|Trying not to laugh. I won't tell you where we had
If you said ‘Yes’, then welcome to my club – yes, you can be afraid of the honour if it helps.
Last Sunday, my friend Nikki and I ran a race -a 4.4 mile Santa Run- and to be brutally honest, we weren’t at our best. We wish we were suffering from a humongous (I like the word ‘humongous’, I may use it more in conversation) hangover, but frankly we were both a little broken. Nikki has been on the road to recovery from tendonitis, and I was on the tail-end of a lingering chest cold. It was a case of the lame leading the infectious.
The beauty of Santa races is the fact that you can be as stupid and as slow as you like, and unless someone clocks your bib-number, you are completely incognito. Why? Everyone is wearing the same Santa suit. You are just one of seven-hundred Santa’s all running the same route.
This had a possible side-effect that Nikki and I had realised early-on. From the start of the race we made it our mission to be as rude as possible. For us it isn’t as hard as it may seem. We had spent the pre-ceding Friday having loud conversations about ‘Tart Plungers’ and big balls that were a mouthful at our Christmas Girls Night out.
|"Come here little girl and stroke my beard"
Firstly, we rejoiced in the beauty of arriving at the start thirty minutes early. Why? Because we wanted to play with each others’ beards; our false Santa beards! What were you people thinking of?! snicker. With comments of: “Come here little girl and stroke my beard”, to “Come here little girl and look in my pocket [on the coat] and you’ll find a present [of Jelly Babies]”, we then progressed to stroking our bellies in a suggestive way. Okay, that bit was just me; however, it was quite apparent before we had even started that we were the creepiest Santa’s on the course.
|As taken by a Mayor or someone...
The short walk to the start was uneventful – well as uneventful as walking to a dis-used Castle with five hundred Santa’s (and a couple of elves) could be.
At the start, we eyed up the most senior and most important person we could find to take our photo’s and then dared each other to ask him. It was some type of mayor or something or other. Luckily for us, I managed to keep my comments to myself and he didn’t realize he was one step away from taking a mug-shot of the ‘Arctic’s Most Wanted’ –next to ‘Barry the Elf’ and ‘Jeff the Reindeer’ who were ‘lewd, and crude and rude’.
The start was more a mass ‘escape of Elf-catraz’ (get it?) with a plethora of false bearded, felt suited and very over-heated Santa’s all running as fast as their little legs could carry them.
Nikki and I took this opportunity to engage with our fellow Claus-ian friends. Actually, it was more of a case of Nikki and I shouting very loudly and seeing who would respond. Our biggest catch were two Santa’s who were very interested in my ‘Chest pulling’, (I discovered coughing and running were not a good combination) and why my hat stood up after playing with the ball.
|Our Mascot Christmas tree who we didn't
know the name of, but I will call him 'Norm'
As we left the half-way point of the first lap, we encountered our own little mascot. I wish we knew his name, so from this point I will call him ‘Norm’, mainly because I like the name and I think it suited him. Norm, was dressed as a Christmas Tree and we couldn’t help but sing, “Christmas Tree, O’ Christmas Tree” as we jogged past. I did realize as I went into the third line of the song, I actually don’t know the third line to the song and it was pointed out that “your balls are small and your lights only blink” was probably a little derogatory and insulting. I am sure they were the right lines. Huh.
The urge to cough was very apparent and I now became the dodgy Santa who liked to breathe heavily with a certain amount of wheezing. As we turned for the next lap it was only ‘Limping along Santa’ A.K.A Nikki, who kept me going. For an injured person, she run’s bloody quickly.
The crowd had thinned out as the majority of the Santa’s participating had realized that 2.2 miles was a good distance to justify chocolate marsh-mellow pancakes and cider. Clever bunch. Nikki was enthusiastic and I made the mistake of following her slip-stream. It was a mistake because she’s smaller than me and was no use what-so-ever in removing some of the wind.
We plodded along -well Nikki plodded and I huffed- until we got to our friendly Christmas Tree called ‘Norm’. I didn’t help on the lookout for him as I wasn’t wearing my glasses, so my only contribution to the conversation was, “That’s him… wait, or is it a tree? No, it’s just some bushes”. Nikki was barely holding herself from crumpling with laughter.
We managed to locate him –he was a six-foot man dressed as a Christmas tree, how hard could he be to find? We sang our ditty again (this time I omitted my made up and personally attacking lines), and it was enough to make him blush. He was just being kind so we –okay more I—would stop singing. There is a good reason I am banned from singing in the car.
The last mile was spent passing all of the walkers (most of them with children). We found that the shout of “Santa behind you” wasn’t really a good indication that you were passing, when there were a load of Santa’s running. Nikki and I also asked some of the adults if they had been “naughty or nice”, making note of all the ‘Nice’ ones – I am sure they were hiding something wink
As we got towards the end, my wish to curl up and collapse was only held off by Nikki tempting me with alcoholic cupcakes at the end. Damn, she knows how to motivate me.
|Santa's with a medal -- taken in some
'hobbity' type hole. It's artistic people!
Finish done in 38:15 and we immediately headed off after collecting our frankly awesome medals to get some cash from the car; oh and to strip. Before you get any idea’s on Santa-on-Santa action here, may I just point out that sweat-dripping felt Santa suits is not a good look.
|It wasn't just the Grinch who stole Christmas.
Zombie's do it too!
In the end we managed to spend £20 on alcoholic cupcakes and coffee. We picked up a few items before we realized that if we carried on, I may be over the legal limit to drive back. We stopped briefly for photo’s; mainly my version of Zombie Santa (I felt it was necessary to wear my InkNBurn Halloween outfit underneath for added fun) and as many silly poses as we could get away with, without mental health professionals being called in to assess us.
We also managed to find Norm, who graciously posed for photo’s with us.
|"Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree,How we love you Christmas Tree"
A Christmas race isn’t complete without singing stupid Australian Christmas Songs whilst still wearing Santa hats on the drive home. I also ensured that I wore my Zombie Santa outfit (complete with hat and beard) around the local food store, because really provincial England has not been shocked enough with my running get-up.
All in all, I am reminded that, being injured and full of cold, creates some of the most fantastic runs. The whole idea that you need to run to be fast sometimes just ruins all the fun. I mean what’s the point of getting a PB, if you are miserable doing it. You will find sometimes that running for a laugh will get you that PB you wanted AND you also have a story to tell at the end.