Santa Run, a fun run designed to spread festive cheer to all entrants. Last year my friend and I ran with some of the other members from our gym, but this year we struck out alone. The 3.5k 'race' is intended to be a fun run, however with the new introduction of a 'Fast Santas' starting area (see image) - designed for those who wanted to race the course - it was apparent we would not be sauntering around!
As if we needed anymore encouragement to race, we ended up being right at the front of the start line, with a red swarm or 2500 Santas lining up behind us. I even had my Garmin watch on under my red cloak (although by the time we actually came to start the race it has lost location and I gave up with it!) As the air horn was sounded we charged off, leading the way with a number of other more sprightly Santas and also a few Santas who were being helped - possibly dragged - along by their reindeer wannabe canines.
You forget how hot a Santa suit makes you, and as we powered around the course the fact my cloak was billowing open actually was a bit of a relief. The course was two loops, and as we finished our first lap we hit the back of the 'walking Santas' meaning my friend and I had to weave carefully through an array of buggys, scooters, dogs and tiny children. It was a little bit challenging at times, but the 'race' is for everyone so we must respect and also expect that.
As we hit the finishing straight the announcer on the tannoy stated we were battling for 3rd, 4th and 5th female places along with another young girl. In the masses of Santas we had been fighting through I literally had no idea we were doing so well! It was a nice surprise, and with our Santa suits now well and truly in a state of disarray (well captured by the local press - see image), we fought through the final metres. The young girl pipped us both to 3rd, but I was happy with an unexpected 5th place; my friend 4th. Next year the challenge will now undoubtedly be to beat this.. what have we started!
After the run we enjoyed a celebratory drink to mark the end of our running year, and watched some of the remaining Santas complete the course. I will hold my hands up and say I am not the most Christmassy person there is, but Santa Run is quickly becoming something I really look forward to in the festive build up.