Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vanessa Welch Reindeer Run

One of my goals this year was for the entire family to complete a 5k together. We decided to make our first family 5k the Vanessa Welch Reindeer Run. This race benefits an amazing charity and you run through SeaWorld, what's not to love?!

I was worried about the early start and if the kiddos would be willing to wake up so early, but at 4:45 am they were both bouncing up and down yelling, "It's race day!!!!" They did the kids races last year, so they were familiar with the race and could not wait to go.

What I was not planning on this year was just how cold it was going to be. Thankfully, my Mom bought the kids these really cute fleece blankets that fold up really small, so I was able to keep them wrapped up before the race.

This race is also a collecting spot for Toys for Tots and there were Marines there in full dress collecting toys. When Aaron saw them he asked if he could shake their hands. Of course I said yes and he ran up to all three and shook their hands. It definitely made me smile.

My wonderful running buddy Michelle was also there. We ran it together last year and absolutely loved it. I'm super thankful that she ran it again this year because she snapped some awesome photos of us crossing the finish line together. Plus, she had a PR! What's not to love about that?!

Now on to the race. Aaron wanted to take off running right away and Scott and I tried to explain that it is a long distance and he really needs to pace himself. Jillian on the other hand was exercising her mouth the entire race. We did some bursts of running once we made it into the park. Remember how I mentioned earlier how great it was that those blankets folded up nice and small? Yeah, I thought that until I was running with them on my back.


The kids had a great time during the race and really did amazingly well. We made it to the finish line at 52:14, which was faster than I thought we would finish in. We all ran across the finish line together and I'm not going to lie, it was all Scott and I could do to keep up with them. Those little ones can book it!

Even after the big race (which was actually short, it was only 2.8 miles) the kiddos still wanted to do the kids races. They break these races up by age and since the kiddos are 6, they were with all of the big kids. They also break these races up by boys and girls, which I think is kind of neat.

The little ladies went first and Jillian was running with her hair perfectly flapping in the wind. The smile on her face when she came up on the finish was worth its weight in gold. She had such a great time!

The dudes were next and Aaron took off like a bat out of hell. I didn't realize just how fast he was until that race. He finished with a lot of the older kids in his division, which was awesome to see.

All in all it was an awesome race. I am so glad we were able to do this as a family and cannot wait to do this again next year! After all, the family that runs together stays together :)

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