Santa-Monica Venice Christmas Run 10K 2016 Race Review

I’m going to be that annoying person who says they’ve been too busy to blog. It’s true though! I have 3 draft blog posts that were never published. I’d start writing but with my computer open I would watch my growing inbox and feel guilty about not responding and not being productive. So yes, I’ve been too busy to blog, but definitely not too busy to run. Running makes me a better principal. Sometimes it clears my mind, and sometimes I use a run to reflect and build an action plan in my mind. Anyways, the annual Santa-Monica Venice Christmas Run was my reason to get back into blogging. This was my 6th year in a row running the race, and I’ve always said it’s my favorite (non-marathon) race. With a 1st place finish out of about 1400 women, even more reason to love the event. Because I’ve got lots to do tonight, my goal is to finish this post in 20 minutes. Here we go. Don’t judge the typos 🙂

Ellen, Anna, and I at the start of the race. FullSizeRender_2.jpg

Yup, I love this race. Hard not to smile with all the Christmas spirit, costumes, and running on the beach. I never go into this race stressed or with a crazy goal. Yes, I always want to PR but that’s mostly because I rarely run 10Ks. I also don’t train specifically for 10Ks, so I can’t be too upset if I don’t PR.

This photo was taken just after the first mile. I was in 3rd place and 1st place was quite a ways ahead of me. Considering I’d just clocked a 6:11 mile, I didn’t think there was much of a chance of working my way up, so I just smiled and thought to myself it would be nice to have a top 3 day. 50086408_race_0.8425811077171016.display.jpg

Yeah, not all of my photos turned out as well…

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The race wasn’t really too eventful. Around mile 1.5/2 I caught 1 and 2, and made it to 1st place. Turns out they started too fast. I ran pretty consistently between 6:18-6:22. This course has a bunch of turn arounds which is annoying for pacing, but great for seeing friends. I got to see Peter, Ellen, Anna, and Bri several times on the course. By mile 4 I knew unless something went terribly wrong I’d win the race. My pace was feeling hard, but not impossible, so I kinda just held it. I didn’t have huge motivation to dig really deep. I felt content and soaked in all the energy from the runners and spectators. My official time was 39:40.FullSizeRender_3.jpg

Finish line smiles.

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I made friends with the second place finisher. Hoping to get together for a run sometime soon! Here we are with our big ole box of chocolates that we got at the awards ceremony.FullSizeRender.jpgAnd here is the original running crew. Ellen and Bri. So many miles spent together 🙂

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Post-race Ellen, Anna (the other Anna) and I went to Gjusta for brunch and Brent got back from after a week away in England that evening.

The next day was a recovery run and some yoga at Athleta in Santa Monica. They gave us gratitude notes and there was a dog in our class. Gotta love LA!

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OK, all out of time. Thinking of running this race next year?

Pros:

  • Flat course
  • SO MUCH CHRISTMAS SPIRIT!
  • Free photos
  • Long sleeve shirts and medals
  • Lots of bathrooms
  • Lots of parking options both free if you’re willing to walk from neighborhoods and lots if you want to be right by the finish or start
  • Beach running
  • Big race with 10,000 runners doing both the 10K and the 5K making for a fun atmosphere

Cons:

  • Turns are kinda annoying in the 10K if you are really trying to go fast, but I personally like seeing the other runners so I think it’s worth it
  • Start and finish about a mile away
  • Less freebies this year 😦

Santa-Monica Venice Christmas Run 10K and 5K Race Review

YEAH BABY! PR in a Christmas tree costume! I don’t run too many 10Ks so I didn’t have an overly ambitious time to beat, but not gonna lie…I was kinda nervous about publicly making the dumb goal to run fast in this outfit. It was flopping around and choking me for most of the race, but the crowd support helped me manage a PR of 42:54. Nothing beats the feeling of sprinting passed an intense runner and seeing their look of shock when they realize they’re being past by a Christmas tree. Cecilia filmed the finish. Check out the video here! I feel incredibly light and free now that I am wearing normal clothes again.

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5K Start

5K Start

This is my fourth time running this 10K/5K combo race, and it is STILL my FAVORITE race of the year. Alaina (aka Ernie) is my official Santa-Monica Venice Christmas Run Buddy. We’ll be old ladies running this race. Last year it was pouring rain, but this year we were (maybe unfortunately due to our costumes) gifted with warm weather and sunshine. So many runners were out today! I saw people from RunMDR, Back on My Feet, Lululemon. It was awesome to see so many people out having a good time! Every year I run the 10K first, then walk/run the 5K. Our group is growing. This year we had Archana, Cecilia, Marta and Joe join in on the fun!

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The 5K!

For the 5K our finish consisted of Archana and I (the Christmas trees) twirling around in circles while the rest of our team danced around us singing “Rocking around the Christmas Tree.” It was amazing. I need to run more races in costume.

Archana is one hot mama!

Archana is one hot mama!

We got really lucky with the freebies this year. Nutribullet was making smoothies, and after the 5K when they were packing up and getting ready to leave, they had TONS of produce left over. We all got bananas, spinach, strawberries and blueberries. Yay for free groceries! photo 3

Thinking of running this race next year? (Don’t think about it. Just DO IT!)

Pros:

  • Fast course
  • Beach bums (like actual beach bums) cheering you on
  • Interesting herbal smells on the Venice board walk (is this a pro or a con?)
  • SO MUCH SPIRIT!!!
  • Everyone is in a good mood
  • Great long sleeve shirts
  • Medals this year!
  • Flushing bathrooms on the beach
  • Opal apples at the finish!
  • Huge parking lots right next to the start/finish (although you have to pay but its worth it)
  • I love running by the beach
  • The entire LA running community comes out for this! (So there is actually good competition)

Cons:

  • Turns are kinda annoying in the 10K if you are really trying to go fast. But it’s fun to see other runners so I think it’s worth it!
  • Crowded start area
  • NOTHING ELSE. IT IS SOOO MUCH FUN!