Last night was the "Jingle Bell Run" in downtown Sioux Falls. One my running pals, Joseph, had mentioned a couple of times that we were to wear our Santa hats for the run. I had no interest in "racing" this 5K and had access to a Santa suit. I thought, why not surprise everyone and run as Kris Kringle?
I picked up my race packet at the Y in my regular running clothes, that way if I ran into one of my friends they would not know what was in store.
After packet pick up I had parked my car at the back of the bank lot so that I would have some secrecy while changing. At this time it was all for fun, I had no idea what level of impact this stunt would have on me and others. When I was finally dressed, nobody was going to recognize me, except as Santa!
After helping me put on the suit, my wife and I made our way to the starting area. My disguise worked well, even my running buddy, Jenn, did not recognize me at first!
Soon it was time for the race to begin and we made our way to the start. I went out with a nice easy pace as planned and what a blast! The crowd LOVED to see Santa running. Kids and parents were shouting out "Santa, hey Santa!" and cheering me on almost the entire way. What an awesome feeling to see the smiles on peoples faces as I ran by waving and shouting "Merry Christmas!".
I was a little worried about a wardrobe malfunction because they really don't make Santa suits for skinny runners. I think I used about a dozen safety pins to keep the belt on, the pants up, and my beard attached. Lucky for me, it all mostly stayed in place.
After the race, a local newspaper reporter stopped me and asked a few questions. Argus Leader article.
I had a lot of fun at this race and even finished with a respectable time. What an awesome feeling to have an impact on so many people with such a small gesture!
Thank you to my awesome wife for putting up with and even aiding me in my antics!
And thank you to my running buddies for not being too embarrassed to run with Santa!