Bud is a Jack Russell, Beagle, Min-Pin mix breed dog. He is a ball of energy. He's hiked 6 miles in Umstead with Jamie and it didn't tire him out. I've also ran in for 2-2.5 miles several times and after drinking some water he's rearing to go again. I think running him makes him more hyper as he comes in and starts going crazy playing with his toys after a run. We just got Bud a new harness, the webmaster made by Ruffwear. It's an expensive harness but you can usually find them cheaper on Amazon brand new or even slightly used. It's worth the money! This is the only harness you'll ever need. It's supposed to be inescapable which is what Bud needs since he's gotten away from me and Jamie three times but we were lucky we got him back.
This is a big race and I worried how Bud would do in the large crowd. As we were walking to the start line he was getting nervous and scared. I chose to line up at the back of the field for several reasons. One, to respect the faster runners and those going for time and two I was hoping it would help ease Bud's nerves. It was a packed starring line with over 800 runners in the race. Jamie and I carried him to the back and got a spot and waited for the race to start. Bud quickly found a kid and was letting him pet him. Bud got a lot of compliments on his looks and his jingle bell collar.
We quickly started passing a lot of runners and stayed on the sidewalk until we got to the first roundabout. The crowd thinned out some so we got in the street and Bud was still passing people. I was letting him run whatever pace he wanted but her was running faster than we had on any of our training runs. People watching the race cheered as we passed, saying Go puppy!
Bud ended up getting on the median as we kept running the gradual uphill towards the turnaround. I started looking for some friends that were running the race. I first saw one of my training partners, Ryan Laytham. Ryan was looking smooth and in 2nd place. I next saw Brandon Whittaker. Brandon and I have been friends since high school where we ran against each other, him going to Croatan High School and me going to East Carteret. Brandon was also looking fast and on pace for his goal.
Bud and I ran the first half in 12:19, that's 7:49 min/mile pace. We rounded the turnaround and Bud was still cruising along fine. After a gradual uphill first half the second half is downhill with only a couple gradual inclines on the way back to the start. Bud was still getting a lot of cheers from spectators and other runners and walkers on the way back. I was letting Bud run his pace.
Since we started at the back of the field results are based on gun time so we finished 159 out of 887 runners. We actually finished higher than that if you go by chip time. Chip time is when you cross the starting line of a race. Gun time is when the race starts but for those in the back gun time is not their accurate time because it takes them seconds and sometimes minutes to even get to the starting line of a big race. Per USATF rules, awards and results are based on gun time.
If you do want to be competitive and go for a PR then this is the race for you. It's one of the fastest courses in the Triangle with his downhill final 1.5 miles. The weather in December can be rainy but the colder temperatures are worth it. Ryan ended up finishing 2nd Overall in a new PR of 16:45. Brandon finished 6th overall and 3rd in his age group in 17:35. This is a well organized and put on race. A lot of people do run in Christmas costumes and it was nice seeing other dogs in the race as well. This is one of my favorite races and I highly recommend doing it for fun or if you want to run a personal best.