Race Recap: Arlington Heights Rotary Santa Run 5k (~22:00)

So now I’m going to have 2 race recaps coming at you back-to-back this week.  Get ready for fun.  First, the Arlington Heights Rotary Santa Run.

This race was last weekend, and as you can guess by the title, was in Arlington Heights so another suburban race.  Despite this, I knew that this race draws quite a crowd so I expected there to be a bit more competition.


After the Fall Haul 5k a few weeks ago, my Uncle Rob told me that he and my cousin Julianne and her boyfriend Eric were going to do the Arlington Heights Santa Run 5k, which they have also done in the past.

I waited to register until right before the race, but registration was easy right at Runner’s High and Tri in downtown Arlington Heights.  Fee was $35, which is about what I’d expect out of these 5ks, but I mean obviously the “swag” was better than your average T-Shirt…you got a whole 5-piece Santa suit!  And everyone wears it for the race – a jacket, pants, hat, beard, and belt.

Luckily I had my own pair of red running spandex so I got away with just wearing those instead of the velvet Santa pants that I’m sure would’ve fallen off while running.  I didn’t feel too bad though because I showed up and there were a few people wearing regular running clothes – they must not like fun.

Despite Julianne and I sending a few selfies to each other in the morning, it was clear we wouldn’t find each other at the start because I didn’t have my phone and everyone was dressed the same…and we didn’t plan a meeting spot.



Right before the race, the mayor (who was also running) gave a little pep talk, some PTs lead us in stretches to Christmas music, they played the National Anthem, and then it was race time.  I was freakin’ out a bit because I forgot to bring a watch and there was no timing mat at the front so I realized it was going to be gun time and wouldn’t be completely accurate, but I guess I’m not at the place anyways were a few seconds really matters.

Upon starting, I had to weave in and out of a lot of young kids, but after about half mile I was passed them all.  Because I didn’t have a watch, I had no idea where I was at but soon enough I got to the point that I realized there were no mile markers or else I was running a reallyyyy long mile.


A pack of guys caught up to me maybe 1.5-1.75 miles into the race because at some point one of them with a Garmin called out their time for mile 2 – 6:49.  Although I had no idea how far behind me they started, I assumed I was going at about a 7 minute pace since then I was able to keep on hanging with them til the end.  It ended up being a huge help to have a group to try to stick with.

And soon enough, we were on the final straight away.  I passed my mom and Aunt Terry (where they took the above photo) and they told me I was the first female.  I really had no idea, but kind of assumed so or that maybe there was 1 or 2 out far ahead of me that I couldn’t see.  And then as I got closer to the finish I heard a lot of people say stuff like “oh there’s the first girl!”  I’m actually surprised they could tell I was girl given everyone was wearing the exact same thing and all my hair was tucked in my hat. (Oh, I also wore the beard for the first mile, but then got a huge chunk of cotton in my mouth and took that thing off.)

I ended up finishing according to what I thought was about 22:05 on the clock at the finish and according to the official results in 22:11.  So I’m gonna just go with about 22 minutes.

After the race, I went back to where the madre and Aunt Terry were spectating to watch our other Santas finish and then met up with them to take some photos.


Overall, this was a really fun race and I enjoyed seeing everyone dressed like Santa.  It really made it a great atmosphere and I look forward to wearing my Santa suit in general life now.  Haha just kidding…maybe.  I’m sure I’ll find a time to wear it.

Have you ever run a race where you had “required” attire?


3 Thoughts on “Race Recap: Arlington Heights Rotary Santa Run 5k (~22:00)

  1. I ran the Santa Hustle in Chicago yesterday, and it was “required” to wear the official race SWEATSHIRT (whut.). I…definitely did not. Haha. For one thing, I couldn’t convince myself to wear the race shirt on race day, as that violates one of the biggest rules of running in my mind, and for another thing, it was a SWEATSHIRT. The outside of it was tech-y sort of material, but the inside was fleece! The only time I run in fleece is when it’s like 10 degrees outside and that’s my outer layer above like two other layers. Sorry not sorry, Santa Hustle :P

  2. ewww yeah I definitely wouldn’t wear that either, especially given the weather this weekend. the only time I violated the “don’t wear the race shirt before the race” was Boston because everyone wears that jacket around all weekend, even before the race so I obviously had to too.

  3. Congrats on being first overall! I have done this race several times, and am also surprised by the people who don’t dress up. What is the point of doing this themed race then? LOL

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