This was my second year running the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler and every year, I’m surprised at how cold it is. It is the end of December. Of course it is cold!
This race really loves it’s theming, and I love the race for it. The run is held at Druid Hill Park and is always run right around the time of the solstice. It felt a bit early this year, but I’m not complaining, as that meant it fit well in my schedule.
I don’t know the director of the race, but he is a hilariously sarcastic man. The emails that go out before the race are a riot, and included things like “Please do not urinate on the building and scare the people inside.” At the race, there were even signs with an icon of a man peeing and then a big no symbol atop it. Ridiculously funny. And yes, the portapotties were plentiful, so no worries there.
At the race start, there is a lovely tent setup with coffee inside, and food and other goodies afterward. Definitely a nice perk and a good way to get out of the cold.
The race begins with a bagpiper leading a small parade through the crowd of runners, starting at the back of the pack. There is also a drummer (this year in a hybrid Bravehart/Baltimore Ravens costume) and people with Irish Wolfhounds. They are then followed by the people who have run the race every year, a pack that shrank significantly after the race was all but snowed out – only people who could walk to the start were able to run.
And then the run begins! It’s not the world’s easiest course – it’s definitely got hills. But what goes up must come down, right? Betsy and I ran this one together, and it wasn’t my fastest, but we did okay. She was coming off of a cold and I was coming off of a week of exhausting rehearsals, so neither of us was in top form. So we just ran and chatted and had fun. At least I had fun. I hope she did too.
I have to admit, one of the big perks of this race is the shirt. This race always has the best shirt (or sometimes jacket, I believe). And the cost of the race is typically the retail cost of the shirt. So to get some great new running gear AND a great race experience makes for a worthwhile day. I hope the race fits into my schedule again next year.