Rotary Santa Run 5K

Casey, myself, Mrs. Garms (Cari) and Erica.
Wait, I mean...Santa, Santa, Santa and Santa. 
Coldest race to date but boy, was it worth it! I'm not sure what I was more excited about: the 5-piece Santa suit given to everyone who registered for the 5K, running in costume (something I've been wanting to cross off my bucket list) or participating in a sport I love with people I love?
I mean...c'mon. So awesome.

I'm going to go with all of the above!

As you can see it was a balmy, 9 degrees that "felt like -6," but despite the weather there was a spectacular turnout (1,034 finishers) for the Rotary Santa Run 5K held in downtown Arlington Heights, Illinois. Luckily, Casey scored a parking spot close to the start of the race so as you can imagine we kept our toes toasty until about five minutes before the race started at 10 a.m.

Santa is everywhere!
We didn't realize the race was clock timed (versus chip timed), and then there was this weird false start where everyone started to go and then they stopped...I guess they were just moving the starting line forward? Anyway, Case and I began in the middle of the pack. I think all four of us loved everything about this race, but at the same time I think it's safe to say that all of us couldn't wait to cross the finish line, make a beeline back to the car and thaw out our frozen bodies by blasting the heat.

Highlights of the race:

-A hilarious group of individuals built a sleigh and had runners dressed as reindeers pulling it. It was amazing.

-Before the 5K race is the Reindeer Run, also known as the cutest race ever, as little kids (ages 10 and under) get in on the fun and run four blocks downtown. The kicker? Each kid is provided a pair of reindeer antlers and a Rudolph nose they get to keep (with only a $5 registration). Imagine a lot of tiny bundled up reindeers trotting down the street--heart: melted.

Photo from Rotary Santa Run's Facebook Fan Page

-The course weaves through neighborhood roads in south Arlington Heights and ends downtown (close to where we started) right after coming out of the parking garage near Runner's High 'N Tri. Casey and I both thought we ended exactly where we started so we were clueless that we were approaching the finish once we made it to the garage.

This guy literally froze his mountain man mustache off for me! 

-I absolutely loved and appreciated the volunteers who worked this race in these conditions and all of the families and kids that came out of their house to support the runners. Not to mention, my unbelievable boyfriend, his mother (Cari) and his younger brother's girlfriend (Erica) who agreed to dress in layers of clothes, wear Santa suits and race in single digit temperatures. I felt like the Grinch in the fact that seeing this made my heart grow three sizes [larger] that day. Overwhelming joy.
Mother and son.
I love this picture. :)
-Speaking of the Grinch...

-Bob Roooohhrrman even congratulated runners at the finish. Ha! If you live in the Chicagoland area, you know exactly who I am talking about. 

Bob Rohrman congratulating finishers.
Source: Rotary Santa Run Facebook Fan Page

-And of course, the race provided a tent with water and plenty of snacks at the finish. Plus, we didn't know this until after the fact but there was a food truck giving away free coffee! 

 This race is great for the entire family and a perfect way to kick off the holiday season. 
I am hopeful (based on our tour schedules) that we'll be able to make this a yearly tradition. 

Thank you Casey, Cari, and Erica for doing this race, I'll cherish this memory forever!



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