As many of you may know Cleveland is home to the house used in A Christmas Story movie. This year is the 30th anniversary of the release of the movie and as part of a celebration for the anniversary a race was setup. The race will become an annual tradition from now on. The funds will go towards keeping the house maintained and for the museum by the house. A worthy race for a movie that everyone knows by heart and celebrates yearly.
“It’s a blue ball.”
The race was Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM. I registered for the 10k, which they had a 5k race as well, because I prefer the 10k distance. The race started at Higbee’s, where Ralphie spies the Red Ryder BB Gun in a display window, then weaves its way to the house in Tremont (5k ended at the house) then loops back to finish at Higbee’s. Honestly I had no idea how well I would do at this race since I hadn’t really trained much over the past couple of months, but at that distance (6.2 miles) it really isn’t too taxing for me. I was running around 11-13 miles a week which was fine. Everyone complains about Cleveland weather, but I absolutely love this kind of weather. Temperatures were on the cold side, but still manageable for this guy. Since I didn’t have a costume to dress up in, which I hope to next year, I did a little flair running with a scarf much like what the boys wear in the movie. This race was so well received that it sold out quickly. There were so many people in Public Square and Tower City before the race. I loved seeing people dressed up in Aunt Clara’s bunny pajamas, to bandits, to Flick with his tongue stuck to the flag pole and on and on. Awesome spirit pre-race.
The race started right on time. I was concerned about the roads being slippery since there was a little snowfall the night before, but roads actually were in great shape with the exception of a couple of side roads had not been salted, but it wasn’t too bad. I placed myself by the 8:00/mile pace runner, but realized they were moving way faster than the pace they were supposed to be setting. This race was impressively well organized so far. I was feeling great and kept pushing my pace further. We got to the house and the crowd there was awesome! Lots of people. Then it was time to loop back through the course which then became a cluster. Since only part of the road was blocked off for the race the 10k runners had to weave their way back through those still running/walking and since there was limited space with lots of people (I believe it was 5,000 people total?) this made for difficult running. It was like running against 4,000 Mike Tomlin’s in your path. This is one of the gripes I have with this race which was they needed clearly defined separators for the course. I ran into one person! It hurt. I was moving along at a 7:30ish/mile pace and bam. Luckily, I did not fall or get hurt. There were several other times I had to divert my path. Once we got the Carnegie bridge happens to be my only other gripe. On the way to the house we ran on the road over the bridge, but on the way back they made us run on a dedicated bike path on the bridge which sounds fine, but it was completely ice covered! This made for dangerous running. I understand that the path is there for this purpose of not needing to close traffic down, but they should have at least salted the dang path! It certainly slowed my pace a little. Oh well. This was their first organized race. I ran better than I thought I would and I had fun. I finished 93rd overall out of 1,581 in the 10k and 13th out of 94 in my age group. Race results here.
I also earned my major award. Nice touch by the organizers to have Ralphie’s favorite beverage of Ovaltine post race too.
All in all. A great start to a new tradition in Cleveland and I look forward to it next year. Hopefully I get my butt in gear to dress up better and recruit more friends.
Ho ho hooooo….