This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Santa shuffle

I arrived at the Santa Shuffle 5K Race on Saturday, December 13, 2008 too late to take pictures of the registration, which took place at the community building of the Assembly of God Church. However, I got there in plenty of time to watch the runners and walkers mill around waiting for the race to start.
It was cold and everyone had their own strategy for keeping warm, which is not a problem for summer races, such as the Jasper County Hospital Race that takes place in August. After a wait of ten minutes that probably seemed a lot longer for the participants, the whistle blew and the runners were off.
This was the third edition of the race. The race is sponsored by the Rensselaer Central High School Community Service Club. (The guy who organized the club a few years ago was named Ed something.) The original race was the idea of Kyla Chapman, who was a cross-country and track runner at the high school and who now runs at Purdue. The proceeds from the race benefit Riley's Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.

As they came up Jackson Street it was still to early to see how they would finish.
By the time they hit the railroad tracks on Matheson, they were starting to string out. The runner in the lead here won by a big margin, finishing in a bit more than 18 minutes. You can see that the gaps are getting larger as they go down the incline from the railroad tracks heading north toward John Deere Road. Here is the route of this race, although this year the start and finish were reversed. (This picture turned out well given the poor lighting, so I uploaded it at full size. Click on it to get a much better view.)
At the finish line there were no bunches of runners left--they had strung out. After several runners finished at about 23 minutes, there was a huge gap, so big that the next three runners lost contact with the runners ahead of them and missed a turn. Instead of turning on Jackson and entering the park, they continued down to Bunkum and came to the finish line from the wrong way. But early or late, Santa was there to greet them with some encouraging words.
After everyone had finished, it was back across the creek to the Assembly of God community building for warmth, cookies, and fruit.
I noticed that a lot of people just stayed in the back by the food. That probably is what I would have done if I had entered the race. The lady with her back to the camera could have won the award for the funkiest outfit with her green-striped running tights and her red-striped socks. In the first year of the race there were a number of people who ran in costumes. This year that humorous aspect missing except for these Christmassy running tights.
There were also awards and door prizes to be given out. What would a 5K be without some kind of raffle?
(Heather--why not add an award for best running costume?)


Ed said...

they ran the big block!

Anonymous said...

Loved that several got lost. No dog problems, I assume.


Desert Survivor said...

Why didn't you enter?

Anonymous said...

Yes, why didn't you enter?