The northern Indiana area really struggles with its Christmas theme races. I ran a couple of them in 2015, but neither race really stood out as a well organized/memorable race. There was one other Christmas race that I have yet to try until 2016, the Saint Nick 6. The race is held in South Bend at the St. Joseph Parish.
Packet pick up was held at the Parish office from 3:30-6:00 the day before the race. The process itself is quick and easy. You were given your race shirt, bib number, and fliers. Registration fees for the 6k was $20, 3k was $15 and the Run Run Rudolph was free. Very reasonable. If you register for the 6k and 3k, you got a white long sleeve tech shirt.
The race offers a 6k and 3k distance. There is also a kinds .06k run as well for the kids called the Run Run Rudolph. The Run Run Rudolph began at 9:30. Derek took part in this fun run. Granted it is only a .06k (if that) but it was a very cold morning.
The 6k and 3k started at 10:00 so the family went back inside the school gym to get warm. Temps were very cold outside and the snow we received the day before made the course very slippery. The course was mainly along the South Bend river walk which the city does a poor job of keeping clean in the winter.
Runners were called back outside for the start at about 9:50, given final race instructions, a prayer, and the race began. The roads were really slippery, and these were roads which had been plowed. I took the start very easy as we made our way to the river walk. Every step was a slippery one. The 3k and 6k started at the same time so it was difficulf to tell who was in which race.
After the 3k turned right off of the path and returned down another road, the 6k continued down the path. Only saw 2 runners ahead of me turn. I was somewhere around 5th place with a lot of ground to make up. On a day like that and with the course completely snow covered, I knew that was not going to happen and I wasn’t willing to risk injury to do so. In my mind, since the finishing time didn’t matter, my goal now was not to allow anyone to pass me and hope no one in my division was ahead of me.
The course was an out and back course. Sobthe whole course was snow covered. I crossed the finish line in 24:31, a 6:38 pace. This was obviously well off my typical 5k pace but I really didn’t care. It was not a good race day. My goal of finishing tops in my age group didn’t happen as I finished 2nd.
The family was in a little bit of a hurry to leave for another event and if I wasn’t getting an award, I didn’t want to stick around long. It took a little bit to find someone who knew, but I finally found out that the top runner in each division gets a medal. It looked like they had ribbons for 2nd and 3rd but I just didn’t care to stick around for a ribbon so we took off.
This race was ok. I am not sure I will run it again next year. The price is good, but nothing about the race really stood out. Plus, if the weather is as it was this year, it’s not worth the risk of injury if the city won’t clear the river walk path. The race benefits Saint Joseph Grade School which I have no connections with and don’t feel the need to support, so it’s not something I feel the need to run in again. But we will see.