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CoL5K_LogoHoly Christmas Batman!

You are reading the second to last race review of 2013!

A few months ago, Mrs MuddyJ and I looked at our calendars and discovered that the Thing’s Three would be out of town during the Santa Antonio 5k …so we needed a different family Christmas holiday race to participate in… enter the Windcrest City of Lights 5k and Kids Candy Cane DASH!

If you’re reading this, live in the San Antonio area, and have never been to Windcrest to drive through and admire the holiday lighting spectacle the residents proudly display every year, then  (if its night-time, or close to dark) please put away whatever device you are reading this on,  bundle up your family and head out for some Christmas time cheer! Many of the residents go all-out with their holiday displays and the results are absolutely beautiful and amazing. Its ok, I’ll wait…seriously I’ll be ok….

You saw? Pretty little city isn’t it?

Now that you’ve driven through it, or would like to, or have at least imagined an amazing winter wonderland illuminated with holiday cheer beyond your wildest dreams, prepare to turn a Grinchy-shade-of-green with envy because I GOT TO RUN THROUGH IT! (you should totally be picturing me blowing a raspberry right now!)

Remember this thing from last year?:

Well, apparently, it didn’t like the idea of being loaded with 200lbs of rock salt for my pre-Spartan Beast training runs….and it collapsed under the (over)load…

But I can rebuild it, make it stronger, able to handle even more weight! to my readers I present the MuddyJ Thingshaw v2.0-complete with Christmas Lights!:

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We stopped at the nearby off-site packet pick-up, and collected our packets, bibs and shirts…it was well run and everything moved quickly… I later found out that many runners arrived late to packet pick-up and experienced a delay. My experience is all I can go on, and its just always a good idea to hit up areas that draw crowds wayyyy before a race’s scheduled start time.

Since Windcrest has such a huge draw of people looking to cruise through and enjoy the spectacle of lights, race participants were directed to park at the packet pick-up area, and shuttles were provided… but since I was bringing the new-and-improved Thingshaw, which wouldn’t travel well on a shuttle, ok, seriously-it wasn’t going to get onto a shuttle for travel without a lift gate-, we parked closer to the event and asked if I could leave my car there…and in true Christmas spirit, we were granted a parking spot!

I assembled the Thingshaw and the Things Three and I played on the closed street for a litle while while waiting for the appointed hour to draw near. Mrs MuddyJ waited in the car, wisely staying warm, but the things were restless, and so was I.

The Redemption Racing staff were all decked out in holiday attire… right down to a Grinch…and this guy did a great job, acting “Grinchy” with body language, and stealing people’s hats and scarves- he even stood in front of the car of a woman who ignored the barriers and decided to drive down the street and then proceeded to shake his Grinch index finger with his hands on his hips!

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As the start time drew closer, Mrs MuddyJ emerged from the warmth of our auto-mobile, and we got what I think is one of our best family photos to date:

2013-12-16 07.09.42All participants were given flexible glow sticks as the darkness fell, and soon it was time for the kid’s race, the CANDY CANE DASH! Ten lucky children recieved ‘special glowing glasses’ for being the 1st Ten children to signup!

The kids all lined up at the starting line and the parents and spectators lined the street to cheer them all on. Upon release they all ran their little Thing hearts out, and at the end, each child collected a major prize that was more valuable to them than any medal could ever be- a giant candy cane!

The Things quickly returned to the area Mrs MuddyJ and I had designated as our post-race meet-up location, their little eyes aglow with delight at the sheer size of the peppermint stick they received as a prize. Still panting from the run, they all piled into the Thingshaw and huddled beneath the blankets that Mrs MuddyJ had wisely suggested I pack.

Because of events happening within the city, the race was on a very tight schedule and absolutely had to start on time…so when 1900hrs arrived, the starting siren sounded and the runners were released, with anyone held up in the aforementioned packet pick-up delays directed to start as soon as they arrived.

The course was simple and flat, with well maintained road surfaces, so I was able to relax and let Mrs MuddyJ set our pace as we took in the displays lining the course.The oohs and ahhs from the cart lifted my proud fatherly heart as we ran. We paused briefly at a waterstop at the halfway point while the things downed a cup of water and soon after, Santa passed us on the Windcrest VFD Fire Engine…The final mile was the best, sending us down and back on a few cul-de-sacs that were amazingly lit…

In may places around the course, residents came forth from their houses to cheer on the runners, spreading the feeling of Christmas cheer!

And then, the running was over! We stopped for some hot cocoa and cookies that were provided by RRP, and I checked the timing trailer- Thing #1 and Thing #2 had both placed 2nd in their age groups! We collected their hard earned rewards and headed home to get out of the cold and warm ourselves by the fire…

…And I had to get to bed, for the next morning, my friend Red and I were set to conquer the Spartan Beast!

There really aren’t words that can describe the experience of this novel little 5k-so get out there next year and do it yourself!

Merry Christmas!

Stay Muddy my Friends!

Texas MuddyJ