Sunday, December 13, 2015

Underground Polar Express Run


Three years ago, my friend Karen started the Underground Polar Express run to benefit a local charity. Last year was my first time running it, and I had a great experience! This year when she posted the registration link, I signed up the first day. The registration fee is $15, which is a bargain! Not only is there the fun run for which runners don holiday costumes, there's pizza and drinks, a raffle, and a cute stocking cap, all included in the price. The registration is capped at 300 runners which keeps the event small and fun.

This year I convinced Marcia and Sara to join me, and we met at my house to make the drive together. It was a balmy 60 degrees, and I had already reworked my costume to accommodate the warm conditions. There was the threat of rain, so we brought plastic bags just in case. The drive to Batavia was easy and it was fun to catch up. We got to the restaurant where the race was held and ran into Karen. She looked amazingly calm!

Karen, Sara, me, and Marcia
After signing in, we walked to the river path where the race would take place. No Garmins, no race bibs, just a 3 mile "jog" along the Fox River. We did pass some people, natch, but it was fun to run without a goal time. It was really warm and humid, and I was starting to seriously sweat after about 1 1/2 miles. Luckily the rain held off during the run. I was glad to see the finish back at the restaurant, where we immediately went inside to get something to drink. I headed to the bar to get a Blue Moon. Sara and Marcia opted for soda. We perused the raffle prizes, which included 4 tickets to a Bulls game! Then we sat down at the table to wait for everyone else to finish.

Michelle, her family, and a friend joined us, as well as Penny. It was fun to catch up while we ate pizza.

front Michelle, Penny, me
back Sara, Marcia
And while I didn't win anything from the raffle, Michelle and her family were really lucky, winning 3 prize baskets, including one which contained this scarf knitted by Kim from Running on the Fly!


As we rode home in the pouring rain, we talked about what a fun event this was. Karen and her elves do an amazing job of planning. I will definitely put this one on my calendar for next year! Besides being for a good cause, there's something about dressing up in a Christmas costume to kindle that holiday spirit! I was amazed at some of the creativity of the participants. One woman was dressed up like the leg lamp from the movie A Christmas Story!

Have you done any holiday themed runs this year? Do you run in costume?

I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap! How was your week?

81 comments :

  1. You guys look so adorable dressed up like that!! Makes me wish I had a Christmas race on the schedule. But I'm training and holding out for the New Year's Day race. Which I'll probably run in Wattie Ink gear, since there isn't really an obvious NY theme for dressing up.

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    1. We're going to try to do a NYD run too. Not a race, just a run!

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  2. Sounds like such a fun event, and I love the costumes! I kind of wish I had signed up for a holiday race this year, but I wasn't sure how I would feel after my marathon a few weeks ago. I can't believe the weather this weekend- crazy that you would say it's "warm and humid" for a December race!

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    1. I love that this is a no-pressure run. I'm not much for costumes, and this makes it pretty fun!

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  3. I was definitely bummed to be on duty this weekend so I had to miss the race. This is the race we officially met at last year! Such a great event, for an important cause. You look so cute!

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    1. Thank you! Yep, your name came up! Hopefully next year we can all do it together!

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  4. So wonderful to see you again and glad you had a great time! Sorry to have missed the photos :( But you know us elves. Thanks for coming out and helping to support our community. You really help make a difference.

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    1. I'm so sad we didn't get a picture with you! But at least I got a hug. I love this race and I love all that you guys do for it. <3

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  5. That looks like so much fun! You all look so cute in your costumes. It would be nice to run without any time goal too. I like the scarf Kim made. But, I usually never win a door prizes at races. The same people seem to win all the time. Why is that? Thanks for linking!

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    1. I won a basket last year, so no big deal. I'm happy that all the money goes to such a good cause. This is really a special event!

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  6. Love your costumes! I think holiday runs are my favorite. I love the costumes & fun vibe.

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    1. This is such a fun run and a great way to end the running season!

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  7. Now this event I could handle. I so wish I were near Chicago! I'd be running with you in a heartbeat. Easy three miles? Yes, I can do that.
    You all look adorable.

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    1. This was so fun! I'm always happy about this event. It's a great way to cap off the year.

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  8. What a great event! I SO wish I could have been there. You guys all look so adorable! Was that red "jacket" (?) as hot to run in as it looks? I can't believe how well those furry Santa hats hold in the heat LOL (and thanks for the shout-out on the scarf) ;-)

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    1. Oh my gosh, we were sweating! And even tho you weren't there, your scarf was...

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  9. You guys all look so cute. I love the stockings! Fun Fun Fun:)

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    1. Target has all the fun stockings this year!

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  10. Love the outfits especially the stockings! Sounds like it was a fun day. What's a blue moon?

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    1. You haven't had Blue Moon? It's a wheat beer, served with an orange slice. Delish.

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  11. Sounds like a fun event! Great costumes! $15 is a bargain for a 5k. Lol, that must have been fun to see the leg lamp costume.

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    1. Yeah, I wish I had a picture of her! It was a great costume!

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  12. There are a couple big holiday races here where everyone dresses up but they were cancelled this year because of the attacks... i have never done one. Running in a costumes not my thing... chafing ! Glad the rain held off for you.

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    1. I'm not a costumed runner either, but this event is all about fun!

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  13. I love runs like that this time of year! My attempt failed miserably when one friend after another had to bail so I skipped it completely. I guess there's always next year.
    LOVE those reindeer hats!!

