The idea for this race first came to me after completing the Gulf Coast Half at 16 weeks pregnant. The Santa Hustle was only 9 weeks away - how much could change in 9 weeks? HAH. Good one. My last long run attempt was a few weekends ago and I was able to make it to 8 miles before the round ligament pain kicked in. I also knew I would be traveling a lot prior to this race and didn't want to push it - so, I made a last minute decision to stick with the 5K. I am super grateful that the logical side of my brain kicked in for this one because I woke up on Friday morning and apparently the crud bug visited me again for the third time this pregnancy. 5K, yes. Half Marathon? NO.
We left Saturday morning for Galveston and it was a gorgeous day - the weather was perfect for a race weekend at the beach!
We also stayed at the San Luis which was one of the host resorts and it was gorgeous!!
Packet pickup was at the San Luis and it was super easy - no long lines and straight to the point!
The view from our room! Isn't it gorgeous?!
The lobby of the San Luis, all decorated for Christmas!
After settling in our rooms, we decided to go over to Moody Gardens for the Festival of Lights. I'd never been to Moody Gardens or the lights, so this was a neat experience. It's $10 per person to enter and well worth it, in my opinion!
Basically, a walking path is set up throughout the lights and you just follow the crowd.
There's different sections of lights, food stops along the way, even campfires for roasting smores! YUM!
My favorite was the narrated part that told the Christmas story.
Our crew at the lights!
After dinner at McAlisers, we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.
Kayla and I also tried out our Santa beards and hats!
The sunrise the morning of the race was gorgeous!
Our Santa group, ready for the race! After saying goodbye to my half marathon friends, I walked around for a few minutes while waiting on the 5K to begin. (The half began 30 minutes prior to the 5K).
Apparently I lined up WAY far back although I could have been much closer. My goal was to stick to a 3:2 as long as possible, then walk the remainder of the race and I didn't want to be in anyone's way.
Y'all. This guy was hysterical! He was drinking eggnog out of a moose cup! (Christmas Vacation, anyone??)
After 15 minutes of wave starts, I finally made it to the start line...and was kicking myself for not lining up closer to the start. Oh well, lesson learned.
Chick-fil-a cows were out to say hello!
The best part of this race included cookie and candy stations along the route! (The Half had these, too!)
ME! I was starving, having eaten almost two hours before finally starting the race!
This route led us along the downtown historical area of Galveston and in front of some gorgeous homes!
I was able to keep a 3:2 cycle until about 23 minutes or so, then I began exclusively walking.
One more to go!
Hello! This race was RIGHT up my alley!
M&M's? Yes, please!
Before long, the finish line was in view! I finished somewhere in the 45 minute range but can't remember the exact time.
After the race, I drove back to the hotel to shower, change, and wait on a text from Kayla.
Y'all, these medals for the half were so adorable! They sparkle and spin AND are a Christmas theme. I've already sent a text to my BRF as I definitely need a redemption race next year and she agreed! We'll see what the next year has to hold as I'm not making any concrete plans for 2016 just yet! :)
Overall this was a neat race and I really enjoyed the experience! I'll definitely be back!
Have you participated in any Christmas themed races this year? If so, which ones?