Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Racing through the Christmas Season

The Christmas season is the season for traditions. No other holiday brings out more traditions than Christmas. From when to put up & take down the tree and the lights outside, if you put them up outside that is, to where you spend Christmas Eve and every other little detail you can think of; we all have our very own personal way of navigating the holidays. My wife and I have a few traditions we have developed over the years. The tree goes up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Black Friday must be observed! Not for shopping per se but for being out in the energy of the season. Union Square in downtown San Francisco is a day trip that happens every year as well. We do a little shopping, have a coffee while looking at the tree and the ice skaters and then we end the evening at the top of Macy's at the Cheesecake Factory overlooking the city having dinner. This is our every Christmas date night.

Pajama/ Santa themed race???
 Last Friday night has become part of our Christmas tradition of late too. We return to the spot where I proposed marriage, Shadowbrook Restaurant in Capitola to walk the beautiful grounds and have a superb meal at a magnificent restaurant. Christmas Eve is always spent at her parents house and they have a whole nights worth of traditions they have done since they were children that they enjoy. I love the holidays. I love gift giving. I love the time off work to hang with friends and family. I also love to run but have never done a race during the Christmas Season. I want to do one! Without waxing too poetic, I want to fall in love with one. I want to choose a race that Mary & I can do every year around the Holidays. Some years we may feel competitive and other years maybe just for fun. I want to wake up to the cold, dark morning sky and sip coffee on my way to the start. I want to have a great run with lots of runners dressed as Santa and elves. Christmas music at the start line might be nice. If I can't find that then perhaps a New Years eve or New Year's Day "Resolution" run or something of the sort. I could get into partying with a bunch of fellow runners on New Years eve or even one of the weekend days near New Years. The idea of a group of "Start your year off right" people running on January 1 could be cool. The point is, I want to weave running into my love of the Holiday's.

I've had this thought many times before about marking the holidays with a run like they do at Thanksgiving with their Turkey Trots. The trigger for it this time came from Runner's World magazine. I was skimming the pages of my freshly delivered January 2013 issue while waiting for my wife to get ready for our Capitola dinner date last Friday night and stumbled upon page 104. Brazen Racing's New Year's Day 5k, 10k & Half Marathon was being promoted by the articles author Nicole Falcone. I did a double take and thought "Merry Christmas to Brazen!" That got me going and the next thing you know I'm doing an Internet search for holiday runs in the Bay Area. Here's a slice of that.

  • Brazen actually has 2 races to ring in the New Year.
    • Brazen's New Years Eve - 12/29 - Half Marathon, 10k, 5k - Lake Chabot- Two days before New Years so you can still go out and celebrate New Years Eve.
    • Brazen's New Years Day - 1/1 - Half Marathon, 10k, 5k - Lake Chabot- Those running both race's (any combination of distances) will be eligible to receive a third medal. With the third medal and your other two medals, you will form the "mega-medal"!

  • 12/16 - Jingle Run - Los Altos - The Jingle Run is a benefit for the Hope's Corner charity in Mountain View. They will be hosting an event to benefit the families they serve on December 22nd. This includes providing a Christmas gift for each child. Please bring a toy with you for a child in need on race day.
  • 12/16 - Santa Skivvies Run - San Francisco - Drop your trou and help raise funds to support the free and local services of San Francisco AIDS Foundation!
  • 12/16 - Santa Run Silicon Valley - San Jose - Join us on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at 4:00PM for the Santa Run Silicon Valley, a new tradition in San Jose benefiting our favorite holiday traditions; Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice.
  • 12/30 - Pre-Resolution Party 5k - San Francisco - Get inspiration along a scenic, Golden Gate Park route, and jot down your most amazing resolution on our board at the finish line. This time, we’ll have awards for the most creative resolutions, along with raffle winners and the top 5 M/F finishers. All finishers who are 21+ earn ribbons and mimosas!
  • 12/31 - 2nd Annual Bay Area Resolution Run - San Rafael - Leave last year’s regrets behind on your way out. On your way back think of next years resolutions. After all, a year that literally begins running can only go well.
  • 12/31 - New Year's One Day (6h, 12h, 24h) - San Francisco - Each lap is 1.061 miles around the lagoon at Crissy Field with spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, Alcatraz and the San Francisco Bay. Welcome the new year at Crissy Field, run from 2012 through to 2013 surrounded by the beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the coastline. You might even get to see the fireworks!
  • 1/1 - 18th Annual Los Gatos Resolution Run - Los Gatos - The five-mile run takes participants from the Los Gatos High School track out to Lexington Dam and back, and is the perfect way to start a year of personal fitness success. Staying accountable to one's self in such matters isn't always easy, but this event allows for a support group of sorts, being family friendly—it even includes a kids race for those runners under the age of 13.


I think I will run Brazen's New Years Eve run but not the New Year's Day run even though a mega medal sounds kind of cool. Who knows, this may become a tradition every year. Sounds like fun to me.

See you in the woods,
Jonathan