Monday, December 10, 2012

Adventure: Christmas Run

Christmas is a time of giving, a time of loving and, most of all, a time for happiness. I have been fortunate enough to not worry about much growing up. I am aware and very thankful for this because I know there are others that are less fortunate.

Saturday morning, there were thousands of people lined up at the starting line for the 35th annual Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run; most of whom were dressed up in some type of Christmas themed costume. I was one of those in the crowd.

This Christmas race is billed as LA's largest holiday run. It is comprised of two separate runs, a 10k and a 5k. They use most of the same course with most of the last mile along the Venice Beach boardwalk.

The charitable partner for this race is HarvestHome. HarvestHome is a charity for homeless, pregnant mothers. They have a large mutlifamily house where the mothers are able to stay before and after the infants are born. After this time, they are then placed in a transitional program to with the goal of eventual independent living. You can find more info on them here.

The 10k was the first run of the day with the start time of 7:15 am. For those of us that have never done any type of formal run, they line up the faster people up front and slower people in back. I haven't done any long runs since cross country in high school but I run to stay in shape so I put myself in the middle of the pack.

One of the most difficult tasks of any long run is pacing yourself, especially with other people running by you. I knew I had a long way to go so I concentrated on keeping my pace. I aimed to finish the entire run in under 54 mins.

In the end, I did much better than anticipated. I clocked in at a little over 44 minutes. My pace was about 7:15 per mile. My legs were tired but I was smiling. Everyone was in a good mood and having a good time despite the fact that the early morning fog was still there.

Afterwards I spent some time stretching and relaxing. The race provided participants bananas and bagels (potassium and carbs) after finishing. I happily obliged. They had a costume contest as well as plenty of activities for the younger ones.

All in all, I would say that the event was a huge success. Everyone had a good time. There were no apparent injuries. There ended up being a good showing for HarvestHome. While the morning fog was there for a while. The day ended up being beautiful. I went and walked along the path in the afternoon.

 I've always been thankful for what I had growing up. And now that I can, I want to do what I can to help people who are not as fortunate as I was.

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