I kicked Santa's Ass

Do times and placement count when it's a run, not a race?  As I've mentioned before, I have a hard time "running" in a race vs. "racing" in a race or not racing in a run.  Such was the case this last weekend, when the family loaded up the Griswold wagon for a trip to the Colorado mountains for a holiday weekend--complete with two Rusty's in the back seat (see National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation if the above made no sense, or consult the glossary at the bottom.)  Colorado had their Wassail Days' winter festival in the cool (it was actually quite cold) mountain town of Frisco, Colorado this last weekend.  Frisco boasts distinctive mountain charm far away from the drama and pretentiousness that you'd find in Aspen or Telluride (Charlie Sheen's ex-wife was arrested in the later the same weekend.)  Fraser is my kinda town.
Santa and my two "Rustys"

The weekend events included a chili cook-off, main street tree lighting, a Santa run "Dash for Cash," and lots of Wassail.  I had to ask my wife what Wassail was; essentially a holiday cider.  Framed by the Colorado Rockies with a light dusting of snow throughout the weekend was enough to get anyone into the Christmas spirit, and my wife is smart enough to lure me up there with a race.

Santa's Dash for Cash was a one mile "fun run" down main street with envelopes filled with "Wassail bucks" and cold hard cash awaiting the runners completing the race.  There were some items missing from the event that would indicate a "race."

No overall winner and age group category winners.
No bibs.
No timing chips.
No water stations (it was only a mile.)
No aid stations

YET...there were some signs of a typical race that got my competitive juices flowing;

Active.Com managed the Registration
There was a registration desk (but no bib or chip.)
The course was closed with police escorts and orange barrels.
The "finish" had the inflatable balloon finish line.
There was a timer/clock at the finish.
Plenty of runners that had the gear and runner's swagger.
Spectators cheering on the runners.

Fueled by a few cups of Wassail and the above, I took off at a sub-5K pace on the gentle downhill course from the RTD lot on the edge of town down mainstreet to the other side.  The fastest run/race I've ever run which was essentially at my Yasso 800 pace.  Unofficially (I ran naked) I ran my first sub six minute mile race and came in 5th overall and based on sizing up runners one through four; I was first in my age group and had my first cash prize--my envelope had a crisp Abraham Lincoln.  It was also my first race in blue jeans.  We ended the day with dinner and hanging out at the Moose Jaw; a great place after a day's worth of activity to un-wind and meet some locals.

Don't rain on my Santa parade...I know it was a fun run...I know my Garmin, nor BAA were there to validate my time, but let me have my holiday in the sun.  First overall in my age group for the first time with a cash reward!  Yes, Virginia, I do believe in Santa Claus.


Griswold:  American Family depicted in National Lampoon's Vacation movies lead by Clark (my alter ego.)
Rusty:  Miscreant son of Clark Griswold.
Wassail:  Fancy name for apple cider.
Run Naked:  Not as fun as it sounds.  Running without music or a Garmin.
BAA:  Boston Athletic Association who manages the marathon this blog is based on chasing.
Yasso 800:  Two laps around a high school track or 1/2 mile.  Used for speed training and a metric for predicting marathon finish times.
Lincoln:  A U.S. $5 bill.  Below the IRS race winnings reporting requirement guidelines.  At least my interpretation thereof.


  1. I love the title of this post! Great job!

  2. Ha ha! Great job showing Santa who's boss! Chip or no chip - if there's a start line and a finish line, it's gotta be "pedal to the metal." We just can't help ourselves!


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