12ks of Christmas Race Report – Matt P

12ks of christmas race report
Photo: Pawelski, flashframe.io

Race: 2018 12ks of Christmas

Runner: Matt P

Race Date: 12/16/2018

Location: Kirkland, WA

Results: 53:22 – 7.5 mi, 45/1252 overall, 33/403 M, 3/59 M35-39

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/2020611112

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

* Holiday themed – costumes, decorations, variety of participants.
* Lots of good vibes and cheer – more of a fun race for the 5k participants.
* Well-organized and run

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

The 12k racers merge with the 5k racers at the last 1.5 mile, and some of them were walking completely across the pathway, with children wandering into my path. I almost took out some poor kid and had to dodge people.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

Masked santas. Need I say more?

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I paced it pretty well. It’s very hilly and I felt my training gave me a competitive edge for that.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Pace yourself for the hills. Most of them are very moderate but there are a couple sharp ones and a gradual incline through the first 5 miles or so.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Don’t wear the beanie. I know you want to wear the beanie but I noticed very few 12k runners with the beanie on, and it caused me to overheat at once point. I removed it and carried for portions of the race.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Feels hillier than the elevation profile looks. Save some juice for a .5 mi sharp downhill section (as long as the course hasn’t changed). A lot of runners bonked and not matching effort to the downhill allowed me to pass many runners in the last .5 mi.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Yes. I’ve never run in Kirkland or spent much time there but found it to be just a beautiful area overall.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Not really if you train hills a bit. If you don’t train hills then probably.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Well-oiled machine. Snohomish Running Company and Kirkland police did a fantastic job. The only exception is merging the 5k runners into the 12k course. It’s a fun race so lots of kids running around and people to dodge.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Moderate. Some people had sub 45 min finishes I think, so kind of. And Snohomish Running tends to draw folks. I didn’t see a lot of SRC’rs though, so that was nice 😀

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Nah it was pretty chill. I think they closed registration maybe a week in advance and there was no day-off registration…

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

2 aid stations: Water and Electrolytes with gels and what not. There are also children and santas handing out candy canes and candy corn. I had my own Bloks but downed some candy corn at aid station 2. I didn’t hydrate at all during the race.

Weather and typical race conditions

2018 was a bit more mild than 2017 it looks like, but typical PNW conditions: Cold and rainy.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

Can probably get by with nothing but I did pop some Bloks at a couple points.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes. Very. Everyone can come have fun.

How’s the Swag?

Lots of discounts for participants, the beanie is awesome, the shirt is pretty cool and if you win can choose between a Snohomish Winner Trucker Hat or Picture Frame. They were not themed for the specific race, so I took the hat because it matches my shoes 😀

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

I’d give it 5 stars.

12ks of christmas race report
Photo: Pawelski, flashframe.io