This isn't so much a race, but more like a fun run before my hometown's Christmas parade. No chip times. While there are bibs, you don't get a number. Rather you get a W, M, B, or G (women, men, boy, girl, clever, huh?). It's a fun run though, up the main drag in downtown where the streets are crowded with people waiting for the parade.
This year's edition can be summed up in four parts:
Part 1: The first quarter-mile
The start is a little chaotic. Organizers try to make it organized but it doesn't happen. Sure you have the bright neon yellow sign indicating the speedy folks should be up front followed by the 6-minute milers, 7-minute milers, etc. all the way back to the walkers and strollers. But you still end up with families with little kids lining up at the front. Knowing this, I tried to position myself near the front. Heck, I think I was next to the 7-minute mile sign (never gonna happen). The race starts and we go. And for the first quarter-mile I'm dodging the families and little kids who just decide to walk. Or better yet, the little kids who run and then stop dead, turn around and look for their Mom and Dad. This leads to lots of weaving and lots of dodging. And a slower start than I was hoping for.
Part 2: The second quarter-mile
I've managed to separate myself from a good chunk of the kids and am just able to run. Keep a steady pace. No dodging. No weaving. Just me and the pavement.
Part 3: The third quarter-mile
This features a great downhill. Unfortunately I don't think a lot people know how to run a downhill. I like to fly. Let gravity take hold and gain a few extra seconds. Everyone else? It's like they put on the brakes. And decided to come to a halt like 3 people wide. Right in my path. Do you know how hard it is to weave and dodge while flying downhill? It's hard. There were two instances where it wasn't possible to change direction at the last minute and I was that runner who squeezed in between two people. Couldn't help it.
Part 4: The final quarter-mile
Straightaway. Flat. Again, I had separated myself from a good chunk of people so I could just throw the hammer down and make it to the finish line, which is situated at the top of a small little incline. I hit the line, pushed stop on my Garmin and looked down. I was really hoping to turn in a faster time this year than I did last year.
I did it. Barely. But I did it.
I finished this year's Santa Scamper in 8:55, one whole second faster than last year (when I didn't seem to have to do as much weaving and dodging). A new one-mile PR. I was happy. I collected my Dilly Bar and water and walked back uphill for the parade. I'd say it was a good night.
One PR down. One more to go this week.