I was basically pooped from my recent races, but my niece wanted to participate in the Santa Dash 5K in Weslaco. All the participants would get Santa outfits, and she wanted to dress upon of her dogs.
I always enjoy my family joining me at run/walks, and the run sounded like fun. The event was changed from a morning run to an evening run, so I was able to make it.
The race started late. (Thank goodness. We were late.) The costumes were fun. And a lot of people added their own personal touches. There was a snow machine at the start line.
Link: See the SmugMug gallery of the event
While my niece was excited about running with her dog, I was a little less than thrilled. That’s nothing against dogs. I just wish we were all a bit more organized when the race started.
As soon as I tried to cross the start line, I was immediately tangled in a leash. A little boy was holding the leash, and his mother was telling him to hurry up, until she realized what had happened.
A little further down, two runners had to stop to untangle their dogs.
I had trouble hearing the announcer before the race started. I was confused, because I thought I heard, “Stay on the sidewalk.” When we turned onto Texas Boulevard, we were on the street, so I thought I misheard him.
The runners and walkers were told to stay on the southbound lane. That didn’t make much sense to me. It’s a two-lane street. The side streets were closed, so there wasn’t any traffic, and the water station was on the opposite side of the road, so runners were headed to that part anyway.
Another participant later told me she moved to the side of the road to tie her shoelace and was told she had to move. I saw one of the vehicles used to coordinate traffic guide another vehicle through the street. They were heading in the opposite direction of participants, and the participants were told to move.
My sister was one of the last people to finish the race. I backtracked to find her. When I did, traffic was already flowing on the street. She and the other remaining participants were now on the sidewalk. It was already dark, and I didn’t see an race organizers or police watching out for them.
Isn’t one of the points of a run to have the roads closed, so runners have the right-of-way? It was a 5K. Most of the participants are done in a little more than an hour. If the city or organizers were concerned about closing one of the main streets, why not just use another street for the run?
My sister said her knee was hurting. At the start of the race, we were on the street itself, which is level. Later, we were moved to the edge of the road, which slopes. She said when that happened, her knee started to hurt.
Maybe I was being overly concerned. She and the other participants who hadn’t finished seemed in good spirits. But as a person who’s finished at the end of races, I’m used to my police escort even on less-trafficked streets.
The snow machine was turned back on at the finish line. I liked the medals and even my niece’s dog got one. Along with the water at the finish line, there was hot chocolate waiting. There were also funnel cakes and tortas for sale. There was a Christmas fireplace photo backdrop available.
I was actually a bit sleep-deprived. I had just gotten back into the Valley after an out-of-state trip, so I didn’t get to enjoy the run as much as I could have. If my family wants to participate next year, I think I’ll stay with them for the entire run and make sure we pack our own lights.
Former high school water girl (really) finally running.