Sacramento Santa Run 5k

Most people close off their running season with a highly trained for race, 2 weeks ago I ran my “A” race at the California International Marathon, where I ran a 3:04:06 (a BQ and Personal Best, which you can read about HERE). For me I decided to throw one more race into the mix to end 2014, one that was more of a gimmick race than anything. Many people know about my feeling about gimmick races, but in the end it was a race that offered a flat, fast course, and sounded fun. I mean who doesn’t want to run with 3,000 people in Santa costumes on the streets of Downtown Sacramento?

The “race” day festivities started for me on Thursday, when I went to the packet pick up to grab the Santa suit which was included with each entry, t-shirt and bib. The Santa suit included a hat, beard, pants, jacket and belt … kinda cool except for the fact that it was cheaply made and most of it fell apart after putting it on, but hey that wasn’t why I signed up for this race.


the packet pick up swag

When the Saturday morning race day came around, we loaded the car and made my way to the Downtown Sacramento area. We would include myself, my wife and my son (who was joining in by way of being in the BOB stroller). With the car parked we followed the lines of Santa runners making their way to 9th Street just one block over from the west steps of the Capitol building.

While I opted to get a short warm up in, approx 1 mile, my wife and D went to check out the starting area where there was a Santa sitting in a rocking chair that was there for photo ops with people. This starting line had all kinds of chaos going on with someone leading a warm up, to people doing yoga, to carolers singing Christmas songs. As the clock moved closer to the 9:00AM start time, I jumped in towards the front as I was going to give this race a go and see what was in my legs.


the start line area leading runners away from the Capitol.

To be honest, I didn’t have too many high expectations for this race because of the fact that though I have been running every day since the marathon, I have only been logging in easy / recovery miles, nothing of speed which would be needed for the 5k distance. However, we all knows how that goes once the bib comes on and there is a timing chip connected to it, all idea of not having trained for this specific race goes out the window.

With the countdown occurring it was time to “take our marks”. The horn went off and now we were lead down Capital Mall towards the Tower Bridge, before making a quick turn into Old Sacramento. With a loop through Old Sacramento onto 2nd Street, we moved along the River Park area staying in the Sacramento side of the river. We were then looped back into Old Sacramento before making a final right hand turn into the tunnel connecting Downtown Sacramento and Old Sacramento which brought us to the finish in the outdoor Downtown Mall.

As I whipped down through the tunnel, I knew I was going to run in a decent time and maybe even run a personal best … as I could see the finish line and most importantly the official clock,  I knew I was going to run a personal best in the 5k this morning, the only thing remaining would be my official time … with a final push to the finish I crossed the finish line with an official time of 18:40. On this day my finish was good enough for a 15 second personal best, finishing the race 15th overall and 3rd in my age division.


posing with my age group 3rd place award (a nutcracker)


the nutcracker after my son was done playing with it, notice the hand is missing 🙂


the finish area inside the Downtown Plaza area.

I’ll breakdown my thoughts on running a personal best after a couple weeks of recovery running in a different post. Did you race this weekend? How did you do?


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