Saturday, December 21, 2013

Race Recap: Ugly Holiday Sweater Run and Walk

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Logo by: Andrea Schwoebel  (
A friend from Moms RUN This Town posted on Facebook about a free 5k, and before she could say anything else about it.... she had me at "free".

The race is free, but asking for donations for the Ladybug CDH Foundation.  Participants could bring 100% cotton receiving blankets, socks or hats.  If it was easier, cutting a check for the foundation was acceptable (and appreciated) too!

The race was a small and intimate affair, but so much fun and highly recommended!!  I am bad at estimates, but I think there may have been about 50 people participating today.

As noted above, the Ladybug CDH Foundation was receiving the donations made by participants. Click on their name to go see their webpage what they are all about!  They hope to raise awareness about a birth defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia and raise money for research and treatment.
$110 was raised in cash/checks and the charity received 83 pairs of socks, 42 hats and 64 receiving blankets!  I don't know how that compares to last year, but I hope the race is growing and will continue to grow in participants.

The 5k (or one mile option) was an untimed fun run that was held at Summerlake Park.  The park was very beautiful with the light fog, frozen lakes and streams and water fowl in the area.  There is also a dog park with in the park and a very dog-friendly race for friendly dogs.

The course is pretty flat, with a mild incline at the end of the first mile (or just after starting your second loop of the park).

The events started with a costume contest before the actually running or walking... What would an "Ugly Holiday Sweater" theme race be without costumes?

As you can see below, I went all out in my "Ugly Sweater".  I didn't just put on a sweater I found and decorated... I dressed up as a sweater!  

Once again, I forgot to ask people for permission to post their pics on my blog, so you'll have to trust me that there were some really fantastic, fun and festive holiday sweaters there.  One of the participants wore a "top hat" that was a brick design  with black boots on the top like Santa's feet on his way down the chimney.  Then the sweater was green and done up like a tree.

Eggnog was donated by Alpenrose, coffee from Starbucks, bagels from Einstein Bagels and some pastries and holiday cookies that I believe were from a local grocery store.

There was also plenty of door prizes too.  And to get a door prize?  All you had to do was show up, receive your drawing ticket and hold on to half of it while the other half was placed into the basket for the drawing.

While runners and walkers made their journey to finish one loop or three, the race organizers taped the winning ticket to the items and you could check to see if you had a match.

A fresh cut holiday wreath was available, 13 gift certificates to Veggie grill, gift cards to local running stores (Foot Traffic and Pace Setter Athletic), and a free race entry to a local race (The Bald Peak Half).

(Pretty awesome!  My family scored two $10 veggie grill cards and my running partner/sole sister got $20 to the local "candy store"... okay, running store.)


In the top right picture, you can see the "bones' of the costume.  My husband constructed a large pvc pipe "hanger to hold the XL sweater coat and with some foam, a belt and suspenders, the contraption somehow stayed on and relatively pain-free.

The next two photos on the right column are me in the first test run.

The bottom, middle picture is my Squeakers and Bugaboo after the race, and heading home.  Squeakers is wearing wool pants made out of a shrunken, felted (and ugly) sweater.

The bottom left picture is my "bling" for my creative masterpiece.  :)  A trophy that has to be more than 3 ft tall.... though I haven't broken out the tape measure for it.

Bibs were also available for fun at the race, as well as a link provided before hand to print out.  I just love the logo of the runner in the detailed sweater she has on.   

Race bib by:  Andrea Schwoebel   (

So, I hope I've convinced you to give this one a try next year.  If anything, it's untimed, so grab a group of your friends and wrap yourselves up in yarn and Christmas lights ( you could call your team "hot mess") and have some fun while helping out some babies.

You can't go wrong and will be glad you went.  

(Don't expect me to outdo myself on this year's costume.  I'll probably be wearing it until it starts to unravel.  And now I have Weezer "Undone" stuck in my head.)


  1. Robin, that is an awesome costume!!!

    1. :) Thank you! The inspiration for it came to me about a week before the race. Luckily what I didn't already have in my garage was easily obtained at a dollar store.

  2. Replies
    1. It was a lot of fun! I'm definitely looking forward to doing it again!

  3. Replies
    1. It wasn't terrible but it wasn't something to run for a PR in... :) On my first test run, I quit at 0.80 miles because it hurt so bad. The pvc pipe at my collar bone kept crashing into it and bruised it. We added some padding and the seond test run was pain free... but the wind was strong and I became a huge sail and thought I was going to get flipped over. :) Race day was good. Really i couldn't ask for better conditions... but I still had to take it off after a mile. It's heavy, bulky, hard to see in, I could easily take someone out if I turned too suddenly... those arms are dangerous! And it was not a good feeling to have my arms constrained while trying to run. :)

  4. A friend from Moms RUN This Town posted on Facebook about a free 5k, and before she could say anything else about it...