Santa Hustle Half Marathon and 5K was a BLAST! Completely worth driving to Sandusky, OH for (less than an hour drive). Santa Hustle’s are held all over the U.S. but this was the first time having it in Sandusky. Of course, I was nervous about it being a first time race but from what I saw everything went smoothly.
I got to the race pretty early because I had never been to this part of Sandusky and wanted to give myself plenty of time to get lost and find my way to the start. Luckily, it was really easy and I got to park directly across the street from the start. After running around talking to my friends and grabbing my race packet from Eli (she picked it up on Saturday for me) I headed out for a short, 1 mile warm up on the course. I had been warned that it could get windy by the lake so I ran that part of the course. There was almost no wind so I was all set for a nice warm December race.
Almost everyone at this race wears red or more specifically, the red Santa shirt that is given to you for the race. It’s a nice, cute wicking shirt but I have this thing with wearing race day shirts on race day. This was probably the only race where it is actually ok to wear the race day shirt (and Santa hat and beard) but I still couldn’t do it. Instead I went with a highlighter lime green outfit. Best part about that was I stuck out like crazy. All my friends could easily spot me a mile away.
The race started on time and I tried my best to stick to a decent pace. mile 1 was 7:15 and miles 2 and 3 were 7:25. If I could keep that pace I was headed for a PR Holla! My goal for this race was to run smart, have fun and run under 1:45. By mile 4 I had eased into a 7:45 min mile and was very comfortable and could hold that pace for the rest of the race.
Miles 5-7 flew by, we were running around Cedar Point and I was checking out all the closed rides. No spectators were allowed into Cedar Point to watch the race but with all the rides to look at, before I knew it we were heading back out of the park and onto a bike path next to the lake. This is where the wind started to kick in.
Miles 8-10 were windy. But I kept telling myself that it will let up and I’ll be fine. By mile 10 the wind had picked up even more. My pace had slowed by an entire minute. I was trying to push against the wind but it was hard. Mile 11, my cheeks were actually getting sore from the wind. Cheeks on my face, not my butt cheeks sickos.
Eli ran the 5K and then met me for the last mile or so of the half marathon. Which was awesome because it was so windy and I was exhausted from pushing into it. You would think from a half marathon your legs, butt, knees, feet etc would be sore but no, my arms, back, abs and face cheeks were sore. I’m actually sore there today and still not sore in my legs yet.
By the time I made one of the final turns in the race I was ready to lay down on the sidewalk and take a nap. Instead I pushed and gave it what I had left (wasn’t much) and finished with a time of 1:47:12 a 8:11 pace and 6th in my age group. At first I was mad I didn’t run a 1:45 but then realized I was only a little over 2 mins off that time and without the wind I would have easily been under 1:45. Then I also remembered that this was my first half marathon since April and I HAD ZERO IT BAND PAIN FOR THIS RACE! ZERO, ZILCH, NADA, NULA, BABU.
Although this wasn’t my goal time, it’s still a pain free half marathon finish. Half Marathon number 17 is in the books. Also, the girls below are bridesmaids in my wedding! They are awesome and makes me 1000 times happy to see them.
- Fun Themed Race
- Easy Parking (there were multiple lots around Castaway Bay and Volunteer Elves were very good at directing cars where to go)
- Cool shirts, hat and beard
- Cool medals for the half marathoners. Would be cool if the 5K got mini versions and got a finishers medal too.
- Minus the wind the temperature was perfect. 50s in December!
- I’ll definitely be back for another Santa Hustle.
- It was super windy
- No race day packet pickup. I know a lot of people from Cleveland would have made the drive if they could pick there packet up race morning.
- Course short by at least .25 (I compared my watch with many runners at the finish and we all had it short but that’s ok for a first time race)
In case you want a good laugh, check out the picture below. The picture on the left is what I wore for the race. The picture on the right is what I should have worn for the race. However, my friend Anna pointed out to me that I have my beard on wrong! Why I thought the mustache part went on your nose I’ll never understand.
This was my last race of 2012, is anyone else still racing? I know there are a couple NYE races but I’m done for the year.
What are your thoughts on race day shirts? Wear them on the race day or any day but on race day. I will wear mine any time after the race, even immediately after, just not for the actual race. More of a superstitious thing.
Other Santa Hustlers in attendance: (I’m sure their recaps will be up soon)