|Posing in our race shirts.|
As we turned toward Silver Dollar City there were lit up Christmas trees by the sign and I started to get a little bit excited. After parking and changing into our race clothes Ty, Thomas, Carter, and I caught a bus that took us toward the amusement park. I began to get more excited as we entered the park to see everything decorated with lights. Thomas was also getting excited which was rubbing off on me. We found mom, dad, and Jeremy and walked toward the race start area where there was a giant tree covered in lights that blinked along with music. Carter loved the tree and danced along with the music. Ty and Carter stayed at Silver Dollar City with us for about an hour before heading to the hotel for Carter to go to bed.
|Listening to music with Oma.|
|Checking out all the Christmas lights with Opa.|
|All of us posing with the wreaths before the race minus mom who was taking the picture.|
I hadn't thought about the fact that Silver Dollar City is extremely hilly and I wasn't quite prepared for the difficulty of the course. We started within Silver Dollar City and immediately headed out into the parking lots. The first half-mile of the race was downhill which led to a fast first mile, but then the rest of the race was mostly uphill. Honestly the uphills were easier for me. The downhills were really hard on my belly and I felt like I was going to pee myself the whole time we went downhill. If I had been any bigger I'm pretty sure I would have tinkled at least a little on the downhills. We wound around in the parking lots and up hills. I focused on picking up speed during the flat sections of the course. With less than a mile to go we re-entered the park and ran through the festive lights, winding around rides and up more hills. The race finished up the largest hill in Silver Dollar City and I was proud to outkick 3 people up the hill, 2 of them ended up being women in my age group. The bummer was that they started a little bit farther back from the start than me so their chip times were faster than mine (by 1 and 2 seconds). I was 6th out of 205 people in my age group and was only 8 seconds behind the 3rd place finisher. My time was faster than last week despite all the hills and was only a few seconds slower than the Twilight Thriller at 24:18! I was also 14th out of 802 women and 80th out of 1,253 total finishers. Not bad for a pregnant lady!
When I saw Jeremy at one point in the race about a mile in he was 12th overall. He ended up finishing 8th overall which we were all surprised that put him 4th out of 96 in his age group! We had figured finishing that close to the front he would for sure place in his age group. Thomas gave Ty his bag to take back to the hotel, accidentally giving him his timing chip. So we don't have an official time for him, but he finished a decent amount ahead of dad. I would guess his time was around 23:40 or so. Dad wasn't far behind Thomas finishing in 24:04. He was 4th out of 61 in his age group and 75th overall. Possibly the funniest moment of the entire night happened when I was watching mom finish. They were announcing people's names as they finished and I heard him say "Sondra Hurford, Ty Cox" and at first I thought, "Wow, someone ran this race and finished right by mom with the same name as Ty. How unusual." Then I thought about it for a moment longer and realized what had really happened. She ran the race with 2 drawstring bags on her back to carry all of our warm-ups and race packet gear rather than renting a locker. She ran the race with Ty's timing chip in her bag because he was also registered for the race. So his chip registered at the finish line and came up on the computer so they announced his name as a finisher. We all cracked up about it.
After the race we stood around drinking hot chocolate and enjoying Christmas tree sugar cookies with green sprinkles. I jogged a short cool down through Silver Dollar City and enjoyed the view. All of the lights were absolutely beautiful and it was so much fun to see all of the festive decor. The race ended up being a lot more fun than I had anticipated and we are already looking forward to running it again next year. In your race packet you get a free entry into Silver Dollar City that has to be used before the new year and during the week. We are so looking forward to taking Carter back to enjoy the entire park!