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    1. This is fun! I love seeing all my BRFs.

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  14. This was so much fun! Thanks for getting me out there. I'll have to up my costume game for this next year!

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    1. Well you were prepared--it was just too hot to sport your fun sweater! Next year...

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    2. I know you don't usually run in costume, but I loved seeing yall dressed up! Looks like a fun race! :)

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    3. This the perfect excuse to dress up!

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  15. That looks like so much fun and your group looks adorable in the photo. I love the hat they gave instead of the usual shirt that goes in a pile int he closet or drawer. Having a race that is just for fun is a great idea too....non competitive running has a place, especially during the holidays! I ran a 5k on Saturday and it was too hot. It started at 9 am, but by then it felt so hot and humid and I did dress up. Most of the race I was wishing I had on a pair of shorts and a tank top!

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    1. I was ready to cut the sleeves off my Santa jacket! It was hot!

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  16. That sounds like a blast!

    This saturday will (hopefully) be my second Christmas season fun run. No, I'm not a costume girl. I almost bought some new socks for it, then decided against it. Maybe next year.

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    1. The Christmas runs are a great excuse to dress up. You know I'm not a costume girl either!

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  17. So many fun people! I would love to get a run for a Christmas present, but who knows if that will happen. I'm obsessed with Michelle's hat.

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  18. Loving the outfits!! Everyone looks great :)
    Sounds like a very fun time. I like to run in costume, but I kept it simple this year. I do love seeing what folks come up with though lol

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    1. It was so fun! but oh the pressure of finding an outfit. And then the weather was so warm, we all had to alter our plans!

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  19. I love the small holiday charity runs. I have one tomorrow night. Just for fun and not time makes it so much fun this time of year

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    1. That's what makes this one so great. That and it's organized by my friend Karen!

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  20. What a fun time! I did a fun holiday run on Saturday but I didn't have a good costume! I need to get some compression socks with snowmen or something. Nice pic, ladies!

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    1. It was a really fun time! I'm going to run on Christmas too...I've got a running Christmas sweater for that.

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  21. What fun!! and y'all look so cute and festive. I too love small local runs. I haven't done any holiday themed runs this season but have in the past. The weather this weekend was short of unbelievable.

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    1. This is such a nice event! I'm glad she keeps it small.

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  22. Sounds like fun! I haven't done a holiday themed race since my first year of running, when the jingle bells on the shoes of the woman who ran next to me the whole way turned me into a Grinch! I'm usually ready to hang up my racing shoes after November and recover for spring racing.

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    1. Oh that's funny! I thought about wearing bells...now I"m glad I didn't!

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  23. Y'all look so adorable! What a fun event to do for the holidays - what a good stress reliever during this season

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    1. It's nice just to run easy with friends!

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  24. You ladies all look so cute in your costumes! Its hard to believe how warm its been, or to think about the idea of running a winter themed race when its in the 60s.

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    1. It was nice but a little weird, being so warm! We were all so sweaty!

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  25. You all look so cute! What a fun event. This warm weather is crazy, huh?

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    1. So crazy! Imagine sweating in December!

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  26. Love the costumes! This looks like so much fun. I have never run in a costume before!

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    1. I'm not a costume girl, but I do like to dress up for this event!

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  27. This looks like a very fun run. No pressure and good food afterwards not to mention the great cause. All win win in my book! Glad yall had a great time! I so hate you didn't get a picture of the "Leg Lamp" That's too funny! Thanks for linking this up with our Weekly Wrap Wendy! I hope you have a great week!

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    1. I"m so mad I didn't get a picture either!

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  28. Sounds like such a fun event and $15 is a bargain!! You guys look great too!

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    1. We told her she could charge way more and still have a good response. What's amazing is that everything is pretty much donated!

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  29. I LOVE your outfits so so cute! What a fun time looks like you all had a blast such an affordable event that's right up my alley!

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  30. Your costumes are adorable! I've never done a holiday run - something I need to change soon, especially since I love winter running!

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  31. Awww, I just love the picture of all you ladies in your costumes! This sounds like such a fun and festive event. It must have been awesome to just run for fun without worrying about timing. What a wonderful event for such an affordable registration price!

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  32. Sounds like such a fun event and I love your costumes! Would have loved to have seen the woman dressed as the leg lamp!

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  33. This looks like so much fun, I wish I could have done something this year, but still recovering from my injury.

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    1. Hopefully you will be back on the road very soon!

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  34. Sounds like a fun time! I ran in the Run With Santa 5K last Sunday and finally got my recap posted today. I even dressed up this year!

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    1. This is the only race I dress up for, but it's such a blast!

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  35. I think a costume run for fun can be really fun....was not able to do the santa 10k here this year but I will definitely try to do it next year. $15 is a bargain...especially considering proceeds go towards charity.

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    1. That's what we told her--she could charge way more and still get a good response!

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  36. Cute outfits! This warm December weather is crazy!

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    1. It really is! Seems like it's going to cool off this week, tho...

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  37. I would love to have seen the leg lamp lady!

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    1. I should have taken a picture! (kicking self)

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  38. I love the idea of running in a costume, but I can't ever bring myself to do it. Y'all looked so cute! I missed our local holiday half this year, which I was bummed about.

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    1. I don't normally run in a costume but this event is something special!

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  39. This looks so fun and I love ya'lls costumes!!

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