I had been eye-balling the Santa Hustle for months. I think I first saw that it was coming to Indianapolis back in October. But…you never know what kind of weather you’re going to get here so I was going to wait until the very last possible day (before the price increased) to see what might be in store for us. Then….they posted a picture of the Finishers Medal on Facebook and that pretty much sealed the deal because it was adorable. So right before we left for Aruba, I completed the on-line registration.
My brother was going to be able to do it as well so I was really excited about that. He has recently started running again after MANY years of not being able to because of health issues and life in general. He was once on the cross country teams in junior high & high school. I’m so proud of him for taking this time for himself and his health.
The plan was that he would come over and spend the night before and I would go to packet pickup for both of us. It was a small Expo and I’m glad he didn’t try to rush over for it. Nothing really to see there.
Although they give you a Santa hat & beard and a tech shirt that looks like the front of Santa’s coat, I wanted to create my “own” outfit. It turned out pretty good: a skirt from Target that I blinged out and a T-shirt from Walmart that I added some sparkles to as well. I attached the Santa hat to my running hat with safety pins figuring that way if it bothered me I wouldn’t lose the whole thing.
The race didn’t start Sunday morning until 9:00am. NICE! So we were able to get up at a reasonable hour, have breakfast and not rush too much. Since we ended up having great (read - unseasonably warm) weather, the race was packed. I would discover later that over 2000 people participated in the half marathon - that’s pretty good for an inaugural race. I have a feeling had it been cold and windy and snowy, there wouldn’t be as many people there. And I don’t even remember how many participated in the 5K. A gazillion? (j/K)
It was jam-packed at the start and very congested. For the first (nearly) half a mile you are running on a sidewalk which in most cases only comfortably fits 4-5 people wide. But once you got out on the street it obviously spread out. Initially I was a little worried that I was over dressed because I was starting to get overheated but later in the race, I was glad to have on the long-sleeve technical shirt under my festive Christmas shirt. It became overcast and the wind picked up a little. The first water stop which was to be just after the 1st mile marker was well past it. Luckily I had my own bottle (which I usually NEVER have) but I was worried about my brother because he always runs with a bottle of water but had forgotten it.
One nice thing about this race: it was a different route through Indianapolis, one that I am not familiar with as a running courese. So that was a good break for the ol’ mind. Not too much to report about the race in general. There wasn’t much crowd support and a few of the candy and cookie stations were completely unmanned. Surprisingly, the candy was M&M’s (I assumed it would have been candy canes) and the cookies were plain so I wasn’t tempted to stop at all. Plus there wasn’t anything to drink there nor were they close to the next water/aid station. I was surprised to encounter two hills on the course. I mean this is flat Indiana after all and no elevation chart provided.
I was not prepared for this race; we were in Aruba the two weeks prior and I didn’t train as much as I should have when I got back. But this was for fun, I’d never run in a “costume” and I got a super cute Santa medal. I found my brother at the finish line. We knew he would finish before me but he was discouraged with his finishing time and the fact that our sister-in-law (who we only found out the night before was doing it as well) passed him around the 11 mile marker. Like I say, there is always another race but some/most people take all of this more seriously than I do.
Super glad Kevin and I did this race together. He’s a great brother!