Monday, December 22, 2014

The Ugly Sweater Run 5k Recap


The Ugly Sweater Run 5k was the perfect way to end Brian and I’s 2014 race season, which had some highs (finishing our first half marathon!!) and some lows ( busting my ass in the run the vineyards 5k and the subsequent worst time I have ever posted )

I had been looking forward to this event ever since I bought the race entries on Groupon back in October. We had bought our ugly sweaters about a month beforehand, and even the 36 degree windy New York morning was not going to stop us from enjoying this race. Larissa from The Traveling Mortician was nice enough to join us as a spectator and take some awesome photos!

We arrived at 10:20 for the 11pm start time and I have the say this race was one of the most organized theme runs I have ever participated in. Packet pick up was seamless and in less than 5 minutes time we had our bibs, swag bag, and our 21 and over bracelet for our free beer. 

the ugly sweater run swag bag and hat
Swag bag - one of the few times it is acceptable to wear race swag on the run!








the ugly sweater run festival area

The festival area was decorated with a few giant inflatables, a photo op stop, and even had a bunch of santa corn hole games to keep you busy before the race. There was also a coffee and cider donut truck, a few food trucks, and well marked Sam Adams beer area for after the race. 

The DJ made announcements every couple of minutes letting us know how much time remaining until we should line up at the starting line, so we knew we had time for a few fun pictures while we waited. 

At the start we saw Mr and Mrs met, who posed for a few quick photos (we sadly missed our chance) and then it was starting time! 

the ugly sweater run
Pre race selfie
the ugly sweater run starting line
The starting line
They let a large group in front of us start first, and about 5 minutes later our section was let go, and I think this really helped stagger the crowd. There were a ton of photographers and news teams at the start and my clumsy self almost tripped over one! Hopefully that didn’t make any newscasts! 

The first mile took us around the outside of the stadium and then back into the parking lot, where I saw inflatable reindeer and insisted on stopping mid run for a picture. A little ways down after that was the hot chocolate stop, which we also partook in, but it was too watered down for our taste and we continued on. 

the ugly sweater run mile 1
Important photo op at mile 1
Mile 2 was pretty uneventful consisting of a few laps around the parking lot and a short stop for us as I lost a safety pin and my race bib was hanging off. 
Mile 3 saw most of the race photographers and I made it a point to try to get in a bunch of race photos.

My one gripe is that I didn’t see any mile markers, which would have been nice even though the race was un-timed. I did turn on map my run to record the distance, but there were many people that had no idea how much further they had left which would be a bummer for someone who was running their first 5k. 

Map My Run recorded a distance of 3.07 - so slightly short, but it could have just been my app as they announced they had measured a full 5k distance at the starting line. Our time came in at 30:53 - not bad for stopping 3 times and weaving around the crowd at the start! 

Somehow I ran a faster 3rd mile without knowing my pace?
We hung around for our free beer but decided to leave before the contests as we were freezing and still wanted to do some fun stuff in Manhattan the rest of the day. We really enjoyed this race and it was a great way to start a fun filled day in New York!

the ugly sweater run post race beer
Sam Adams Winter Lager - the official beer of the Ugly Sweater Run
What Christmas themed 5k’s did you do this year? You know i’m always on the look out for a fun theme run!

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