(#50) Santa to the Sea (December 9, 2012)

Monday, December 10th, 2012

This morning, I was lucky enough to experience friendship in its purest form.

My friend Billy knew I’d been under the weather and that this was my last race of 2012(!). He offered to drive me to Oxnard so I could avoid the hassle of renting a car and driving out there myself. He showed up at my apartment at 6am so we could make an hour-long drive to the race. How incredibly sweet is that? I am extremely grateful.

I made Billy go home and get some rest since the train would be open by the time the race was over.

I love this race. I did the 5k last year, and knew I had to come back for the half marathon. I’m glad I did!

I had the pleasure of live-tweeting the race from the brand new Santa to the Sea account.

I don’t think you could ask for anything more from a Christmas race. It starts at a ginormous Santa statue. Plus, non-statue Santa Claus is there to take pictures with you at the start line.

This race feeds its runners like crazy. There are snacks at the start line, the halfway point, and the end.

snacks

They have some healthy things such as orange slices, and they have tons of brownies and little cinnamon rolls. Yum, yum, yum!

At the start line, I ran into Joe (from the Ragnar team for which I volunteered, and from the Hollywood Half).

It was super easy to pick up my bib and timing chip. Everything was so well organized.

In the first mile, I saw a man walking, wearing a New York City Marathon jacket – from this year. Anything that involves the 2012 ING New York City Marathon will always spark a conversation with me!

I could easily have blog posts pouring out of me about it. I won’t, ’cause it’s over. I wasn’t¬†planning on running it this year (though I had plenty of friends/teammates who were). But if you meet me, and bring it up, we will so talk about it.

Mrs. Claus at Santa to the Sea

I end up talking to Robert from mile 1 through the end of the race. (No, we didn’t talk about the marathon that whole time.) We talked about his family. We had a riveting discussion about the education system in America. (He knows a lot about it ’cause that is a big part of his job.) Walking with him was absolutely lovely.

They had super cute mile markers in this race. Cartoon Santa is on them carrying numbers in different ways. (The markers sort of look like the medal.)

There were a number of fun groups along the course. There’s a neighborhood challenge going on where runners can vote for their favorite. I don’t know what the prize is, but I know people want to win!

Neighborhood 2 was playing great music. Neighborhood 3 had balloon arches (and Santa and Mrs. Claus)! Neighborhood 5 had tiny, cute kids handing out stickers.

Before you knew it, Robert and I had made it to the 5k turnaround point (which I remembered from last year). The beach was a familiar (but still just as odd) sigh.¬†How crazy is it to see palm trees in the sand at a Christmas race? That’s December in Southern California for you!

Aurora getting massage at Santa to the Sea

As I was coming into the finish, a rush of adrenaline completely took over. I couldn’t believe that in a matter of steps, I’d be done racing in 2012! I was dance/running as Carly Rae Jepsen and Owl City blasted through the speakers.

The announcer said “There’s Aurora from Los Angeles – the tweeter of Santa to the Sea.” Special shout out! Boom baby.

I then got what very well may be the best massage I had this whole year from Kaelyn at Coastal Acupuncture (though I had a lot of great massages (especially in Kentucky), so I can’t say for sure). Then, I got stretched out by Lyndsay at the Advanced Spine & Sport Chiropractic booth. They have everything at Santa to the Sea!

A really nice volunteer drove me to the train station, and I was on my way back home.

(Finished/wipes hands clean gesture.)

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