Carpe Run

Seizing the day (and the run) one day and mile at a time!

Race Recap: Christmastown Dash 8k

on December 4, 2012

The Christmastown Dash 8k took place at Busch Gardens last Sunday and the weather was fabulous!  The last time Ben and I ran this race in 2010 it was SNOWING at the start and I couldn’t feel any of my lower extremities for the first half mile.  Not to mention I was snotting (not a word and TMI) throughout the whole race and using my gloves for tissues….SEXY!  Anyway Sunday’s 47 degree start was fabulous and I knew to dress less warm.  I was hot and sweaty before mile 1 so I know I made a good choice!

For starters, the traffic getting into this race is horrible.  I don’t know what happened last year as we didn’t run it, but our first year the race was delayed due to traffic getting into the park.  Last Sunday, SAME story.  The race was scheduled to start at 8:30 and I’m not 100% on what time it was but it was at least 8:45 or later before the gun went off.  This is only the 3rd year of this race but it seems to me that they could have worked these issues out by now.  I think part of the problem is that portions of the race course interfere with the entrance but as big as Busch Gardens is I think they could do some reconfiguring.


My beautiful husband excited about traffic 😉

Our first stops upon arrival were the lovely port-o-potts and bag check.  As for the potties, there were TONS of them and I was pleasantly surprised to find mine clean, fresh smelling, and with PLENTY of toilet paper, a rarity at some races.  The lines were super short and we had that business taken care of rather quickly.  On to bag check, there was a new rather interesting system they were using.  They used yellow school buses and each window was open with designated race numbers on that window.  People were manning the windows and you just walked up to your slot and handed it over.

The magic school bus

The magic school bus

Again, I thought this was pretty cool and something I hadn’t seen before until I went to pick up my bag.  The lines were really disorganized and there was no rhyme or reason to how they were getting people’s bags to give them back.  Same concept, you just walked up to your window to get your bag, but I think a lot of shuffling went on inside that bus and the bags weren’t all at the corresponding windows.  Again, not a huge issue just took a couple of extra minutes.

Ben LOVES being my photog ;)

Ben LOVES being my photog 😉

Ready to run :)

Ready to run 🙂

Now down to the race!  As I mentioned we have done this race in the past and enjoyed it and it seemed like the race course itself changed a bit from last year.  Our biggest complaint in 2010 was that so much of the race was in the parking lots around Busch Gardens instead of in the actual park.  I don’t know if it changed that much since there was still quite a bit of parking lot to run, but it at least seemed that way to me.  Running through the park when it is so still and quiet with tons of runners is really fun and I SO enjoy this race just for that.  Even though it is day time all the lights and music are on and you even get to run through snowfall in Germany 🙂

The finish chute was very organized as well and timing was excellent (posted and emailed in real time immediately after).  My splits were crazy and I’m blaming it on the hills!  They are a little off because they are based on my Nike App but approximate:

Mile 1 8:28
Mile 2 9:02
Mile 3 8:59
Mile 4 9:46
Mile 5 9:18

Not sure what happened on mile 4….I remember feeling a little sluggish at that point and I think just the speediness (for me LOL) of my first 3 miles combined with my really pushing it up the hills in the park wore me out a bit.  I picked it up on the last mile, especially knowing I was going to come in under my goal of 48 minutes and that the last .3 or so was all downhill.  Also where the hell did that 8:28 mile come from?  Not sure what I was doing/thinking on that first mile.  Official time was 47:07 for a new hilly PR!

Even though this race still needs a few tweeks, I will continue to run it because I like running through BG plus the perks aren’t too shabby!  Included in the race packet and at the finish are a coupon for a free Chick-fil-a sandwich, a nice long sleeve tech shirt, a medal that doubles as a tree ornament, AND a one day ticket for BG in the spring.  They also give you $5 off Christmastown admission which is an added bonus.  We had Oberweis chocolate milk after that was mighty tasty too.

Anyone else think my thumb looks alien??

Anyone else think my thumb looks alien??

Looking forward to one more holiday themed race coming up this weekend before VACAY.  More on that later 🙂


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