The Christmas Classic, in its 29th year, is a fun end-of-season race put on by the owner of Foot of the Rockies John Lonsdale. Santa and Mrs Claus both run the race and anyone who beats them gets a free pair of socks. In addition this year, there was a kids race after the main event so Alistair got to run his third race of the year, and once again he was super excited at the prospect.
Got out for a two mile warm up with Pete and Alex and then stripped down to a T and split shorts, which was a margin call given the cool temps, as was the choice of racing flats given the conditions underfoot. I think I was right on the shorts and T, but definitely wrong on the flats: an aggressive tread would have been a much better choice as the course was covered in patchy ice and loose, slippery slush.
Not much to say on this one really. Took off hard from the gun (got to stop doing that) and led from start to finish. I ended up running a minute slower than two weeks previously over the same distance at the Turkey Trot. Given the conditions, I'm going to call it an even effort between the two. I remembered from last year that the winner picked up a pair of Mizuno shoes, so I was pretty happy after looking over my shoulder at mile two that I had at least 20 meters on the three guys running 2, 3 & 4. Free shoes are always welcome.
Alistair's run was a short, but fun one. He's really getting into the running thing and he was smiling and laughing the whole way around.
A good turnout from the Fort Collins Running Club and also the Fort Collins Trail Runners, so a fun morning all around with lots of friendly and familiar faces. Perhaps the highlight of the morning, however, was meeting and chatting with the legendary (in the mountain running world) Pablo Vigil, four-time winner of the Sierre Zinal, which is probably the most prestigious mountain race out there. It was great to pick his brain on training and also to hear some great stories from the European mountain racing circuit. While he no longer holds the course record at Zinal (Jonathan Wyatt) he's still gone around quicker than Killian Journet - today's emerging legend.