*UPDATE* – I have since run the 2014 A Christmas Story Run! To Get The Full Review Click Here
Saturday, December 7th 2013 marked the very first ever “A Christmas Story Run” in Cleveland, Ohio at Ralphie’s house. Yes, in case you didn’t know, the house from “A Christmas Story” has been completely restored and has been turned into a museum (of sorts). It is well known throughout the mid-west that I am a huge Christmas Story fan! A bona fide Christmas Story-junkie. So the moment I heard about this run I HAD to register! They offered both a 5 and 10k but we opted to do the 5k due to the cold and the fact that it ended right at the house so we wouldn’t have to double back.
So off to Cleveland we went! Unfortunately the GF got sick a few days prior with a really nasty cold. She felt terrible but like a trooper she packed up and went with me because she knew how important this race was to me. I don’t say it enough but I love her with all my heart and I appreciate everything she does to make me happy. She had a very different take on the whole experience you can read about it here.
Packet pickup was located in the “Tower City” mall which had a pretty impressive entrance with fountains and a giant Xmas tree. Everything was very well signed and we had our goodies in only a few short minutes. We got there at 7am but the race didn’t start till 9 so we had some time to kill.
We walked around what used to be Higbees (now a casino) which had classic style animatronic window displays such as carolers and ice skaters.
The square out front had a big tree and there was a “jumbo-tron” playing you-know-what movie non-stop. The only problem was it was FREEZING outside! PAINFUL, stinging cold it was awful. So everyone gathered inside the mall for warmth. The people packed in like sardines. Everywhere you looked there were people dressed up in all sorts of crazy costumes from the movie but let’s face it… most of us were scoffers, but moments before zero hour it did not pay to take chances.
About 15 minutes before race time we took shelter near the starting line in an enclosed bus stop which worked just enough to keep us from freezing. Just before the gun all we had to do was exit 5 steps out of our little enclosure and we were off.
The first mile was BRUTAL! Bitter cold and over a giant bridge so there was nothing to stop the wind. I had my camera in my hand to snap pictures but like an idiot I left my gloves back at the hotel so I tucked my hands into my sleeves. The course was from Higbees to the Christmas Story house over and under several bridges and residential streets. All I can say is that Cleveland is a pretty dismal, grey city. Very industrial, there was tons of incredible ornate, old architecture that was both stunning, and sad because it was all run down.
The mile markers had clever sayings on them:
and also there were various fun facts along the way:
I don’t know what it was but I felt GREAT the whole race. I kept a constant pace and only slowed to make sure I could get a good picture. The GF, however, wasn’t doing as well. Sick and drained of energy, we had to slow to a walk a couple times for her to regain the strength to go on. As we rounded the corner to the finish line I took off like a rocket. Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing mostly 10ks lately, or maybe I just wanted to get in to see the house before those in front of me.
My official results:
Time 33:47 Overall 1057/3086 Age group 72/167
And as always you can view the race through Nike + by clicking here.
Normally this is where the story ends but not this time! Our race bibs got us free entry in to the house so I got to stand in the very same place… and even !!act out the scenes!! from the movie!! Here are some of the highlights for your viewing pleasure:
And no trip would be complete without a stop at the gift shop where I got several must have items but none better then this:
A LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE DECODER PIN!!!
And then… like the Christmas turkey it was gone! All gone! We headed back to get in line for the shuttle which stretched all the way to Terre Haute! And we were at the end of it. Freezing. Fortunately for us they reacted quickly and a fleet of school busses arrived to take us back. We made our way back to the hotel …showered …and drove home… and I was happy 🙂