Monday, December 10, 2012

Rotary Lights Run

What a beautiful day for a race! When you sign up for a race this time of year you just never know what kind of weather you are going to get. We were super excited when we woke up and it was snowing because we knew the park would be beautiful with the snow and all of the lights. This is the third year that we have done this race and probably the most beautiful!
The race has a late afternoon start. That way you finish in the park with the Rotary Lights on. Mid-afternoon we started to get everyone ready and we headed to the hotel that hosts the start of the race. We did same-day registration and it was quick and easy. We really like that they have a family rate for the race so it makes is really affordable for us to do together. We also really like that they give us hats for this race. What runner couldn't use an extra hat for winter running? We got everyone's numbers on and hit the bathrooms one last time. Then we headed outside to do a little warm up jog and take some pictures. 
My family pre-race
The race runs through the park and then connects to a trail for an out and back portion. As you can see the course was partially snow covered. But we had a beautiful view of the Mississippi River!

The beginning was very congested and it made it really hard to run with the stroller. I was so afraid that I was going to take someone out. Plus it was slushy and slippery. Pushing the stroller wasn't easy! It is a run/walk and people didn't pay attention to where they were lining up at the start so we had to pass lots of people. About a quarter mile in we got off the sidewalk onto a street so that helped spread things out and I was finally able to go around some people. Then as we came to the trail head things got congested again. Right at the 1 mile mark we were headed up a light hill and people were running 3 and 4 wide so it was hard to go around them to keep my momentum. Shortly after that point we started meeting the lead runners on their way back. The boys were amazed by them and cheered them on as they met them. At this point Aidan was cheering on his brothers. At the turn- around it was very slippery and you had to pretty much stop and walk around the cone. At this point Riley and Isaac we ahead of us and Tim was sticking with me. Aidan was cheering me on saying "Go, Mommy, Go! Go fast Mommy!" It got congested again for a bit and I told Tim to just go on ahead as it was too hard for me to pass people because when I had a chance there were people coming at us too. As we got back to the hill (thankfully going down  this time) things finally spaced out and I was able to make some moves. I felt like I had a pretty good kick at the end because I finally had room to move around people! The finish line was very congested. They don't have timing chips for this race so at the finish line they collect the bottom strip off of your race bib. This was hard for me because I have to keep moving after that final kick and here I had to stand in line! They told me I finished right at 30 minutes. My MotoActv said 3.12 miles in 30:03.

Hanging out with my boys in the heated tent having hot chocolate.

Hanging with my wonderful hubby!
My family post-race
 On our way out of the park the boys wanted to stop by and see Santa. Since it wasn't busy they each got their turn to sit on Santa's lap.
Isaac telling Santa what he wants for Christmas.

Aidan was mesmerized by Santa.

Riley wasn't sure he wanted to sit on his lap. This may be the last time for him:(

As we were leaving the park to walk back to our car we enjoyed the lights covered in all of the snow. It was a beautiful night and a fun race!

Me and my boys

Both Riley and Isaac commented on the way to the car that this race was awesome and that they had a lot of fun! I think this race will continue to be a family tradition. Aidan can't wait until he is five so he can run too!

some of our favorite lights

one of our favorite displays
 Do you do any winter races? Holiday races?

Do you run as a family or have any family running traditions?


  1. Wow! That race looks like so much fun! And what a great family event!!!