This Saturday I ran the inaugural Santa’s North Pole Dash 5k in St. Charles, MO.
I thought this would be a really fun race to do because of the theme. Every single runner got a Santa shirt, hat, and beard to wear during the race. I personally didn’t wear my beard because I thought it would be itchy and I didn’t want to scratch half my face off. It would be very unattractive in family photos this holiday.
Registration for the race was $30. Which isn’t too bad considering that you also got a finishers medal, which most 5k’s around here don’t do. Participation was also capped at 1100 entrants.
They offered two night to pick up your packet before the race, and then there was race day packet pick up. I went the first night offered, since I was on my way to yoga class anyways, and there was no line. It literally took me two minutes I think. The only downfall was the little troll old lady who said when I walked in, “Let me guess, 2XL right?” Umm, no thanks lady, I need a large.
Note: I saw her later during the race and thought about pushing her down, and saying “See I told you a large would be just fine!”
So other than that little experience everything was just dandy for packet pickup.
Parking was crazy! I had to park about 2.5 blocks away from the starting area, and walk over. Plus it was cold! Like 20 degrees cold. They had a couple heaters set up to stand around but they were already crowded, so I just chose to stand in the sun, and it wasn’t too bad. So next year, maybe a couple more portable heaters. There were a few vendors around, but nothing that really stood out. I didn’t see if there was a water/drink table or anything, but they were playing Christmas tunes to get everyone in the spirit.
The start line was in a completely shaded area which felt 15 degrees cooler than if you were standing in the sunshine. But since it’s December there isn’t a whole heck of a lot any one can do about it except huddle together for warmth.
The course was nice. You started on Main Street which is cobblestone/brick paved and quite bumpy so you did have to watch your step for the first bit. The race started on time and they had electronic chips and a clearly marked start line, which is nice. After your quick tour through Main Street, you looped around and ran behind main street along the river street, which was in the sun and not too bad. Then just after mile one, you came to the hill that doesn’t end. I was not expecting it at all! But that was the only hill on the course. Everything else was either flat or downhill. Nice! I’m sure it’s hard to plan a race course that doesn’t go through a neighborhood/residential area at some point, but this time it wasn’t so bad.
Finish & Post-Race
The finish was pretty nice, and they had enough medals for everyone. The wasn’t any waters or snacks at the finish line, but there might have been down by the booths and stuff, since the start and finish weren’t near the “runner’s area”.
All in all a good race, especially for a first time event. Plus they had worked out deals with several shops/restaurants along Main Street to give specials to the runners and volunteers who were wearing their shirts still. So that was nice.
I’d give this race an 8 out of 10, and will be putting it on my calendar for next year!