Despite some extra chilly temps, try 25 degrees at the 9:30 start, the sunny morning turned out to be just perfect.
So, since I have a addiction to miles and didn't feel four would be quite enough for a Saturday, I met my running buddies for a very cold 7 AM run. I ducked out early and ran home with 6 and 1/2 miles under me. I cleaned up and got out my "Team Sno-Balz" attire. My entire family joined a huge team this year. We had over 30 member's. You knew us by our fuzzy stockings. So I elfed up. I got Judah elfed up and super cute, I might add. Kenton layered up with every article of clothing he owned. His costume would have to ride in the hatchback until we got to the race.
We rolled up to the WaterWalk Condos and squeezed Kenton into his spectacular costume.Yep! He was a Fireplace! This came from a childhood desire to dress as one for Halloween, but never getting to. A "life dream," if you will. His costume was the absolute best! From the moment we got out of the car people were cracking up. He was stopped over 50 times and asked to be in a picture.
We met up with The Sno-Balz right before the 4 mile start.
Greg the Christmas Tree was on our team too. (Real working lights, mind you!)
After a team huddle we all parted and lined up for the 4 mile start. Judah and Kenton were signed up for the 1 mile. (Kenton conveniently had the excuse of 'being a fireplace' to get him out of the 4 miler.) I lined up with my Dad, my "Uncle Dennis," Travis, and a few other men wearing the stockings with fur. Dennis leaned over and asked, "what are you going to run today? A 26?" Honestly, I had planned to have fun and stay injury free. Since I've aggravated my knee muscle, I've been very cautious. Friday was the first time I ran in three weeks without pain. I just planned to run comfortably and see what happened. Plus it was freakin' cold and that can always slow me down a bit. So, I answered, "I don't know, we'll see."
Once the Garmin's located satellites, the horn blew and we were off. I waved at my little elf and my fireplace and headed out over the river. Within the first mile the race turns and gets on the river bike path. I quickly saw that I was the third female. With both the women in very close range, my "have fun" attitude kinda took a backseat to, "this might be your first chance to win a race." By mile one I had passed both women and hoped like crazy that was the end of the race as long as I could hold my pace.
1 and a 1/2 miles in I realized I over dressed and I was sweating like crazy. I later told Kenton, "I know why Santa chooses this kind of hat to travel out in the elements", I was burnin' up!
At about mile 2.5 the path goes up over a bridge and I looked back to see woman number 2 was too close for comfort. I was hurting and really not enjoying the blast of wind the greeted me at the turn around. Heading back towards the start was very gusty and too long for comfort. Once I passed mile 3 I had to just tell myself, "less than a mile to go." And I had to stop thinking about the soup I had for dinner because it wanted to make a second appearance. I could see the final turn and knew I was so close. As the path turned I could see my opponent and knew that she was now too far to catch me. I ran up the small hill and headed for home.
26:45 and it was all over. I couldn't move my over-layered hands so the volunteer pulled my tab. The MC with the mic asked her to read the name and then he announced over the PA, "our female winner today is Lacy Hansen."
Whew! I had done it. I won. It's something that's been on the list. Another "life dream." I've come so close. I have taken second several times, even last year at the Jingle Bell Run. But This time I was first. I was so winded and thirsty, I couldn't even enjoy it for a few minutes. After some water and some cheering from my lovely fireplace, I felt pretty good. I went over to the 2nd place finisher and congratulated her and thanked her for pushing me so hard.
I later told Kenton that it was awesome to win, but I still felt like it was a fluke. I didn't set a PR and I knew that the Wichita "Fast Girls" were out on a long run, as I saw them when I was out earlier. So I had to keep it in perspective that had they shown up, I would have been schooled, BIG TIME!
But the little kid in me says, "They didn't show!! SO, I win!!!"
One by one The Sno-Balz all came flying across the finish line. Even some little guys turned in some great times. Once the last few walkers made it in, the announcer said it was time to line up for the 1 mile. My elf and fireplace made it to the front of the line and caused quite a stir among the few remaining participants who hadn't seen them yet.
The horn blew and as a family we ran off. I ran with Judah and had such a great time. I mentioned to him as he slowed, "You know, the faster you run, the sooner we can get back to the burgers and pizza." He asked, "You'll let me have both?" "I don't care, " I said. He bolted so fast I couldn't catch him. We crossed the bridge over the river and watched as Kenton's "aerodynamic" costume whirled him around. Judah caught Kenton and we ran it in as a family. Judah tried to hamstring Kenton at the finish, pretty cute!
We headed in immediately to make good on the promise of food for Judah.
The festivities took place in an empty retail lot in the developing WaterWalk Condos. Nothing too pretty, no lights, chairs, or a clean wall to lean against, but it was much warmer than outside.
We ate and laughed at Kenton as he tried to get food to his mouth, given his limited range of motion.
The awards ceremony started and I was so pleased to receive a Jingle Bell for my age group and then to be called back to receive a Medal for my first place finish. They had me on stage and took several pictures and then brought out a Coleman Grill as my prize. I was so surprised. A man carried it off for me and I went back with big smiles.
After the race awards were handed out, the costume division was up. Hands Down Kenton had the best costume and sure enough they called him up and gave him a medal. Then, they gave him a Coleman grill too!!!
Almost in tears, I cracked up as a man stacked a second grill next to mine. We won 2 grills!!!
After several strangers had to come and gawk at our "very unique" family we took some pictures and decided to call it a morning.
There you have it. Two life dreams coming true in one morning. One to win a race, the other to be a fireplace. Both rewarded handsomely. Lesson: Never stop chasing your dreams!