On Saturday, I went back to my hometown of Dumont, NJ to officially launch my campaign to break the Guinness World Record for the Fastest Marathon dressed as Santa. We got a gorgeous day for the race (if anything, it was a little on the hot side), so even though I’m not quite ready to don the full Santa outfit (hat, beard, coat, and pants), I decided that I might as well start somewhere and run this race with the hat, so that’s what I did. If I’m totally honest about this whole Marathon Santa effort, I’m most nervous about sweating too much in the suit during the race and getting dehydrated. At this point in my life, I’ve run 5 marathons, 3 of them faster than the current 2:55:50 Marathon Santa record, so I’m not really concerned about getting my body in shape to run faster than that. However, the big X-factor is the impact that the Santa suit will have on me. To fully appreciate my discomfort with running in a hat, beard, coat, and pants, consider this: I’ve run several hundred races in my running career, which has spanned over 15 years, and I’ve only run ONE race with a hat and long sleeves, and have NEVER run a single race with pants or a beard. And on, I’m racing with all four of those things.
So even though the whole suit seemed a little intimidating on this day, I decided to dip my toe in the water and race with the hat. Fortunately, I didn’t overheat and the hat was largely inconsequential to the outcome of my 5k race, which I finished in 16:27, good enough for 2nd place overall. No overheating on my first race with the hat? I’ll take it!
The best part came during the awards ceremony, where I was given the mic and had a chance to share about my Guinness World Record attempt, and, more importantly, Mighty Writers, the organization that I’m raising money for through this whole effort. I’ll share more about them in a future post, but I’m super-pumped to be partnering with a fantastic organization that is just as passionate as I am about supporting the underprivileged youth of this country. Youth literacy is a big challenge in Philadelphia, where I now live, as well as many major cities around the country, and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get to the point where every child has everything he/she needs to have an incredibly successful life.
So here we go, the first race as Marathon Santa is in the books! The next one won’t be until October 31st in Philadelphia for the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon, which will serve as my tune-up race for the big one on November 22nd. I’ve got a big month and a half of training ahead of me. And because of my job as a management consultant, half of the next month and a half will be spent out of the country, so I’m going to be taking my training to Melbourne, London, and Dubai along the way.
I guess that makes sense, though. Santa Claus is known for his global travel, so that just means I get to share Marathon Santa with the world! Looking forward to it…