This past weekend, I ran Santa Runs Tacoma. It was a blast, and I can’t wait to tell you about it. But first I want to regale you with the tale of the first time that I tried to run this race. I had just moved to Tacoma, and didn’t know anyone at the time. I decided that Santa Runs Tacoma would be a great event for me to get myself out there. It ended up being a total hilarious failure. Here is the story, as I wrote it 2 years ago:
Today was supposed to be a great day. Over a month ago, I learned that there was a 5k race in which dogs were allowed to participate and in which Christmas costumes were encouraged (including a costume contest). This event combined 4 of my favorite things: Ada the dog, running, costumes, and Christmas! What could be better?
So for several weeks I planned, and made costumes for Ada and I. I decided that we should both be characters from the fantastic Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story.” I was to be the leg lamp, and Ada was to be Ralphie in his pink bunny pajamas. (Ada liked her pajamas about as much as Ralphie did).
The morning of the race arrived, and we got ready. I had planned to leave the house at 7am to leave plenty of time to find parking, get my race number, and enter the costume contest. However, this whole adjustment to the NW has been difficult, so when I realized that the sun was not up at 7am, I decided that it was much too early to leave. Instead, I decided to goof around and take pictures of Ada in her costume.
We ended up leaving the house at 7:45. And then we drove to the race. Where there was no parking. So, I parked on a hill approximately ½ mile above the start line. While streets don’t go straight to the start line, Ada and I were on foot, so I figured that there would be a walking path that went straight through. I put on my lamp skirt, and off we went. We tried to walk straight down to the start line, but there was a fence in the way. However, on the other side of the fence, I could see a path going through a wooded area which I was certain would lead me to the race. I awkwardly climbed over the fence, my lamp skirt making it difficult for me to bend my knees, and Ada ducked under the fence. We took the path down for awhile, and then it sort of just…disappeared. Yet, I could hear the road nearby, so I knew we were close. I decided to make my own path….over thorn-covered plants, a wet-slippery hill, all the while trying to keep my cream-colored lamp skirt in pristine condition. There were a lot of challenges. The thorns scratched me, ripped, my fishnets, and caused bleeding in several places. I slipped several times, my hands got covered in mud, and my phone (which I was using as a GPS to get me to the entrance) landed in the mud…But I would not be deterred. On forward I went. I got down to the road just near the entrance to the race…I was about 20 yards away…when I realized…there is no way to get through. It was too steep and covered in thorns. I had no choice, I had to go back. I turned around.
Going up was more difficult than going down, as I still had restricted mobility due to my lamp skirt. Several times I climbed up a particular way, and then realized that there was no way through the thorns and trees, and had to go back down and start over again.
Finally, I got back to the path. I then realized how very silly this all was, and that I was going to miss the race, so I began to take pictures of the very ridiculous situation of a girl wearing a lamp, covered in mud and blood, and lost in the woods. Ada and I finally reached the top, but we didn’t come out of the woods where we had gone in. I was lost, and began trying to look for clues as to where my car was. I was by some sort of high school. Stadium High School. Wait! Stadium High School? That’s the school where one of my favorite movies, 10 Things I Hate About You was filmed! It was here that Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles first fell in love.
So…I did what any logical blood-covered, mud-covered, lamp-skirt-wearing girl would do. I stopped to take pictures.
Geez, it’s a gorgeous building! It’s like a castle!
Eventually Ada absolutely refused to keep her bunny ears on, so I decided that we should probably go home. I am disappointed that we missed the race, but I sure do love my little partner-in-crime, Ada, who’s always up for an adventure.
Have you ever missed a race by getting lost on the way to the start????